November 12, 2012

Tip 54: The Benchmark is Within, Run WinSat without the GUI

This tip is for Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.

The Windows Experience Index is a performance measurement that can be used to judge how well a PC will run Windows. The value of the index starts at 1 to 5.9 for Windows Vista and 1 to 7.9 for Windows 7 and 1 to 9.9 for Windows 8. The higher the score the better performance you can expect from your PC.

My PC’s overall rating in Windows 8.

The overall score is just one way to check your PCs performance and many people download other benchmark programs to gauge their computer’s performance, usually to get more details on a particular area of performance like hard drive or video. This may not be needed though as the Windows System Assessment Tool (WinSAT) has much more information than just the one score. To find out more detailed information on your computer’s performance you can open the folder %SystemRoot%PerformanceWinSATDataStore and look at the data in the .xml files. There are CPU, Disk, Memory and Video assessments, each with more details.

You can see here that my disk score is 7.75, but you can also see the more detailed Sequential Read and Random Read MB per second results.

I will leave opening and reading the rest of the files to you. It beats downloading a benchmark tool to get a good read of your system’s performance.


If you want to re-run an assessment or if your WinSAT score does not show in the System Control Panel you can run an assessment from the command line.

Winsat formal -verbose

For more options see the Winsat help for your operating system.

Winsat /?


Edit: Changed WinSAT score fro Windows 8 to 9.9 maximum. Thanks to Andre.Ziegler for keeping me on my toes.


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