What’s My Windows Experience Index Score?

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Image of johnzpchut wei base scoresOverview

Created by Microsoft and included in Windows 7 ( and Windows Vista), the Windows Experience Index (or WEI) measures the capability of your computer’s hardware devices (the stuff inside your computer). The number or index that is calculated is called a “Base Score”.

How Do I Find My WEI Base Score?

To view your computer’s base score and sub-scores, follow these steps:

  1. Click the start button (the very bottom left of the screen)
  2. Click Computer (middle right)
  3. Click the “System properties” button (Top left).

Note: This brings you to the System properties window, which allows you to view basic information about your computer. The “Rating” section shows you your base score. If you Navigate down to the middle of the screen under the “System” area, the number shown (usually a blue and with graphic) is your “Windows Experience Index”.

How Do I Read and Understand My WEI Base Score?

A higher base score generally means your computer will perform better and faster than a computer with a lower base score, especially when performing more advanced and resource-intensive tasks.

What are WEI Sub-Scores?

If you click the blue “Windows Experience Index” link, you can view your computer’s WEI sub-scores. The WEI includes five sub-scores:

  • Processor (CPU)
  • Memory (RAM)
  • 2D Graphics (video card)
  • 3D Gaming Graphics (also Video card)
  • Primary Hard Disk (Hard Drive)

Note: The base score is equal to the lowest of the sub-scores. Each hardware component receives an individual sub-score. Your computer’s base score is determined by the lowest sub-score.  Here’s an example, if the lowest sub-score of an individual hardware component is 3.9, then your base score is 3.9.

What Does all this Mean?

Bottom line – The WEI enables you to match your computer hardware performance with the performance requirements of software. For example, the Aero graphical user interface will not automatically be enabled unless the system has a WEI score of 3 or higher.

The WEI can also be used to show which part of a system would be expected to provide the greatest increase in performance when upgraded. For example a computer with the lowest sub-score being its memory, would benefit more from a RAM upgrade than adding a faster hard drive (or any other component).

Are there Problems with the WEI Score?

Paul Thurrott of WinSupperSite.com, points out some of the issues associated with the Windows Experience Index. Here are a few excerpts from his article:

“One of the problems with the WEI is that it’s largely arbitrary. You may be distressed by the low scores of some components and believe that you require an upgrade to run Windows 7 effectively.”

“Another issue with the WEI is that, because it runs only once and while you are not actually using the PC, it doesn’t provide a meaningful measurement of the performance capabilities of your system over time.”

“Put simply, WEI does not measure the overall performance of your PC. It only measures the relative performance of the individual hardware components in the PC.”

A perfect example of the issues is my very own PC. As you can see in the pictures below, my base score is only 3.9, which by the way is more than adequate. But when you view my sub-scores you see that, with the exception of my Graphics or “Desktop performance for Windows Areo (3.9), they are all very high (7.3, 7.3, 3.9, 5.8 and 5.3).

Image of johnzpchut wei base and sub-scores

Final Words on the Windows Experience Index (WEI)

The Windows Experience Index (WEI) score is meant too provide you some performance information about your computer’s hardware, but don’t get to concerned about the base score. In the end, unless you feel that your computer is not running as fast as you would like it, then don’t worry about it.  There is not really more that I can say…

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