What Is The Windows Experience Index, And How To Maximize It

Tina Sieber 29-08-2012

windows experience indexThe average user doesn’t have a clue what type of hardware they really need. To them, hardware specifications are a jungle and figuring out what they should upgrade if they experience performance issues is a daunting adventure. To make all of this a little easier, Microsoft introduced the Windows Experience Index with Windows Vista.


The index was designed as a benchmark tool that scores your estimated Windows experience based on your system hardware. The resulting base score gives you an idea how well your system will perform on various tasks, including word processing, basic or advanced Windows 7 features, or graphics-intensive operations. The idea was to offer base score recommendations on software, so users would only buy programs that would work well with their system.

What Exactly Is the Windows Experience Index?

More specifically, the Windows Experience Index is a tool to measure your computer’s performance, based on its hardware and software configuration. It is composed of several subscores, including CPU, RAM, or GPU. Since the system’s overall performance is only as strong as its weakest component, the base score is not an average, rather it is determined by the weakest subscore. Presently, the highest subscore any system component can score is 7.9.

How Can I Find Out What My Base Score Is?

To find out your base score, go to the Windows Start and type experience index in the search field. From the results open Check the Windows Experience Index.

windows experience index

Laptop users need to plug in their power supply, as the test won’t run on battery power. Click the Refresh button in the top menu in case you initially accessed the Experience Index Control Panel page while on batteries.


my windows experience index score

To determine your present score, click the Re-run the assessment link in the bottom right.

What Do The Numbers Mean?

Particularly the base score gives you a general idea about what kinds of tasks your computer is best suited for. Below is a rough recommendation.

Base score up to…

  • 2.0 – suitable for basic computer tasks
  • 3.0 – suitable for Aero and basic level Windows 7 features
  • 5.0 – suitable for new Windows 7 features and multi-tasking
  • 7.0 – suitable for high-end and graphics-intensive experiences

The subscores on the other hand allow you to determine, which components are best upgraded, not only to improve your base score, but more importantly to improve the system performance for specific tasks. For example if you will do mainly office type work with your computer, make sure you have high subscores for the CPU and RAM (memory). Graphics on the other hand can be neglected.

windows experience index

More detailed information about the Windows Experience Index Base Score can be found on the Windows Blog:

How Can I Improve My Base Score?

The base score is based on the lowest subscore. Hence, you need to improve your subscores in order to improve the base score. Now the only way to improve a subscore is to upgrade the respective hardware.


For example, to receive a better subscore for the memory component, you need to install additional or faster RAM. The same is true for all other categories. Unfortunately, not all hardware is easy to upgrade. For example if you have a laptop, it is probably not possible to upgrade your graphics card and it will be hard to upgrade the processor. For a detailed insight on your computer’s hardware profile, use CPU-Z Learn Everything About Your Computer Specifications With Free, Portable CPU-Z Even if you’re not overly geeky, you probably have a rough idea of how much memory and what sort of processor your computer has. But what about its other statistics? For example, do you know... Read More – it comes in both portable and desktop versions.

A low base score may also be the reason why you cannot view Aero Effects in Windows 7. Read more on How To Enable & Troubleshoot Aero Effects In Windows 7 How To Enable & Troubleshoot Aero Effects In Windows 7 Read More .

What is your base score and have you ever used it to purchase software which your computer can support?

Related topics: Benchmark, Computer Maintenance, Windows 7, Windows Vista.

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  1. Ras'al'Gul
    October 6, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Came back here to post something that i've been wanting to say. My Windows Index Experience has increased a little bit thanks to a new motherboard (a P7H55-M PRO) that a long time friend gave me with a new CPU and DDR3. The scores now are:

    CPU: 7.3 (an i5 750 (Lynnfield) without integraded GPU)
    RAM: 7.3 (one 4GB DDR3 stick @ 800MHz from Crucial) (i got 7.5 with two DDR3 (2x 2GB) sticks from Corsair, same speed/frequency but only if running in dual channel mode)
    Desktop Graphics: 7.9 (MSI GeForce GTX 1050 LP)
    Gaming Graphics: 7.9 (same as above)
    Primary Harddisk: 5.9 (Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB - SATA II - 7200RPM - 16MB Cache) (the score goes to 5.6 if using a WD Green 1TB drive, which is a SATA III running in SATA II mode and only spins at 5400RPM)

    The rest is the same as my previous comment.

  2. Ras'al'Gul
    August 9, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    CPU: 7.2
    RAM: 7.2
    Desktop Graphics: 7.9
    Gaming Graphics: 7.9
    Primary Harddisk: 5.9

    Maximus II Formula, Q9300 @ 2.5gHz, 4GB RAM (Single Channel) OCZ 800mHz (667mHz) DDR2, MSI GeForce GTX 1050 2GT LP 2GB (PCIe v2.0 @ x16), Samsung Spintpoint F3 SATA-II, WD Green 1TB, WD Green 2TB (both SATA-III @ SATA-II SPEED)

    If it wasn't for the board only supporting SATA-II speeds the overall score would be higher.

