Do you know what your Windows Performance Score is? If you want the fastest, most reliable computing experience, you need to know where to focus your time and money. What makes a computer run good? What makes it run fast, not crash and what will give you the best overall computing experience when you sit down in front of your machine to work or play games?

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Computing Experience

Below are some of the tips we have for making sure the computer hardware and software you’re running is giving you the best experience you can possibly have. There should always be a strong emphasis on the hardware you have installed. Use these tips to give yourself a good computing foundation.

Use The Best Hardware You Can Afford

Starting with the best hardware is key to having a reliable machine. When buying a computer from a major brand name manufacturer such as Dell, choose a computer from their business class line. You’ll spend more on the desktop or laptop you select, but the specs of the machine will be higher. If you’re building your own machine, do not skimp on hardware. Get a brand name power supply such as Antec, Corsair or Thermaltake. The same goes for the motherboard and RAM. Buy hardware that has a reliable reputation and avoid the cheaper brands.

Check Your Windows Performance Score And Work To Fix It

windows performance score

In Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8, the Windows Experience index can be accessed by clicking Start and then Control Panel. In the search box, type Performance Information and Tools, and then in the list of results, click Performance Information and Tools.

Microsoft has removed this feature in Windows 8.1. But you can still get your Windows Experience score in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 by running the test manually. First, navigate to your Command Prompt icon and then right-click it and select Run As Administrator. If prompted, type your admin password.

winsat formal

At the command line, type Winsat Formal and then hit Enter. The test will take a few minutes to complete. Next, go to your search box and type in %WINDIR%\Performance\WinSAT\DataStore and hit Enter.

formal assessment

Locate the most recent file with Formal Assessment in the title and then double click it.

winsat score

The file that opens will contain the above information. You can clearly see your overall system score, as well as the individual scores of the components in your computer. To improve your system score, target the hardware in your system that is producing the lowest scores and update that equipment.

Install A Solid State Hard Drive To Improve Boot Speeds

If boot speed and access time is important to you, consider installing a Solid State Hard Drive. You will see an immediate performance boost by installing your data and apps on an SSD. But because solid state drives and generally lower in capacity, you will also want to install a traditional spinning drive in your desktop to store your data. The Samsung Electronics 840 Pro Series is a great SSD line.

More RAM Equals Better Performance

Your computer has RAM modules installed on the motherboard that can be removed and upgraded. RAM is short-term memory that can be accessed much quicker than the permanent storage of your hard drive. When a computer runs a program or accesses data, it loads information from the hard drive and transfers it to the RAM. This allows you to access these files and programs much more quickly. The more RAM you have, the less often you have to load from the slower hard drive. This will also improve your Windows Performance Score dramatically.

If you’re running a 32-bit Operating System you’re stuck with a maximum of 4 GBs of RAM. But if you have a 64-bit OS, you can add much more to drastically improve your system’s performance.

Save Your Data To The Cloud

Saving documents primarily on your C drive is an obsolete and unsafe philosophy. While it is convenient to save your data in one location, it is also risky. You should instead consider saving data to a local Network Attached Storage device and even on the cloud. Microsoft One Drive, Google Drive and Dropbox are all free online storage solutions that can be accessed from any computer, anywhere in the world. Read how to map Microsoft One drive to your local computer.

Subscribe To Applications Online

Another aspect of improving your Windows Performance Score is having the latest software at your disposal. Large publishers such as Microsoft and Adobe have adopted a convenient subscription-based model. Subscribing to software rather than buying ensures you always have the latest version installed. Subscribing to a cloud based service like Office 365 also has additional benefits,  such as allowing access to 5 computers in the house and 1TB of online storage.

Make Sure You Have The Latest Drivers Installed

A driver is software that allows your computer to communicate with hardware devices installed in your computer. Without drivers, the devices you connect to your computer won’t work properly. Even if you have the right drivers installed, and even if everything seems to be working great, the latest drivers can ensure you’re getting the most up to date features your hardware can provide and can reduce crashes and improve performance. Learn how to make sure you always have the most up to date drivers on your computer.

The above tip for evaluating your Windows Performance Score will help you discover if there are any bottlenecks in your setup and allows you to focus on installing hardware that gives you the best performance boost. In addition, using online cloud services give you data redundancy and the applications support you need to compute like a real boss.