In Vista, Microsoft introduced a tool called the Windows Experience Index (WEI). This tool provided a way to assess the capabilities of the hardware on a system. The tool is also present in Windows 7 and 8 but you won’t find it in Windows 8.1. However, you can restore it with a free little utility called the Winaero WEI Tool.
The description of the tool is at this page on the developer’s site and the download page is at this link. The tool is portable and requires no installation. It works on both 32- and 64-bit Windows 8.1 systems. The download is a 53 KB ZIP file containing a 115 KB executable, a 1 KB text file, and an URL shortcut linking to the developer’s site.
The utility just provides a graphical user interface for the WEI feature that is hidden in Windows 8.1. For whatever reason, Microsoft removed the GUI but left the actual WEI tool in the system. As in previous systems the tool scans your hardware for a while and then gives ratings for the five components CPU, RAM, desktop graphics, gaming graphics and primary hard drive. The graphic below shows an example of a scan. The Winaero interface is very similar to the one in previous Windows systems but has the quirk that ratings run from 1.0 to 9.9 instead of the previous 1.0 to 7.9. Also, the component “Gaming graphics” is mislabeled “Desktop graphics”.
And there you have it – the Windows Experience Index restored.
Thanks go to Gizmo for suggesting this program.
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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.
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