Protect Yourself From Tech Support Scams
December 26, 2018
Protect Yourself From Tech Support Scams
Tech support scams are an industry-wide issue where scammers attempt to trick you into paying for unnecessary technical support services. You can help protect yourself from scammers by verifying that the contact is a
Microsoft Agent or Microsoft Employee and that the phone number is an
official Microsoft global customer service number.
WEI scores currently range from 1 to 5.9. Your computer is rated with an overall score, called the base score, and with subscores for each of five individual hardware components: processor, memory, graphics, gaming graphics, and primary hard disk. The base
score is determined from the lowest of the five subscores, because your computer's performance is limited by its slowest or least-powerful hardware component.
The base score and subscores express the level of performance you can expect not only from Windows itself, but from the programs that you run on it. That said, a base score of 1.0 doesn't mean that you have a bad computer or that you shouldn't use Windows
Vista. It means that Windows Vista will run with basic functionality and that common productivity programs, such as those in the Microsoft Office system, will perform acceptably. A higher score represents a computer that's capable of higher performance and
of running programs that demand more system resources.
As newer, faster hardware becomes available, Microsoft will increase the top end of the rating scale to allow scores of 6.0 and higher. That means the score you see today will have the same meaning at any point in your computer's lifetime. For example, even
if the top end of the WEI range increases to 8.0, my computer's base score will remain at 2.2 if I don't make any hardware changes.
Interpreting the base score
The following table shows how to interpret your computer's base score.
The first line talks about "What can you expect from Windows and your computer?"
The second line talks about "What can you effectively use your computer to do?"
1.0 to 1.9
You can expect basic performance. The computer meets Windows minimum requirements.
Work with productivity programs, web browsers, and e‑mail and instant-messaging programs. Play simple games.
2.0 to 2.9
You might begin to experience enhanced performance capabilities of Windows, such as Windows Aero.
Run the same programs as the previous level but with better performance.
3.0 to 3.9
Windows Aero will typically be enabled automatically on the computer.
Run all programs from previous levels as well as some graphics-intensive games and most features of Windows Media Center.
4.0 to 4.9
The computer should perform well with high-resolution monitors and multiple monitors.
Run all programs from previous levels with excellent performance. Run Windows Media Center with high-definition video.
5.0 to 5.9
You can expect the highest performance level available.
Run all items from previous levels, games with ultra-rich graphics, three-dimensional modeling programs, and high-end video and multimedia programs.
Interpreting the subscores
When you consider upgrading your computer or you need to troubleshoot performance issues, the WEI subscores can help you quickly get the information you need. For example, if I were unhappy with quality of video playback on my computer, I could check my WEI
graphics subscore. The subscore of 2.2 indicates that my existing video card might not be powerful enough to provide the video performance I want.
The following list summarizes the five subscores:
· Processor subscore. This subscore measures the performance of your processor when tasked with several common Windows-based activities. The subscore represents the average of those measurements.
· Memory subscore. System memory can be a major factor in performance. This subscore is based on the amount of random access memory (RAM) in your computer, not including any memory reserved for graphics, as follows:
Amount of memory (RAM)
Highest possible memory subscore
· Graphics subscore. This subscore indicates how well a computer will run Windows Aero and play videos. This measurement is based on video memory bandwidth (megabytes per second), so the higher the dedicated graphics memory in your video card, the
better this score is likely to be. A 256-megabyte (MB) video card, for example, is almost certain to get a higher score than a 128-MB card.
Any graphics card that doesn't support Microsoft DirectX 9 automatically receives a score of 1.0, regardless of other factors. Also note that a video card using a driver that doesn't support Windows Vista Display Driver Model (WDDM) can't receive a score
higher than 1.9. (DirectX 9 and WDDM are requirements for Windows Aero.)
· Gaming graphics subscore. This subscore is based upon the frames per second at which the video card can handle different textures. If the video card doesn't support Microsoft Direct3D 9, it automatically receives a score of 1.0. A card that supports
Direct3D 9, DirectX 9, and WDDM automatically receives a score of at least 2.0.
· Primary hard disk subscore. This subscore measures hard disk bandwidth in megabytes per second. You can expect any modern hard disk to score at least a 2.0.