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Windows Experience Index: Vista vs. 7

One of the claims that Microsoft makes about Windows 7 is that it performs better than Windows Vista.  Riddle me this, then…  why does the Windows 7 Experience Index for the same PC differ so radically under the different operating systems?  The following images were snapped on the same hardware, but booted with either operating system.

These are the Windows 7 scores.


These are the Windows Vista scores.


Windows 7 rates the processor and memory higher than Windows Vista, but the 3D performance and hard disk transfer rate lower. 

It’s a mystery. 

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Noah January 12, 2009, 2:26 am

    I get the same thing. My graphics rating (Radeon 4850) was 5.9 in Vista and now it’s a 7.9. My processor (Q6600) rating was a 5.5, now it’s 3.9.

  • Rick Claus January 12, 2009, 8:34 am

    Your disk score is your lowest, resulting in a lower overall score. It's a beta 1 release, probably a driver issue for IO priority or something. I bet the system has a generic driver in for your disk subsystem.

    Have you opened up Windows Update to include OtherUpdates?

    Rick http://twitter.com/rickster_cdn

  • Alec January 12, 2009, 8:43 am

    Yup. Windows update reports that it's all up to date. I'm sure your right, Rick, that it's a beta 1 driver of some kind. I'll just have to hang tight until there's an update.

  • Sprinx January 13, 2009, 10:35 am

    5.9 was the max possible score in Vista, hence the change there. The Win7 max is 7.9. My Nvidia 7800 GTX on my home PC gets a 5.9/5.8 in Vista, as well, and I'm sure your Radeon 4850 outperforms it considerably. Not sure about the processor change – probably just a "beta" issue. My "gaming graphics" score took a dive in Win 7, to 3 something, I think, but the "Aero" stayed about the same.

    I have a 2×200 GB RAID 1 array on my Dell Precision 380 at work, and my hard disk rate score dropped from a 5.9 in Vista to a 2.0 in Win 7. I'm guessing that must be a driver issue w/ the older ICH7R chipset.

    It seems to be running smoothly, though. Haven't had a BSD or lockup yet.

  • Jim Reece January 15, 2009, 7:29 pm

    Drive scores drag down everybody, if you want a jump turn off write caching, a rating of 3.0 will probably jump to 5.5, 6.0 if it's a SATA drive

  • RECONBWARE January 21, 2009, 1:21 am

    I'm also running a raid0 array – striping and my hard drive shows as a 5.9 out of 7

  • Bharath Ram June 28, 2010, 9:08 pm

    My ratings in windows 7 are

    7.5, 7.5, 7.0 and 7.0 in the usual order.

    Only let down by the hard disk (which is the max I can have) at 5.9

    Why do the base scores need to be the lowest?

    Why can't it be the average?

    • Jeremy November 24, 2010, 5:17 pm

      Your computer runs at the speed of the slowest component, so your processor is processing faster than your hard drive can load data.

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