After more than an year in the market, Windows 8 is yet to overcome its subdued defeat, as the Metro UI operating system is far from earning the same praise its predecessor once received from users and critics alike. And while Windows 8.1 did reinstate a few missing pieces such as Start button and boot to desktop, Microsoft also quietly removed a few handy features that were already available in Windows 8, one of them being the Windows Experience Index or WEI. For the uninitiated, it’s a built-in Windows feature that assigns a score to your Windows PC based on your software and hardware configuration, giving you a rough idea about how well your system will perform at certain tasks. If you’ve upgraded to Windows 8.1 but miss the WEI feature from the previous version, then we’ve got a handy third-party alternative for you by the name of ChrisPC Win Experience Index.
The application – which looks and performs almost exactly as the original WEI found on Windows 8 – lets you analyze your Windows 8.1 PC by measuring performance of its hardware components, which include CPU, RAM, GPU (both in general purpose tasks and games), and HDD. ChrisPC assigns a base score to the index, as well as subscore to each individual component on a scale of 1.0 to 9.9 (or 1.0 to 7.9 on Windows 7). The base score is based on the lowest subscore.
The WEI can help you in many instances. For instance, it gives you an idea on whether you need to upgrade your RAM or other similar components by just looking at the category’s subscore. It also gives you a gist of whether certain feature of Windows are working properly or not, given your hardware configuration.
Using ChrisPC Win Experience Index is dead simple. Upon first time usage, all you need to do is click ‘Rate this computer’ to begin the system assessment process. The tool them puts your computer through a series of tests including DirectX performance, CPU, HDD read/write speed etc. You can also cancel the test anytime and restart it from the beginning.
Once the procedure completes, ChrisPC presents the base score as well as all other subscores that I’ve mentioned earlier. It also lets you know the total scale upon which the performance was analyzed.
While definitely not a feature-rich application by any means, ChrisPC Win Experience Index does bring back a missing feature in Windows 8.1 that should have been there in the first place.