I figured I'd start this topic since all (or mostly all) of the people reading and posting on this forum are computer users. There are many different programs that can help you monitor the temperature of your CPU, hard drive, graphics card, and so on. By far, the most common program is CPU-Z which monitors the basics of your CPU (speed, voltage, multiplier, etc.) as well as gives you information about your CPU. It also gives you very basic information about your memory, your graphics processor, and motherboard. But the problem with CPU-Z is that it only gives you very BASIC stats. That's where programs like HwInfo32 come in.
This nifty program (credit goes to Doc for telling me about it) gives you information just like CPU-Z and more. It gives you information about your network's driver, your display driver, CPU temperatures (even the temperature of each individual core), BIOS information, FSB (front side bus) info, and even has its own little benchmarking program to score your CPU, memory, and hard drive against others in its database. While this program is much, MUCH better than CPU-Z, it doesn't give nearly as enough information about your system as the next 2 programs I will be discussing here.
Lavalys Corporation's EVEREST program is like HwInfo32 on steroids. It does everything HwInfo32 does and gives deeper information that HwInfo32 doesn't provide. Everest is my favorite monitoring program because it monitors everything on my system that needs to be monitored (CPU temps, CPU voltages, individual core temps, graphics processing unit temperature, GPU memory temperature, CPU fan speed, GPU fan speed, HDD temperatures, HDD and ODD information, Windows information, and the list just goes on.) Pretty much, it does what HwInfo does but on a much bigger scale. It even tells you the overclock percentage of your CPU, the security software you use, your DirectX files, etc. I can go on and on about what kind of information Everest tells you but that would take me a VERY long time. The benchmarking utility that's built into Everest is similar to HwInfo32 but it's also done on a much bigger scale.
Last program that I'll mention is SiSoft's Sandra program. This program is EXACTLY like Everest and you could say it's Everest's competitor. The way it gives the user information about their system is exactly how Everest gives the information. I won't go into heavy detail about the Sandra program because it's basically like Everest with a few tiny changes here and there (I use both lol.)
Now the problem with Sandra and Everest is that they are not freeware. You have to buy a license to take full advantage of the program and there are different levels of the program (basic, advanced, professional, business, and ultimate...although they are not ranked by those titles.) HwInfo32 and CPU-Z are free and can be found very easily by using Google. In my opinion though, CPU-Z is best used in conjunction with a program called GPU-Z and another program called Core Temp. GPU-Z is what CPU-Z is to your CPU but for your GPU. You can also use the BIOS to check your CPU temperature but that's a bit of a hassle to do. So these are some of the utilities I use to maintain my PC and to benchmark my system when I do an overclock or if I just want to put my system up against others. I will go into bigger detail about game benchmarking in a different thread.