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An Inside Look Into The New Windows 7 Experience Index!
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Will My System Get The Same Score From Windows 7 As Windows Vista?

Many component scores will be the same as in Windows Vista.  However, scores can change for the following reasons :

a) The top-end of the scale is higher The maximum value is now 7.9 instead of 5.9. Components, especially CPU, that were max-ed out on the Windows Vista scale can get higher scores on the Windows 7 scale.s

b) There are more extensive disk tests which can detect a wider range of issues, leading to lower disk scores. In particular, the new write flush policy tests focus on latency issues, which can cause UI hesitation and hangs. Disks showing latency issues are capped at 1.9 and 2.9, based on test results.

c) CPU tests are run for both single and multi-threaded scenarios. Scoring for systems with lower results on the single-threaded runs will be limited by a scoring factor.

Since the Windows Experience Index summary score is the lowest of the 5 sub-scores shown in the Performance Information and Tools Control Panel, if any of the sub-scores (e.g., Disk) drops significantly, the overall Index score will also drop.


Memory Performance & Size

The Windows Vista scoring model produces a score based on memory performance (throughput), then limits the score based on the amount of memory the system has. Windows 7 will follow the same approach, with some changes.

Total Physical Memory

Memory Score Limit

256 MB or less


Current Windows Vista Rules

Less than 500 MB


512 MB or less


Less than 704 MB


Less than 944 MB


Less than 1.5 GB


Less than 3.0 GB


New for Windows 7

Less than 4.0 GB

5.9 (64-bit only)

The existing memory test will scale to 16 cores. Memory scores from 5+, 6+ through 7+ will generally track with processor performance – just as they do in Windows Vista.

Memory performance is not a major determining factor in the top level score, unless memory performance is low compared to Microsoft's benchmark measurements for CPU’s at that performance level. The intent here is to score systems lower where :

  • the memory system is misconfigured due to BIOS bugs (or settings),
  • inappropriate DIMMs have been placed into the system,
  • single channel memory is used instead of dual channel,
  • or less expensive (slower) DRAM  has been substituted  to the detriment of performance.


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What Is The Windows Experience Index?


How Is The New Scoring System Similar To That Of Windows Vista?
So What's Changed In Windows 7?


Will My System Get The Same Score From Windows 7 As Windows Vista?
Memory Performance & Size


CPU Core Computations
Addition Of A Single-Threaded CPU Assessment


How Does The CPU Score Correlate With User Experience?


Storage System Performance


Write Flush Policy Tests
Assessing Enhanced Storage Systems


Storage Test FAQs


Storage Test FAQs (Continued)


DX10 Gaming
DX10 Scoring Rules


Items Under Investigation
DX10 & WDDM 1.1 Drivers
DX10 Graphics For DWM


High Definition Video Playback


What's Not Tested?
Features & Concepts No Longer Included
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