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Windows Vista Security: Praxisorientierte Sicherheit für Profis by Marcus Nasarek

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Chapter 3: Fine-Tuning Windows Vista’s Appearance and Performance
Processor
Physical memory (RAM)
General graphics
Gaming graphics
Primary hard disk
The “general graphics” and “gaming graphics” component titles are
misnomers; more appropriate titles would be “general graphics” and
“multimedia graphics.” Graphics is meant to reflect overall perfor-
mance for Windows interfaces. Gaming graphics is meant to reflect
performance for graphics-intensive applications, such as 3D business
applications and 3D games.
To assign the Windows Experience Index, Windows Vista determines:
The number of processors installed on your computer and the processor type
The number of calculations per second your computer’s processor can perform
The total amount of physical memory installed on your computer
The number of memory operations your computer’s memory can perform
The total amount of graphics memory installed on your computer
The data transfer rate of your computer’s primary hard disk
These performance metrics help Windows Vista determine the relative performance
of your computer. You can view your computer’s Windows Experience Index and
the related subscores by completing the following steps:
1. Click Start and then click Control Panel.
2. In the Control Panel, select System and Maintenance.
3. Click Performance Information and Tools.
4. As shown in Figure 3-1, your computer’s performance scores are listed by com-
ponent in the Performance Information and Tools console.
Understanding Your Windows Experience Index Score
Your computer’s base score is determined by the lowest subscore. The computer
being rated in Figure 3-1 has a Windows Experience Index base score of 2.5. The
base score can help you determine the type of software programs you can run on the
computer. The base score also determines the level of scaled performance Windows
Vista delivers. Certain operating system features will work only when your computer
meets the minimum base score requirements, and the use of certain other features,
such as high display resolutions with Aero glass or themes on multiple displays, will
have a severe impact on your computer’s performance.
Balancing Appearance and Performance
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Most current computers will have a base score of between one and five. The Win-
dows Experience Index is designed to scale as computer technology advances. Thus,
while current computers have top scores in the 5s and 6s, tomorrow’s computers
may have top scores in the 9s and 10s.
Table 3-1 provides an overview of what the base scores mean. If you want to improve
your computer’s base score, you can upgrade the hardware component responsible
for the low score. For example, if gaming graphics is your lowest score, you could
upgrade your graphics card to improve your rating. Don’t do this, however, without
first consulting the performance details to determine exactly how the component is
configured currently.
Figure 3-1. Viewing your computer’s performance scores
Table 3-1. Understanding your computer’s Windows Experience Index score
Base score What the score means Description of experience
1.0 to 1.9 Degraded user experience You can use the computer for general computing, word processing, and
music playback. The computer probably isn’t suited for more advanced
tasks, such as gaming or multimedia. The user experience will be severely
limited.
2.0 to 2.9 Reduced user experience You can use the computer for general computing, business applications,
basic gaming, and basic multimedia. The computer probably isn’t suited for
more advanced tasks, such as multiplayer or 3D gaming and advanced mul-
timedia. The user experience will be limited.

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