by Barry Dysert
(last updated March 16, 2015)
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.
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