Bring the Windows Experience Index back to Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 delivered plenty of worthwhile improvements: extra app docking and resizing options, a "boot to desktop" option, automatic app updates, SkyDrive integration in Explorer, and a sort-of Start button, amongst many others. But it also took one feature away in the form of the Windows Experience Index (WEI), a simple tool for benchmarking your PC hardware.

If you miss the WEI, though, there's no problem -- you can easily restore the feature by installing ChrisPC Win Experience Index.

The benchmarking process works just as it did with the original tool. Close any other running applications, launch ChrisPC Win Experience Index, and click "Rate this computer". The program will then carry out its various tests while you wait.

Once the assessments have finished you’ll see separate scores for your CPU, RAM, graphics and hard drive. Each is rated from 1.0 to 9.9, with the lowest highlighted as your "base score".

At first we wondered if these figures could be trusted. Were they really calculated in the same way as the original Windows tool? We took a closer look, and soon realized what was happening.

The interface to WEI may have disappeared, but the underlying code was still present. ChrisPC Win Experience Index is using this to generate your scores -- the same scores that you'd have seen in Windows 8.0 -- before presenting those figures in a simple interface.

You can use the program with confidence, then, as it's going to give you reliable figures (as reliable as the WEI can be, anyway). But if for some reason you need to know more, then you can also run custom WEI benchmarks from the command line. Launch an elevated command prompt and enter winsat /? to find out more.

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