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WinSAT Comprehensive

Published: February 29, 2012

Updated: October 20, 2013

Applies To: Windows 8

The Windows® System Assessment (WinSAT) is used to rate and improve a computer's performance in several system components, including CPU, memory, hard disk, and graphics. The WinSAT Comprehensive assessment results express the capability of a computer’s hardware configuration in numbers. Higher scores generally mean that the assessed computer performs better and faster than a computer that has a lower score. For more information about the results produced by this assessment, see Results for the WinSAT Comprehensive Assessment.

The WinSAT Comprehensive uses the Windows Experience Index scale of 1.0 to 9.9. The WEI scale in Windows® 8 is higher than that use in the earlier version (1.0 to 7.9) because of improvements to system hardware.

The following graphic illustrates the assessment process.

Workflow graphic for WinSAT Comprehensive

In this topic:

The first-run help tips in Windows 8.1 can negatively affect assessment results. To disable these, run the following command from an elevated command prompt, and reboot the computer:
reg.exe add "HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\EdgeUI" /v DisableHelpSticker /t REG_DWORD /d "1" /f

Run this assessment only while the desktop is full screen. Do not run this assessment if you have another Windows Store app opened side-by-side with the desktop.

The WinSAT assessment runs a pre-defined set of tests and saves the data to an XML file that is used by the Windows Assessment Console. By default, this file is named Winsat.log and written to the Assessment Results folder. The WinSAT assessment does not work on Itanium systems or on virtual machines. Before you run a WinSAT assessment job, make sure that you are aware of the following issues:

  • You must ensure that the computer has multimedia support and the latest versions of the display drivers. To determine what drivers are currently installed on your system and for analysis and recommendations, run the Driver Verification assessment in Windows Assessment Console.

  • You cannot use command line parameters with the WinSAT assessment.

This assessment can be run on the Windows 8 and Windows® RT operating systems.

Supported architectures include x86-based and x64-based systems, and ARM-based systems.

You can run this assessment on Windows RT. There are two ways to accomplish this:

Because of limited functionality on ARM-based devices, WinSAT on Windows RT does not provide WEI scores, only metrics. Also, the WinSAT metrics are only comparable across ARM-based devices, not to x86-based or x64-based systems.

This assessment has no configurable settings.

WinSAT Formal assesses various features, capabilities, and attributes of a computer that is running a Windows operating system. The WinSAT Formal tool is used by the Performance Information and Tools control panel in the Windows® 8 Enterprise to analyze a single computer and generate a Windows Experience Index base score and sub-scores for tests run on the RAM, CPU, hard disk, general desktop graphics, and 3-D gaming graphics hardware for that computer. The sub-scores can help you understand a computer's level of performance for specific experiences including: Processor calculations per second, Memory (RAM) operations per second, Graphics performance for the Windows UI, Gaming Graphics performance, and Primary hard disk transfer rate.

The WinSAT Comprehensive assessment uses the analysis and calculation abilities of WinSAT Formal, but moves the metrics of the WinSAT Formal test to the Windows Assessment Console and Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) platform. WAC is designed to enhance comparisons between systems. In Windows Assessment Console you can see the WinSAT Formal ratings of a single computer’s performance, and also compare the performance of the system components of CPU, memory, hard disk, and graphics to the performance of those components on multiple computers and configurations. Although it takes additional steps to display detailed performance rating scores using WinSAT Formal, in WinSAT Comprehensive those performance ratings are made easily available.

For additional information about WinSAT for developers, see Windows System Assessment Tool

See Also