Microsoft designed the Windows Experience Index as a basic benchmark to provide Windows users with a quick way to determine their system's performance level.
Components such as the PC's processor, RAM or video adapter are tested and scored individually when you run the benchmark, and while it certainly lacks in many regards, it provides you with a quick way of getting a rough overview of your PC's capabilities.
Originally introduced in Windows Vista, Microsoft removed the Windows Experience Index in Windows 8.1. While it is still possible to run the benchmark and display the scores using the operating system's command line and Powershell tool, its graphical user interface is no longer available.
To compute the score using the PowerShell, do the following:
- Tap on the Windows key to go to the start screen if you are not there already.
- Type cmd to bring up search results.
- Right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator from the context menu.
- Confirm the User Account Control prompt by selecting Yes.
- Type winsat prepop and hit enter.
- It will run the Windows System Assessment Tool which may take a moment to complete.
The scores are not displayed to you here. What you need to do next is to run PowerShell to display them in the interface.
- Tap on Windows-X and select Windows PowerShell (Admin) from the context menu.
- Confirm the UAC prompt.
- Type Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_WinSAT and hit enter.
- The Windows Experience Index subscores and base score are displayed afterwards.
- CPUScore - Processor performance
- D3DScore - Gaming Graphics performance
- DiscScore - Hard Drive performance
- GraphicsScore - Desktop Graphics performance
- MemoryScore - RAM performance
- WinSPRLevel - Base Score of the PC.
Note: Scores are updated regularly to reflect the progress made by new hardware generations. Basically, the higher the score the better. I would not put too much thought into the base score though, as it does not reflect the overall performance of the system, but only the lowest score of the benchmark.
Back when Windows Vista was released, the maximum score was 5.9 indicating a top of the market PC for the Vista time frame. Nowadays, it is possible to get scores of and higher.
Win Experience Index is a free program for Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista that you can use to compute the WEI score in a graphical user interface.
All you need to do is run the program after you have downloaded and started it. It will display the last assessment if you have run the program before or used the method mentioned above.
Click on the run button to run the benchmark for the first time or anew. This will take a moment before the scores are displayed to you.
The main advantage of the program is that you can use it without having to use the command line or PowerShell. This can be useful to run the benchmark, but also to look up the current scores again.
Improving your score
There are several options to improve your score. You should make sure that you run the benchmark while the system is idle, as it may otherwise impact the score.
One option to get a better score is to overclock certain components if possible. It is what experienced users may do, and while it may boost the performance, it may also have negative impacts like heat generation, a shorter lifespan of the component or even stability issues.
Far better but also more expensive is to replace components. If you notice that your PC's primary hard drive is scoring low, you may want to consider getting a faster drive, a Solid State Drive for example, to boost the score.
The same is true for video performance, RAM or the processor. (via Deskmodder)