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How to use a Raspberry Pi to monitor PC status

One of the things that is necessary for those who are fiddling with their PC continuously is the fact of being able to monitor the operation of certain parameters on the PC. We are talking about the clock speed of various components, their temperature, their energy consumption, and so on.

Today all the components, or at least the most advanced ones, have the capacity to inform the CPU of these characteristics by continuously writing the values ​​in certain memory addresses that certain programs then use to inform us in real time. Which are executed by the CPU and show us this information on the screen.

The problem? We have to be running an application in the background to be able to see what happens in real time, to change windows continuously or to make them occupy the visible advantage. Which is sometimes annoying and takes away visible space. The solution? You may have noticed that some models of graphics cards usually include an LCD screen to give real-time information on the status of the GPU. Well, if you are interested in having something like this for your PC then let me tell you that with a Raspberry Pi it is possible to do it, keep reading to know how

What do we need?

Raspberry Pi monitor PC

The list of materials that you are going to need for this project is quite simple, it is divided into three parts:

  • A Raspberry Pi, with its corresponding MicroSD and power supply.
  • A Raspberry Pi compatible display
  • A support or housing to put both together.

The only complex part of the project does not have to do with the hardware, but with the monitoring software, which is based on MOBROS software that consists, on the one hand, of a program for our PC and, on the other hand, of an official distribution for the Raspberry Pi. Keep in mind that if you do this project then you will not be able to use your Raspberry Pi for other projects. And by the way, we do not recommend using the Raspberry Pi 400 for this project.

The application is simple to install, yes, it may be that Windows Defender has a problem. but authorizing the application is sufficient. As for the image for the Raspberry Pi, what you have to do is download the image on your PC, unzip it and copy the image to the microSD that you are going to use on the Raspberry Pi once you have unzipped it.

Choosing the Raspberry Pi model to monitor the PC

This point is important, since the application running on the PC at the same time as the one running on the Raspberry Pi communicate over the internet. This means that depending on the type of communication we want to use when monitoring the PC, we will be able to choose one type of Raspberry Pi or another.

If you want to use an ethernet cable then you can do it with the following models: Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, Raspberry Pi 3 Model B + and Raspberry Pi Zero using the USB to ethernet adapter.

If instead you prefer that the communication is wireless then the options are the following: Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, Raspberry Pi 3 Model B + and Raspberry Pi Zero W.

In any case, due to the lower power of the Raspberry Pi Zero, the creator of the mod warns us that the performance will be much lower than with the other models. So it will give the information with a little more latency than what is happening on the PC.

We recommend the use of a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B +, due to the fact that it is at the ideal point. If you have a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B + and a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B we do not recommend sacrificing the most powerful model, as it will be useful for other things.

Choosing the screen to monitor the PC with a Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi monitor PC

This is up to you, since you can choose very small screens to large ones. The application is designed for the use of screens via HDMI, but if you want direct communication you can use the GPIO port and use a screen that uses that port, that is, make sure that the official Linux distribution for Raspberry Pi supports said screen.

The options we have are several, like this 5-inch screen:

This other 7-inch:

And we can even opt for a 3.5-inch one:

Whichever screen you choose to monitor the PC with a Raspberry Pi, the installation of the same as well as the choice of components will depend on how you want the information to be displayed, so we leave it to everyone’s taste how to perform the installation, which also does not require advanced knowledge at all.

In any case, make sure that the screen is in a position accessible to the eye, both to check the data and to be able to interact with it. Because if you don’t do it like that, it loses all grace.

The final touches of the installation

Raspberry Pi monitor PC

We already have the necessary and chosen materials to monitor the PC with a Raspberry Pi. So we have managed to mount the panel and the Raspberry Pi with the screen in the PC case. Or failing that in the part that you want to connect them.

What do we need? Obviously have the Raspberry Pi running and the browser running, the MODBROS application running on the PC and write the following in the browser’s address bar on the Raspberry Pi:

[PC_IP_ADDRESS]: 42100? Uuid = pi1 & name = RaspberryPi

Once this is done, you will already have an LCD reporting the status of your PC in real time at all times, something that will be very useful to know the status of the PC at all times.