Nvidia today announced its new open and royalty-free Enthusiast System Architecture (ESA) for real-time monitoring and tweaking of key PC components such as processors, motherboards, video cards, cooling hardware, and power supplies.

For years enthusiasts have relied on a number of applications to monitor their systems. With ESA, Nvidia hopes to provide - through a single piece of software - information to enthusiasts not just for its products but for many other ESA-enabled components in a system, so that they can tweak every component in the way that suits them best. Companies are free to write their own ESA-compliant reporting software or rely on Nvidia's software solution.

ESA is built around the USB specification so getting ESA-equipped hardware to communicate with a PC should be as easy as plugging in a USB jack - internally using a USB header on the motherboard or through an external USB connection. Nvidia has a long list of partners who have already pledged to deploy ESA-compliant hardware including some big names such as Alienware, Dell, HP, Asus, Thermaltake and others.