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How Does The CPU Score Correlate With User Experience?

As with graphics, Microsoft feels it is helpful to consider how user experiences would map to the core computation score.

  • < 2.0  means the processor is extremely slow and not well suited for a Windows 7 experience.
  • 2.0 to 2.9 maps to single-tasking “every day” computing scenarios such as reading mail, browsing the web, editing Word documents and PowerPoint slides, and editing basic spreadsheets.
    - With this class of processors, even the most basic things can push the CPU to high utilization levels.
    - Multi-tasking will contend for CPU time in a manner that causes notable responsiveness issues.
    - Some websites that make heavy use of Flash, Silverlight, or Java may run poorly.
    - Audio ripping takes a noticeably longer time than on faster systems and pushes the system to long periods of 100% CPU utilizations. Even simple video encoding tasks are not very practical.
  • 3.0 to 3.9 maps to basic multi-tasking “every day” computing tasks. 
    - There is enough CPU capacity to do basic multi-tasking. For example, background printing would not interfere with a foreground task. Everyday tasks generally do not push the processor to high utilizations, but there may be noticeable responsiveness issues occasionally due to contention for CPU time.
    - Flash, Silverlight and Java-heavy websites run acceptably well.
    - Audio-ripping performance is acceptable, though it may not be effective to let this happen in the background.
    - Video encoding tasks such as encoding a consumer camera AVI video for a portable media device  are practical; but may take a bit long. For example, encoding a 20 second clip may take about 40 seconds on a 3.9 processor and much longer on a 3.0.
  • 4.0 to 4.9 maps to a robust every day computing and good multi-tasking experiences.
    - “Every day” computing tasks, even when multi-tasking, do not push the CPU to high utilizations.
    - Responsiveness due to contention for CPU time is rarely a problem.
    - Audio-ripping performs well and can be done in the background without adversely affecting basic tasks like web browsing, even on sites with Flash, Silverlight or Java.
    - Flash, Silverlight and Java-heavy websites run very smoothly.
    - Video encoding tasks run well on these system; on the faster systems, videos can be encoded in times shorter than the length of the clip.
    - Basic games are not CPU-limited, but the more demanding ones are.
  • 5.0 to 5.9 maps to a robust multi-tasking experience.
    - “Every day” computing tasks, audio ripping, and video encoding do not push the CPU to even moderate utilizations.
    - It is very practical to rip audio and encode video while doing other tasks.
    - Things that leverage multi-core processing show good scaling as compared to 4.X including Excel, image processing, and compiling software. All but the most demanding games are not CPU-limited.
  • 6.0 to 6.9 and 7.0 to 7.9 give the user an experience that is rarely CPU bound.
    - Multi-tasking is friction-free. On these systems, multi-core enabled applications and scenarios show major performance benefits over the lower levels.
    - Scenarios include very large Excel spreadsheets, sophisticated graphics rendering, software compiling and scientific applications.

There is a challenge with mapping triple-core processors to 6+ and quad-core processors to 7+ as there are currently few broadly-applicable scenarios that benefit from these high end processors. Microsoft has drawn the line between 5/6 and 6/7 based primarily on the performance associated with the number of cores. This allows room to accommodate improved hardware that may ship over the next few years.


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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
Other Microsoft Scoops

The BenQ W1080ST+ & W1070+ Launch Event
Microsoft Windows 7 SSD Performance Comparison Rev. 2.1
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 465 Tech Report
Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0 RTM Details Rev. 4.1
Pre-Launch Details Of The Intel Bloomfield (Nehalem Desktop) Processor
Jetart NC3000 Cool Stand Notebook Cooler Review
Marvell XScale PXA3xx Application Processors Tech Report
NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT Graphics Card Review
NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GT Graphics Card Review Rev. 2.0
ATI X800 Pro Ultra 2X April Fool Joke


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