Understanding the Windows Experience Index

by Barry Dysert
(last updated March 16, 2015)

5

The Windows Experience Index is a rating calculated by your computer to give you an idea of how well it performs. It does this calculation by rating certain hardware elements (i.e., the processor, hard disk, memory, and graphics card) and presenting you with a score between 1.0 and 7.9. The higher the score, the better your computer will perform.

In order to see your Experience Index, go to Start | Control Panel | System and Security | Check the Windows Experience Index (under the System heading). You will then be presented with a window similar to this: (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Windows Experience window.

The large "Base score" number on the right (4.0 in this figure) is the lowest of the subscores to its left. By looking at the individual subscores you can see what components are causing the worst performance issues and make decisions accordingly. For example, since the subscore of the Graphics component is low I can improve my system's performance by getting a faster graphics card. On the other hand, my hard drive and processor performance are higher on the scale, so upgrading my CPU or adding a faster hard drive would have less impact on my system's overall performance.

 This tip (12071) applies to Windows 7.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

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What is 9 + 4?

2015-03-17 19:20:37

Derek McLean

Thanks for the info, Henry.
Alas, it's way over my head, so I'll just have to remain blissfully ignorant and hope that they may re-introduce it in W10 in an intelligible fashion.
If not, it's no great problem.


2015-03-16 09:46:40

Henry Noble

In the list of files, select the group with the most recent date, then double-click the one called Formal.Assessment (recent). When I do that it opens in Internet Explorer, even though IE is not my primary browser.

The summary scores begin about twenty lines down.

I have not yet found a viewer for Win 8.1 that presents the raw data as nicely as WPI does in Win 7.

If you Google "winsat.exe formal", you'll find articles by Microsoft and others on how to use the underlying functions.


2015-03-16 07:56:24

Barry

Thanks, Henry. My data files end up in C:WindowsPerformanceWinSATDataStore, but they have .xml extensions. You don't happen to have an xml parser that can make the data easily readable do you?


2015-03-16 07:33:22

Henry Noble

WPI carried over from Win 7 to Win 8, although with a slightly different index scale.

Unfortunately, WPI was removed from the Control Panel's System page in Win 8.1. However, the code remains, and with a little effort you can still get the assessment.

Open a command prompt, then run:

winsat.exe formal

The results of the assessment can be read with a web browser, and are stored in:

C:WindowsPerformanceWinSATDataStore*.WinSAT

As of this comment, winsat.exe is still included in the Win 10 Technical Preview.


2015-03-16 06:49:05

Derek McLean

Why does the Gaming Graphics figure usually appear higher then the Graphics number? Indeed, why are there two numbers in the first place?

Why is this information not on offer in W8? Will MS re-introduce it in W10?


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