5 Replies Latest reply on Aug 15, 2010 11:03 AM by adam gold

    Windows Experience Index, WEI

    Harm Millaard Level 7

      I believe it was Glenn who asked a question about the WEI score, but I searched and could not find it. Either my stupidity or (much easier to lay the blame) a forum shortcoming.


      Anyway, I was rather stupefied by the validity of the Windows Experience Index or WEI for short, because even with a Velociraptor, allegedly the fastest conventional SATA disk on the market, your score always ended up at 5.9, disregarding all your other scores. So I did the test again, but this time I did not use my Primary hard disk, but my video array and what did I find?



      This shows the limited validity of the Microsoft WEI. Microsoft can not (at least not the person I spoke with) answer the reasoning behind the scores, why the scales go from 1.0 to 7.9 and not beyond, why an average was not used, but only the lowest subscore, where comparisons are available, etc.

      In short, it does not mean very much. If you have doubts, questions or remarks about system performance, do not attach too much weight on this comparison, because there is no comparison, you have to rely on tests like http://ppbm4.com benchmarks for anything valuable.

        • 1. Re: Windows Experience Index, WEI

          I respectfully disagree. I don't know why Microsoft wouldn't comment, but I will.

          The reason that your hard drive score is locked in at 5.9 is that, that's pretty

          much the limit of a mechanical hard drive. These, in pretty short order, will

          fall be the wayside as Intel brings in their solid state (SSD) drives, which scream

          in comparison.


          If you go making alterations or subsitutions in the scoring method, yes, I can

          see how the scoring method could become arbitrary. If you leave it alone, it's

          telling you that if you want a faster system, your hard drive is the bottleneck.

          SSDs are pricey and not as large as disk drives, but they are available now

          and will both raise your score and speed up your work.


          On this point, the reason that WEI uses the lowest score and not an average

          is that an average would mask your bottleneck, which is what you're trying to

          address. Adding a faster graphics card or more RAM isn't going to address your

          drive issue. Going by the lowest score is really smart if you're trying to offer

          something helpful and not merely create a new form of bragging rights.


          The system originally peaked at 5.9 and it goes up as the technology goes up.

          I don't know what's convoluted or random about that. In fact, the WEI system

          works well enough as a means of comparing machines that Best Buy seems

          to be blocking it now, so that you can't access the feature on the demo machines

          in their stores. At least that's what I've seen in the stores I've visited recently.


          One thing WEI tells you immediately is whether or not the system you're looking

          at has any significant graphics ability. Systems without cards come up way short

          on WEI scores. In fact, just adding a card will bump your score from four-ish to 5.9

          in most cases, assuming you have at least 4 gigs of RAM. In fact, thanks to a $99

          graphics card addition, my next-lowest score is 6.8 after the 5.9 drive score. Which

          means that SSD is definitely on my radar before I go beefing up anything else.


          BTW, I found this thread looking to see what is recommended for Photoshop in terms

          of a WEI score. Still loooking...

          • 2. Re: Windows Experience Index, WEI
            Scott Chichelli Level 3

            WEI is useless.

            only benchmarking can tell the truth.


            WEI score only benchmarks your OS harddrive My WEI score on my office system is 6.8 due to having an SSD OS

            and the 6.8 is acutally my video card the OS drive is 7.3

            i could have an high end ATI video card in there and get a high score on it and be useless for Adobe.

            and trust me i would not want to edit on this system.




            • 3. Re: Windows Experience Index, WEI
              adam gold

              >>So I did the test again, but this time I did not use my Primary hard disk, but my video array


              Harm, how did you do this?  I can't find any way to make the test look at any drive other than the C: drive, as Scott says.  Did you install the OS on your video array and then run the test this way?


              At any rate, I've come to the same conclusion, that the WEI is largely useless and a test that more replicates the real world, such as the PPBM, is better for our purposes.

              • 4. Re: Windows Experience Index, WEI
                Harm Millaard Level 7

                Adam, run it from a CMD box. Navigate to C:\Windows\System32 and from the command prompt enter:


                "Winsat  disk -drive e:" without the quotes and using your drive letter if it is other than e as in this example. That may give you results like this:



                • 5. Re: Windows Experience Index, WEI
                  adam gold Level 1

                  Wow.  That's just scary.  How do you know stuff like this?