Windows Experience Index: Basic Steps to Check Yours
Windows Experience Index (WEI) uses Windows System Assessment Tool (WinSAT) to measure the capability of your PC’s hardware and software configuration and expresses this measurement as a number called a base score.
In this article, we will show you how to get the Windows Experience Index (WEI) score in Windows 10 to help measure the capability of your PC without 3rd party programs.
What is the Windows Experience Index?
The Windows Experience Index (WEI) is not the be-all and end-all of Windows PC benchmark programs; there are more comprehensive benchmarks for Windows PC performance that provide a deeper and more thorough dive into the performance data.
However, the WEI does give Windows users the ability to reliably benchmark their computers at no charge and get comparable numbers that are accurate across machines and vendors.
As a result, the WEI remains one of the best and easiest ways for the average Windows user to measure the performance of their computer.
How it Works
The WEI logically divides every Windows 10 PC into five major subsystems: the processor, the physical memory, the desktop graphics hardware, the gaming graphics hardware, and the primary hard disk drive.
It then runs a series of diagnostic tests against each of these systems to assess their performance. Rather than summing and averaging the subscores to get the main score, the WEI assigns the lowest component subscore as the main score, echoing the throughput philosophy that a computing device is limited and should thus be measured by its constraints and its bottlenecks.
Each subsystem test looks for different information from your Windows PC. The numeric subscores can range from 1.0 to 5.9, with higher-powered computers taking the top honors in each category.
The processor subsystem test is in many ways the simplest of the tests. It measures the clock speed of the processor and assesses how many instructions per second the computer can manage if it “concentrates” on processing tasks for a few seconds.
The physical memory subsystem test simply copies large segments of your Windows PC’s memory from one place to another and back again, to gauge the memory operations per second.
The graphics subsystem is the circuitry from graphics controllers to data buses to external video cards. The graphics subsystem tests measure somewhat abstractly the graphics hardware’s ability to produce a standard Windows desktop.
The gaming graphics system is related but different. Most modern PCs have separated the “business” and “pleasure” side of their gaming hardware, and the gaming graphics test abstractly measures how well the computer will be able to render visual information.
Finally, the primary hard disk system of the computer is tested. This is usually the hardware that will be easiest to repair if something should go wrong with the PC. This test measures the speed of data transfer to and from the 2018 Shell rates.
When you trigger an execution of the WEI, all these tests are performed, which can take a few moments. Then the WEI displays your results in a very clean and easy-to-read table, subsystem by subsystem.
How to Check Your Windows Experience Index
Here’s how you can check your Windows Experience Index on Windows 10.
1. Run WinSAT To Generate Windows Experience Index
The Windows System Assessment Tool (WinSAT) remains tucked away in Windows 10. You can use WinSAT to generate a Windows Experience Index for your processor, graphics card, memory speed, and more.
The following process generates a Windows Experience Index then exports it to an XML file.
- Type command in your Start Menu search bar, right-click the Best Match and select Run as Administrator.
- When the Command Prompt opens, input the following command: winsat formal
- Wait for the process to complete. When it finishes, you can find the XML file in C:\Windows\Performance\WinSAT\DataStore.
- Look for a set of files containing the date you are running the test on. Open the XML file that looks like “[date of test] Formal.Assessment (Recent).WinSAT.xml”.
- When prompted, select your internet browser to view the XML file. Your browser will make the XML data readable.
The Windows Experience Index is close to the top of the file.
2. Use The Windows PowerShell
You can also use the WinSAT command in Windows PowerShell. The command works roughly the same and gives you a much cleaner output.
- Type powershell into your Start Menu search bar, right-click Windows PowerShell and select Run as Administrator.
- When PowerShell opens, input the following command: Get-CimInstance Win32_WinSat
Your overall Windows Experience Index is listed alongside WinSPRLevel.
Read Also: What is the TrustedInstaller Error Message.
3. Use The Performance Monitor And System Diagnostics
The Windows Performance Monitor also lets you view your Windows Experience Index. Here’s how you find the score or perform a system scan if there is no existing score.
- Type performance into your Start Menu search bar and select Performance Monitor.
- Under Performance, head to Data Collector Sets > System > System Diagnostics. Right-click System Diagnostics and select Start. The System Diagnostic will run, collecting information regarding your system.
- Now, head to Report > System > System Diagnostics > [computer name]. After selecting your computer name, the System Diagnostic Report will appear. Scroll down the report until you find the Hardware Configuration
- Expand the Desktop Rating, then the two additional dropdowns, and there you find your Window Experience Index.
4. Winaero WEI Tool
The Winaero WEI Tool is a basic but handy tool you can use to generate a visual Windows Experience Index. Winaero WEI Tool is lightweight and takes seconds to give your system a score. It has a few handy screenshot tools built-in, too.
Download: Winaero WEI Tool for Windows (Free)
Alternatives To Windows Experience Index
The Window Experience Index was never a fantastic way to judge your system performance. It has a single severe limitation. Your Windows Experience Index value comes from your lowest-performing piece of hardware. In my case, my disk speeds bring my overall score down, despite receiving high scores for CPU, Direct 3D, Graphics, and Memory.
A single low score can alert you to a bottleneck in your system. My system score drops because I have multiple drives, some of which are old, lumbering hard drives.
Overall, the Windows Experience Index isn’t the best way to figure out your system performance, or where you could improve it, either. Here are two alternatives to the Windows Experience Index that give you the information you need.
1. SiSoftware Sandra
SiSoftware Sandra (System ANaylzer, Diagnostic, and Reporting Assistant) is a system benchmarking tool you can use to test your hardware against other users. Sandra has an online reference database that you can use to compare individual aspects of your system, like your processor or internet connection, then compare against other systems to figure out if a system upgrade is worthwhile.
Download: Sandra for Windows (Free)
Another useful option is UserBenchmark. UserBenchmark runs a suite of benchmarking tools on your system, then opens the results in your default internet browser. You can then compare your results with the thousands of other UserBenchmark users, figuring out how your system ranks in comparison.
UserBenchmark is handy if you want to see how other users with similar hardware make improvements. For instance, if someone is using a different type of RAM with the same CPU as you, or if someone uses a faster hard drive to increase their score.
Scroll down in your UserBenchmark results and find the Typical [motherboard type] Combinations. From here, you can see the percentage of users using alternative hardware in combination with your current motherboard.
Download: UserBenchmark for Windows (Free)
When you look at the information that SiSoftware Sandra and Userbenchmark offer, the Windows Experience Index seems lacking.
The overview that the alternatives give you, in comparison with other hardware you can use to improve your system, mean that the numbers dished out by the Windows Experience Index don’t tell you much.
In fairness, Microsoft doesn’t advertise the Windows Experience Index. Also, Microsoft has removed the Windows Experience Index from the Microsoft Games panel. As you have seen, you won’t find your score unless you make an effort.
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