As a total computer geek I like to use computers that are powerful. There are many different factors that go into making your computer efficient – the processor speed, the amount of RAM (memory), and the hard drive speed to name a few.

I do a lot of multitasking so I am really interested in the amount of RAM that my computers have. RAM stands for random access memory. And having a lot of it means that you can run multiple programs at one time without your computer becoming sluggish. These days most laptops come with 4gb. Higher end laptops come with 6gb or 8gb.

But, the amount of RAM is not the only thing that helps your multitasking power. When I get a new computer one of the first things that I check out is my Windows Experience Index. What is the WEI? Microsoft came up ratings system for us geeks and gamers to let us know how well our computer hardware will run Windows, how well they might perform with our favorite game, and how they match up to other computers.

The WEI rates the:

  • Processor
  • Memory (RAM)
  • Graphics
  • Gaming Graphics
  • Primary Hard Disk

The above is the Windows Experience Index of my HP DV6 machine. You can clearly see that it highlights the hardware that is holding the computer back. In this case it is still darn good. 5.9 on a scale of 1.0 – 7.9 is awesome. But, if it were possible to up the graphics the rating could get better. Of course since it is a laptop that is not likely. It would get a higher rating if the hard drive was upgraded as well, which IS possible. Hard drives in laptops can usually be easily swapped out. This one got *only* a 5.9 rating because of the hard drive speed. Most common hard drives are 5400rpm. If we wanted it to be faster we would configure our machines with a 7200rpm hard drive.  But, I am very happy with this rating. 🙂

This one is from my new Asus U32U. You can see that the processor is holding this baby back, followed by the graphics. Again, these are two things in a laptop so you are not going to be able to upgrade them. But, now I know what my computer can handle.

To access your own WEI, click on the Windows Key. Then just right click on Computer and go to Properties. You will see the rating right in the middle. Click on it to access the details. You can also update the score to make sure that it is current. And, while out shopping you can check the ratings of a computer that you want to purchase in store to make sure that it meets your expectations.

Want to know even more about the Windows Experience Index? Check out the Microsoft Site.