A. Under Windows Vista, the WEI is a value from 1.0 to 5.9. Windows runs tests of the system's processor, memory, graphics, gaming graphics, and primary hard and each receives its own score. The system is rated based on the lowest of these scores.

In Windows 7, the range now goes up to 7.9. I had really hoped the Intel solid state disk in my laptop would get a 7.9, but it was only rated a 7.5, as shown here. So close.

Click to expand

The new WEI values are necessary because of advances in hardware, because systems now have higher performance. The goal of WEI was to not devalue scores, so a system with a 4.5 score under Vista would still be a 4.5 on Windows 7. That's not to say the score will be identical—the tests used have changed in Windows 7, mainly around the hard disk. A system may get a lower hard disk score under Windows 7, but this score will now more accurately convey the performance of the disk.

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