Hardware hack: use an old Android phone as a system monitor

Using a handy app and an old phone, you can add a dedicated system monitor for your rig

If you’re looking for peak performance out of your gaming PC, it’s important to keep an eye on your system’s vitals, and one redditor has figured out an easy way to do this without adding any additional Windows processes or taking up screen real estate that would be better filled with explosions or benchmarks. All you need is an old phone, a USB cable, and an app.

Reddit user div2691, posting in the ‘Glorious PC Master Race’ subreddit, shared a photo of his setup. It shows a phone running an app called Remote System Monitor mounted screen-side out on the inside of his PC case’s removable side panel.

It’s a simple enough thing to set up: find yourself an unused Android phone, fire it up and download Remote System Monitor by Trigone on Google Play, and then download the client to your PC. Make sure both the phone and the PC are connected to the same wifi network, and you should see your system’s temperature, clock, and fan data displayed on the screen. You’ll want to make a donation to remove the ads from the app (anything as low as 99p will do the trick), and then plug it in to an available USB port for power, and set the phone’s display to be always on.

At that point it’s a matter of placing the phone in a spot that’s easily visible. If your PC case sits on your desktop, then mounting it inside is a great option, as long as you have a transparent panel to look through. But you don’t need to have it anywhere near your PC case for the app to work – another user suggests setting the phone up on your desk space somewhere, potentially under your monitor’s bezel. That way all your temps are visible at a glance.

That’s all there is to it – nothing fancy, but it’s an effective way to move your live system information panel to a spot that isn’t on your screen. That’s important, because your screen is for games. If your phone isn’t currently jammed in your rig, you can check out our sister site Pocket Tactics‘ suggestions for other things to do with it – play more games, for example.