How to Test a Computer's Processing Speed

By Chad Davis

View your system's processor idle time in the Windows Performance Monitor console.
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Testing hardware and software components helps you or your organization analyze the performance potential of workplace computer systems. Recently installed hardware components may require that you run an assessment to test their performance in the operating system. The Windows Experience Index provides you with performance information on key system components including processor, memory, graphic, gaming graphics and primary hard disk. Test your workstation’s processor speed in calculations per second using the Windows Experience Index assessment. Use your computer’s Performance Monitor to view information about your system's processor performance in real-time.

Windows Experience Index Assessment

Press "Windows-E" on your keyboard to open Windows Explorer. Click the "System Properties" button located in the system group of the Computer ribbon. This window displays basic information about your computer system. Your processor name and model will be listed next to "Processor" under the System section.

Click the "Windows Experience Index" link under the System section. Your processor's most recent scores will be listed in the Subscore column next to Processor. If you haven't run a Windows Experience Index assessment yet for this machine, or if you have installed new hardware, you will see the text "(unrated)" for the Subscore column value. The date of the last Windows Experience Index assessment appears next to the text: "Last Update:"

Click the "Re-run the Assessment" link. If you haven't run an assessment for this computer before, click the "Rate This Computer" button instead. The assessment may take a few minutes to complete depending on your system's hardware and software configuration.

Locate the value under the "Subscore" column in the Processor row. This value represents the performance power of your system's processor on a scale of 1.0 to 9.9.

Windows Performance Monitor

Press the "Windows" key to open your Windows Start screen. Type "perfmon" and click on "perfmon.exe" from the search results to open the Performance Monitor. Click "Yes" or authenticate with an administrator account if prompted by Windows User Account Control.

Click the "Add" button, resembling a green plus. Scroll down the list of available counters under the Available Counters section, click "Processor Information" and then click the "Add >>" button. Click "Processor Performance" under the Available Counters section and click the "Add >>" button again. Click the "OK" button.

Press "Ctrl-G" twice on your keyboard to change the graph type to a detailed list view. Detailed information about your processor is displayed. This information can be used to test and monitor performance while using other applications on your computer.


Re-run the Windows Experience Index assessment whenever you install new Windows drivers or hardware components on a workstation.

Use the Windows Performance Monitor to view your processor performance while running high-performance applications.


Your computer must be plugged into AC power in order to run a Windows Experience Index assessment.

You must have local administrator group access or equivalent to use the Windows Performance Monitor.

The Performance Monitor Information in this article applies to Microsoft Windows 8 and may be different from other Windows versions.