The Windows Experience Index is a feature built into Windows to help you understand how well Windows Vista works with the hardware on your computer. Your computer is assigned a rating number that is achieved by measuring the capability of your computer's hardware such as memory (RAM), processor (CPU), hard disk, and graphics capability.
Viewing the Windows Experience Index
The Windows Experience Index is a measure for how well the computer system performs. A higher score generally means that your computer will perform better and faster than a computer with a lower score, especially when running software that requires a lot of system resources.
NOTE: The Windows Experience Index rating provides a score for how well Windows is able to perform in the hardware environment. It is not an indication for how well the entire system is performing. Your computer might have a very high rating of 5.8, yet slow down or lock-up due to other problems; such as viruses, hard drive space, or too many software programs running at the same time. For more information about how to increase system performance without upgrading hardware, see Increasing System Performance Without Adding Memory in Windows Vista .
Complete the following steps to view the Windows Experience Index ratings for your computer:
- Click Start , right-click Computer , and then click Properties .
- In the System area, find the Windows Experience Index , and make a note of the rating.
- The basic Windows Experience Index rating is the lowest rating of several hardware component ratings. To see a list of all the ratings, click Windows Experience Index from System screen.
- When you have finished viewing the ratings, close the Window.
Improving the Windows Experience Index rating
Upgrading hardware and drivers that is associated with the lowest subscore might improve the rating. The rating can improve if their is room for improvement, the hardware component or driver performs significantly better than the previous version, and the new hardware or driver does not have any problems interacting with the system.
In general, here are some tips on which components to upgrade according to the subscore to be improved:
- Processor : If the motherboard supports a faster processor than what is already installed, upgrading the processor can improve this score.
- Memory (RAM) : If the motherboard supports higher memory speeds than what is already installed, installing higher rated memory can improve this score. All install DIMMs must be of the same rating as the entire memory system only runs as fast as the lowest rated memory.
- Graphics : Installing a higher rated graphics card than what is already installed can improve this score. You should consider upgrading the power supply if the new graphics hardware requires more power.
- Gaming graphics : Installing an updated graphics driver might improve the score or make the score worse. Installing a higher rated graphics card than what is already installed can improve this score. You should consider upgrading the power supply if needed.
- Primary hard disk : Replacing the primary drive with a higher RPM value might increase this rating. If your motherboard supports both IDE and SATA and an IDE drive is installed, switching to a SATA drive can improve this rating.
After a hardware component or driver has been installed, open the "Performance Information and Tools" window (to view the subscores) and click Update my score .
For more information, click View ways to increase your score from the Performance Information and Tools window.