Along with the new Windows 7, Microsoft has also updated their Windows Experience Index for the Windows 7. WEI was introduced in Vista. At the time, it was a popular way to benchmark and compare computers. Though, the number can’t really tell their performance, the WEI tells more about the hardware itself rather than the whole user experience and performance.
In Windows 7, Microsoft has bumped up the top index mark to 7.9 compare to the old Vista 5.9.
A two point bump as claimed by Microsoft it’s also an update for the new available hardware components out there in the market today. Things like SSD, DDR3, new Quad Core, new video cards etc is the reason they changing it to 7.9.
A note from the Engineers in Windows 7 Developer team regarding the update for their WEI
[WEI] is best used as a relative measure and should not be used to compare one measure to another
the WEI merely measures the relative capability of components
WEI does not measure performance of a system, but merely the relative hardware capabilities when running Windows 7.
6 and 7, were added to recognize the improved experiences one might have with newer hardware, particularly SSDs, graphics adapters, and multi-core processors.
As they have also stated, the new updated will be best reflected of the addition of the hardware and the amount of RAM system have installed. However, an interesting discovery I found with their WEI, is the inconsistency. This screen shoot above is my newly build, just days ago. Running AMD Athlon II X4 620 2.6 Ghz Quad Core, 3 GB DDR2, ATI Radeon HD 4650 512 MB GDDR2, 640 GB HDD in Windows 7 32 bit.
I did the same test, same hardware in Windows 7 64 bit. Got a slightly different result. Too bad I don’t have a screen shot here, but the difference was the CPU down to 7.1 and the RAM down to 5.9
In summary, WEI is only good to measure how well your hardware is rather how well your system is performing. It does not measure the interactions of components under a software load. Can be use this as a guild to purchase new computers, but remember to refresh the number. As in Vista era, some retails will change the WEI number to trick buyers thinking they are getting a decent machine.