Remember the Windows Experience Index? The Windows Experience Index was a quick way for Windows users to figure out their overall computer performance and any immediate bottlenecks.
Microsoft removed the graphic version of the Windows Experience Index in Windows 8.1. But the underlying tool, the Windows System Assessment Tool, lives on. Better still, you can access the old performance ratings easily.
Here’s how you can check your Windows Experience Index on Windows 10.
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.
The Windows Experience Index is close to the top of the file.
You can also use the WinSAT command in Windows PowerShell. The command works roughly the same and gives you a much cleaner output.
Your overall Windows Experience Index is listed alongside WinSPRLevel.
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.
The Performance Monitor is just one of the many tools you can use to monitor your system hardware.
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)
The Windows 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.
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 uses 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.
Want to benchmark specific parts of your system hardware? Check out our rundown of the ten best free benchmark programs for Windows 10
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, compared with other hardware you can use to improve your system, means 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.
Need a faster computer but aren’t sure what you should upgrade on your PC? Follow our PC upgrade checklist to find out.
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