Windows Experience Index

Here's my current setup:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 FX-60 Toledo 2.6GHz Socket 939
Kingston HyperX 4GB (4 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM 400 DDR 400 (PC3200) Dual Channel
Dual XFX PV-T71J-YHE9 GeForce 7950GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3
Ultra X3 800W Energy Efficient Modular ATX 12V Power Supply
Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit

*I know my components are old, and out of date, but I'm just toying around learning how to put a system together, and eventually learning how to overclock. I plan on build a new system in the Fall of 2008 when the new chips and motherboards are out (hopefully).*

I've been toying around with some of the settings in my BIOS and with some of the hardware (RAM & graphics cards) and have noticed some weird results with the Windows Experience Index.

When running my system with 4GB (4x 1GB, my mobo doesn't support 2gb DIMM's) my motherboard lower the RAM speed from 400 to 333. So, even though I double my RAM from 2GB to 4GB, my 'Memory Operations per Second' score drops from 5.9 to 4.6.

When running my graphics cards in SLI mode (only 8x SLI on the mobo, 16x for a single card). My '3D Business and Gaming Graphics Performance' score drops from 5.9 to 5.8.

I'm new to system building, and to Vista, but I was under the impression that more RAM, and SLI mode were good things. Am I getting screwed by my motherboard deacreasing my RAM speed to 333 and graphics cards to 8x, or is WEI just horrible at reporting performance.

I guess the question I need answered is, 'Should I disable SLI mode, and remove 2GB of RAM?' This would allow one card to run at 16x, and the RAM to run at 400. This would give me a WEI of 5.1, based on my processor score being the lowest (overclocking it can get me to 5.4). All the other score are maxed out a 5.9.

I'm so confused...Thanks for the help.
4 answers Last reply
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  1. Windows Experience Index is meaningless, not a real benchmark. Run some games or 3DMark06 and see what you get in them, they are actual marks of system performance.
  2. Relying on WEI to determine the power of your computer is like asking an elephant to apply thermal paste.

    It's just not good science.
  3. WEI is not exact, but a drop in WEI will correspond with a drop in more precise benchmarks like 3dmark. So, it's certainly not good. Never just dismiss a drop in WEI score. A drop is a drop.

    WEI don't use sli/crossfire on the desktop, so it's just measuring the speed of one graphics card while in sli, and since pcie bandwidth is cut in half, the lower value isn't strange.
  4. The ram issue is just from the frequency dropping, but more memory is generally better performing then faster memory, but a pure memory speed(operations/second) benchmark wouldn't take into account, even though real world applications can benefit from more ram.
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