Today, most Windows PCs are running on the Windows 7 platform, and as time passes by, more and better computer hardware are being released. One of the most common and free ways to test out your computer hardware’s performance on your Windows 7 operating system is through WEI, or Windows Experience Index. There are two easy ways for you to access it: First, click on the windows/start menu, right click the My Computer icon, click properties, and then click on Windows Experience Index. Secondly, you can go to Control Panel and click on System and Security. From there, you can click on “Check the Windows Experience Index” under System.
I’ll try to explain it as simple as I can so that you won’t get lost in the different computer terminologies and concepts. First of all, WEI checks the performance of the basic computer components such as the processor, memory, desktop aspect of the graphics card, 3D gaming aspect of the graphics card, and the hard drive. The highest score you can achieve is 7.9 and the lowest is 1.0.
To help you understand how WEI tests your machine, here’s a brief rundown of the process: First, the WEI checks how fast your processor can compute; second, WEI checks how fast it can write to and read from your RAM or computer memory; third, it will test your graphics card’s ability to process graphics while you’re on the desktop surfing the internet or running an non-gaming application, and so on; fourth, WEI will check the 3D/gaming capability of your graphics card; and finally, it will check how fast data can be written to and read from your hard drive.
So in order to get a high score, you need to simply upgrade your computer. Well, first of all, remember that the WEI scores do not really compare your PC to any specific hardware configuration. The main purpose of the WEI is to gauge how well your PC can handle Windows 7. Hence, how your experience would probably be in using Windows 7 for your applications and games using your current PC hardware.
Also, please note that WEI will consider the lowest score you have as your base score. This means that even if you have the fastest processor, memory and video card, but you have a measly 5400 RPM mechanical drive, it will most likely result in a poor score for your hard drive. Let’s say you got 7.9 on all, except for the hard drive wherein you only got 5.5, your base score will still be 5.5. It will not be averaged.
But how do you get high scores in WEI? What I would recommend is to get the latest, multi-core processor. This should boost your CPU score. For the memory, 4 GB is the minimum for good performance. If you want higher scores, you’d want to get memory modules that totals above 4GB and with faster speeds. See those 1333/1600/1866/2133 on the memory modules? The higher this is, the faster your memory theoretically is. These are the rated speed, in Megahertz, of the memory module.
For the graphics, you’ll want a good mid-range video card that is usually sold at $150 to $200. This will affect both the desktop and 3D graphics. I suggest reading reviews and benchmarks on the internet to guide you on what video card is suitable for your budget. As for the hard drive, you’ll need a blazing-fast hard drive. Fast mechanical drives or even hybrids, mechanical and SSD in one drive, are okay. But to get high scores in WEI, you’d want an SSD, or a solid-state drive. It should give you really good scores in WEI. They’re a bit expensive though, but that’s the way it is. And of course, this does not only increase your WEI score but your PCs overall capability to run better and more applications, and play games with better-looking and smoother graphics.
My PC is currently at a base score of 7.5, which is quite high. However, this doesn’t mean that I have one of the best computer hardware out there. It just means that my PC is capable of taking advantage of Windows 7 features and different applications and games will run quite smoothly. My PC, overall, is actually on the lower mid-range area. I installed an SSD drive and my hard drive score went up from 5.7 to 7.9.
Always remember that it doesn’t mean that your applications will run blazingly fast and your games will run smoothly with all the graphics options turned up if you have a 7 or above Windows Experience Index rating. This would still depend on the application or game you are running. In the future, more hardware-intensive applications and games will be released. On the other hand, computer hardware will also get better and better.