I noticed that it would be very useful to monitor the hardware status (parameters like CPU and RAM usage, temperatures, etc.) in this panel to see how much the computer uses resources to run games. Fortunately, this is possible because a)Valve provides a in-game browser (probably designed for social networking, chatting, etc.), and b)there are hardware monitoring tools that includes an internal web server, thought for remote monitoring. I found, for example a simple but very useful program, free and open source, called OpenHardwareMonitor.
So, the solution is very simple:
- Download OpenHardwareMonitor from here and unpack it to a folder (it doesn't require installation, just unzip & run)
- Before starting a game, run the program (to access some sensors, you may have to do it with administrator rights), then go to Options > Remote web server > Run. Now the server is listening on the dafault port (you can change it in Options > Remote web server > Port).
- Launch the game.
- When you want to monitor the system's performances open Steam Overlay (the default shurtcut is Shift+Tab), then click on Web Browser and, in the addres bar, type http://localhost:8085 (remember the http://, the Steam browser, unlinke the normal modern browsers, isn't so clever to understand the protocol automatically).
- Now, to switch between game and performance monitoring, just use Shift+Tab (or the shurtcut you set if you changed it).
- When you finish gaming, remember to close OpenHardWareMonitor (you can leave the server on, so the next time you run the program it will start automatically).
|The OpenHardwareMonitor built-in web GUI shown in Steam Overlay's web browser while me playing Dota 2|
But, as you can see from the screenshot, this GUI isn't very intuitive; if you need to monitor only a few parameters, follow these additional steps to set up an alternative cool web interface using a bit of HTML, CSS and JS. This will be the result:
|My custom OpenHardwareMonitor web GUI.|
- Download the archive that I prepared from here. It contains an HTML page that is the custom GUI, and a very simple webserver written as a Windows PowerShell Script (based on this) that answers the request of the index page with my HTML page and redirects any other requests (scripts and especially JSON data requests) to the OpenHardwareMonitor built-in webserver.
- Unzip all in the same folder where you unzipped OpenHardwareMonitor.
Example of how to find a sensor
- Another little step: before starting the Powershell script that contains the server, the first time, you need to run the following command from an administrator prompt to authorize the port (Start > type cmd > right click > run as administrator), obviously replacing you Windows username:
netsh http add urlacl url=http://+:8086/ user=YOUR-USERNAME
- Now you can run the server simply by launching Launcher.bat. If the first time you get errors, try rebooting your PC. Each time you want to run the webserver launch this script; it automatically launches OpenHardwareMonitor too, so if you leave it's built-in webserver on you don't need any other action. To stop the server, just close the command prompt.