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Windows Experience Index

The Windows Experience Index measures the capability of your computer's hardware and software configuration, and this measure is a number called a base score. A higher base score generally means your computer will perform better and faster than a computer with a lower base score, especially when performing more advanced and resource-intensive tasks.

Each hardware component receives an individual subscore. Your computer's base score is determined by the lowest subscore. For example, if the lowest subscore of an individual hardware component is 2.6, then the base score is 2.6. The base score is not an average of the combined subscores.
To view your computer's base score, follow these steps:

From the Start pearl button, click Welcome Center.

Click View Computer Details.

About Your Computer's Base Score

The base score represents the overall performance of your system as a whole, based on the capabilities of different parts of your computer, including random access memory (RAM), central processing unit (CPU), hard disk, general graphics performance on the desktop, and 3D graphics capability.

Here are general descriptions of the kind of experience you can expect from a computer that receives the following base scores:

A computer with a base score of 1 or 2 usually has sufficient performance to do most general computing tasks, such as running office productivity applications and searching the Internet. However, a computer with this base score is generally not powerful enough to run Windows Aero or the advanced multimedia experiences available with the Windows Vista operating system.

A computer with a base score of 3 is able to run Windows Aero and many new features of Windows Vista at a basic level. Some of the new Windows Vista advanced features might not have all their functionality available. For example, a machine with a base score of 3 can display the Windows Vista theme at a resolution of 1280x1024 but might struggle to run the theme on multiple monitors. Or it can play digital TV content but might struggle to play high definition television (HDTV) content.

A computer with a base score of 4 or 5 is able to run all new features of Windows Vista with full functionality, and it is able to support high-end, graphics-intensive experiences, such as multiplayer and 3D gaming and recording and playing back HDTV content. Computers with a base score of 5 were the highest performing computers available when Windows Vista was released.

The Windows Experience Index is designed to accommodate advances in computer technology. As hardware speed and performance improves, higher base scores will be introduced. However, the standards for each level of the index stay the same. For example, a computer scoring a 2.8 should remain a 2.8 unless you decide to upgrade the computer's hardware.

If a particular program or Windows Vista experience requires a higher score than your base score, you can upgrade your hardware to meet the necessary base score. If you install new hardware and want to see if you score has changed, click Update my score. To view details about the hardware on your computer, click View and print details.

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