Brien Posey's Windows Blog

Jan 10 2009   3:14AM GMT

The Windows Experience Index

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When Microsoft created Vista, one of the new features that they introduced was the Windows Experience Index. The basic idea was that the index was an easy way of benchmarking your system’s performance. Microsoft had hoped to entice software vendors to use experience index levels instead of minimum system requirements, but it never really happened.

Even though the experience index is seldom used in the real world, I like to check the experience index on my machines before and after an upgrade, just to get an idea of the effect that the upgrade had on the machine without having to spend a lot of time using the Performance Monitor.

The machine that I use to write my articles on is starting to get a bit dated, so I decided to do a memory upgrade on it. Prior to the upgrade, the machine had 2 GB of RAM, and the experience index rated memory operations per second at 5.0. I upgraded the machine to 4 GB of RAM, and recalculated the Experience Index. I had expected the experience index to rise, because I had doubled the amount of memory in the machine, but it actually decreased. The Memory operations per second rating dropped to 4.8.

I haven’t had the time to perform detailed analysis, but I suspect that the reason for the decrease is that the original performance index was taken when the machine was brand new. Since that time I have installed a lot of software, and some of that software is probably resident in memory, and slowing the machine down a bit.

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