Give yourself high marks in Vista

The first time many of us opened up the Windows Experience Index (WEI) and saw the pitiful score, we were ticked off .

As you learn more about how the rating works, however, the score probably won't sting as much. To calculate the WEI, Vista takes the lowest of five scores that relate to your processor, RAM and so on. Maybe that's the goal of the WEI -- to embarrass or anger us into spending more money on better hardware.

There are a couple of ways to increase your rating . First off, run the test again. Sometimes just running it again will boost you over the three mark. Another tip is to turn off your Aero glass interface, which will boost performance. Or, you could go right into the .XML file that stores the results and give yourself a higher score.

The Windows System Assessment Tool (WinSAT), which is the tool that calculates the WEI, stores its output in the
%systemroot%\Performance\WinSAT\DataStore. Each time you run WinSAT, it creates a new XML file and stores it in this folder with the assessment date at the beginning of the file name.

To change your ratings , you will have to do a little hack .
Open the file using WordPad and change the top five scores to whatever number you like and close the file. When you go to look at your WEI settings again, it should show you the new number.

To revert this back to the original , just run the Performance test again .