How to Use the Windows Experience Index to Determine How Well a Computer Will Run Windows 7

If you want to upgrade a computer that is already running Vista, you’re in luck. The upgrade process is a breeze, and you can use the Windows Experience Index (WEI) in Vista to determine how well Windows 7 will run on your PC.

The Windows Experience Index gives a numerical score to each of your hardware components, and your WEI base score is determined by the lowest score out of your hardware components. Follow these instructions to find out what your WEI score is on a Vista Computer:

  1. Click Start→Control Panel.

  2. Click the System and Maintenance link.

  3. In the System group, click Check Your Computer’s Windows Experience Index Base Score.

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There will be a lot of differences between the WEI in Windows Vista and Windows 7, but you can still use the score as a guideline for upgrading. When reviewing your score, keep these things in mind:

  • If your overall WEI score is 2.0 or higher, you should be able to run Windows 7 reasonably well — although Glass will turn on only if the score is higher.

    You need a considerably higher score if you’re going to use the PC for heavy graphics or gaming. But a 2.0 is fine for Web browsing, light word processing, and the like.

  • If your Graphics score (the one marked Desktop Performance for Windows Aero) is 3.0 or higher, Windows 7 will turn on its Glass interface.

  • Most people don’t need to concern themselves with individual scores for Memory (RAM), Gaming Graphics, and Primary Hard Disk scores. However, if you’re a power user, you might have personal requirements for these items.

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