A few Vista and 7 users have written me with questions about the Windows Experience Index and what it is exactly. So, without further hesitation, here’s a little explanation as to what the WEI is, and what it means for those with Windows 7 or Vista.
Note: XP users need not apply.
The Windows Experience Index measures the capability of the hardware and software installed in your computer and then gives you a measurement called a “base score”. This base score can go from 1 to 7.9, with 1 obviously being the lowest score, and 7.9 being the best. Each individual component in your system (processor, RAM, video card, etc.) contributes to your base score. If you find that your base score is lower than you’d like, you can view the details to see what the lowest scoring component is and then based on your computer needs, upgrade it. For example, my processor and RAM are okay, scoring at 5.8 and 5.9, respectively, but my gaming graphics capabilities only tally in at a 3.7. Since I’m not gaming on my work computer, this score means little to me, but it’s still nice to know that my processor and RAM can hang in there for awhile!
You can also use the WEI to figure out which programs will run the best on your computer, too! Microsoft programs, (ones that have been released since Vista came out) have a Windows Experience Index rating on the box. This means, for example, that if your has a base score of, say, a 3.6, then you can safely buy programs that have a score of 3 or lower. Again, this only applies to Microsoft brand products.
To check your Windows 7/Vista Experience Index press the Windows key+Pause (Win+Pause), this will bring up a window with your computer’s basic information. Your experience index number is located under the System heading. Click on the text next to your rating number to get a breakdown of your rating, view and print details and find software based on your score!
For more info on the Windows Experience Index, click here.