How to Compare Two Different Computers

By Damarious Page

Use the Windows Experience Index to test laptop computers at trade shows.
i David Becker/Getty Images News/Getty Images

People might need to choose between two different computers, but they are unsure on which machine to use or to buy. For example, a student might want to use the faster of two PCs in the computer lab. A shopper might want to purchase the best performing PC. In these situations, you might need to compare two PCs quickly and with certainty. Instead of guessing under pressure, you can use a utility in Windows to arrive at a numerical scoring comparison between two different computers.

Click "Start" on the task bar at the bottom of the Windows desktop on one computer. Type "Performance Tools" in the search box at the bottom of the "Start" menu. Press "Enter" to open the Windows Experience Index utility in the "Performance Information and Tools" window.

Click "Rate This Computer" if the computer is brand new, such as on display at a retail store. Otherwise, click the "Re-Run The Assessment" button at the bottom, if the computer is currently in use.

Wait while the WEI utility tests the performance of the hardware on the PC. This process might take a few minutes to complete.

Note the "Base Score" and "Subscore" numbers in the window, after the test is complete.

Repeat the previous steps for the second computer. Afterward, compare the scores between the two computers. Higher scores indicate better performance. However, if both PCs score below minimum thresholds, which is generally around 3.0 for most categories, then the performance is equally poor. The maximum category score tops out at 7.9 for the Windows 7 operating system. (see References #2)