    • Tina Sieber
      August 9, 2017 at 7:19 pm

      Thank you for sharing! Those are pretty good scores.

      How come you didn't upgrade to Windows 10? Still interested? There's a backdoor for upgrading to Windows 10.

      • Ras'al'Gul
        August 10, 2017 at 8:38 am

        Windows 10 is like Windows Vista for me... AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE! >:-] I know it is not a good explanation but i'm well served with 7, like i've been with XP and 98SE for more than a decade. Games? PS4. The rest? Desktop. I also have Linux (Slackware) installed with dual-boot because of my work needs. Took me months to make the computer as stable and fast as it is. Not going to make the 'mistake' of putting Win 10 on it. ;-)

        • Tina Sieber
          August 10, 2017 at 7:24 pm

          Fair point, especially the optimization. Windows 10 will only make that harder.

  3. the little potato . this is a paradox! there is no answer. Look, this place is going to blow up if I don't get back in my body!
    January 21, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    I had 5.9 a month ago and it lowered to 5.4... Now I have trouble playing the Crew... I hate it! How could by system hardware degrade like this?

    • Tina Sieber
      January 21, 2017 at 3:38 pm

      That sucks. Did you change any settings? Did you update Windows or change a driver?

  4. Vishal raj
    August 16, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    Processer 6.4
    Ram 5.5
    Graphics 3.4
    Gaming graphics 3.5
    Primary hard disk5.9
    I need to upgrade my pc what shld i do...i want to graphic card nd wnt to upgrade mu ram...sgggst me plzz...

    • Tina Sieber
      August 17, 2016 at 8:53 am

      I suggest that you compile your current hardware specs and seek a forum that can help you find compatible hardware to upgrade.

      • Bruce Wayne
        December 11, 2016 at 3:59 am

        That is a really annoying stupid response! He should get a Gigabyte Gaming MB, Amd 8 core cpu or intel i7, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB or above, 16 gig fast ram, solid state hard drive, aero cool 750 watt power supply, 30 quid or more cpu fan with thermal silver paste, full tower case, 5 or more large case fans! so on!

        • Tina Sieber
          December 12, 2016 at 12:53 pm

          This is not a support forum. He couldn't expect to get a quick response from someone as knowledgeable as you. Look at how long it took *you* to respond to his question! My advice is the best *I* could give.

  5. brandon
    April 7, 2016 at 1:43 pm


  6. Anonymous
    January 13, 2015 at 9:47 am

    4.5 thanks to my graphics... on laptop.:(

    • Anshu Kumar
      March 19, 2016 at 8:09 pm

      bhak teri.......

  7. Anonymous
    December 20, 2014 at 11:29 am

    rating is. 4.5 due to graphics

  8. Doku Dot
    October 19, 2012 at 11:26 am

    4.9 for my 5 years old compaq laptop

  9. Den
    October 12, 2012 at 2:00 pm


  10. Dimal Chandrasiri
    September 12, 2012 at 11:17 am

    thanks to my new desktop pc, I score a whopping 7.8 rate. it's a combination of high end devices I have.! :)

  11. Eli
    September 1, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    The written description of the best score does not match the table underneath which is taked from an older article and mentions only Vista

    • Tina
      September 2, 2012 at 3:47 pm

      Good catch, Eli! The index isn't static, it is updated when significantly more powerful hardware becomes available. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a more recent table. Nevertheless, the slightly outdated one gives a good idea.

  12. rama moorthy
    September 1, 2012 at 10:16 am

    3.4 rating .. Due to graphics ...!

  13. Mark
    August 31, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    5.2 because of graphics... on laptop, so cant really upgrade

  14. Michael Parido
    August 30, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    7.6 on my processor (Intel i5 3.40GHz) and Memory
    7.9 on both graphics measurements.
    7.7 on my OCZ Vertex 4 SSD

    I'm happy with that.

  15. Rich Mc.
    August 30, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Well I have to say considering my graphics card is integrated on my Toshiba I still got a 5.9 not terrible anyway

  16. Fayz
    August 30, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    5.9 isn't bad. Thank god for the graphics and HDD! c:

  17. GrrGrrr
    August 30, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    my score is 4.7

    Some questions:
    1. running & having windows complete the scoring process takes a lot of time. Is it usual or is something wrong with my laptop?
    2. ideally how many minutes it should take to refresh/update the score

  18. Nart Barileva
    August 30, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    5.9 because of my graphics and primary hard disk, not too bad at all though :)

  19. Alan Wade
    August 30, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Alternatively if you are so worried by your WEI score then change it with this little app:

    • Alan Wade
      August 30, 2012 at 11:30 am

      My base score (without using changing it with an app) is 6.9 which is because it dosnt see my SSD as fast enough. Luckily for me, 1) I dont take much notice of the Index score and 2) I have a new SSD on order.

  20. sentinal
    August 30, 2012 at 10:31 am

    7.5 OH YEEE

  21. Tug Ricks
    August 30, 2012 at 7:05 am

    Thanks to my top of the line integrated graphics, I'm sporting a 4.6. Oh yeah...