Some suggestions and asking for more
Thought I would post some utility programs I am using to monitor and etc. what's happening while playing GC3. I am also requesting if people have any suggestions for additions/improvements. Certainly these are not essential, and if you are very short of memory (say 6gb or less) you might want to consider running extra programs - not that these programs require a lot of RAM. The process manager in windows will let you know how much memory they use, for example.
At present I am using dual monitors with extended windows, so I play on the main screen and check stuff while playing on the other. At lot of video cards support this. Very easy to set up - if you have an old monitor you aren't using. I am using GE force 750 Ti 2gb which is around $140 or so, I am sure there are better cards around, of course. If you can't do dual monitors, you can run in a window and have these programs running underneath, but that isn't nearly as convenient.
1. Jing (screenshots). This is suggested in the support FAQ, but I wanted to mention that the big thing for me about Jing is that you can drag a rectangle around a piece of the screen to emphasize the problem. Very nice.
2. There are many hosting services, but dropbox.com seems to work well. A hosting service is necessary to link big files to SD, as trying to upload will cause an error message.
A trick here is that if you want to post a picture in the forums, you can upload it to dropbox and then click share and copy the link. Remember however that for the picture to appear in the forums instead of just the link, you need to change the very last character in the link to a zero instead of a 1. So copy the link to a text editor, fix it, and copy the new link to your forum post.
For linking crash dumps, for example, you will want to use a compression utility, then link to the zipped file. I use 7-zip: but there are lots of others.
2. Windows Task Manager. If you click the performance tab you get real time look at all the cpus in your system, plus extra text info. Nice, all four of my quad cores are there. Ctrl-Alt-Del, select task manager.
3. HWMonitor (Hardware monitor) Much real time info about your computer, especially the temperature of your cpu and video card, along with fan speeds. Over heating can be a big problem for crashes so it is nice to check this out. Of course, check out what the operating temperature specs of your video card, cpu, and hard drive are --- which will require googling your model number, etc. I was relieved to find out I am running far below specs, so over heating just isn't an issue.
4. Windows Process Explorer. Not a default part of windows, because Microsoft acquired the company that wrote it. An amazing amout of information is here --- I particularly like the view/system information choice, which gives real time info on just about everything, showing how hard your cpu and gpu are working, how much of their memory is being used, etc.
Summary: for those who are interested in checking performance in real time and reporting infomation to SD, these programs may be very helpful. I would be thankful if people can add/comment on the list.