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low graphics Windows Experience score

I am just wondering how much credibility and importance should be placed on the Windows Experience Index as regards graphics. I am trying to get maximum performance from my windows 7 32-bit desktop computer for quite heavy office based work including flash, photoshop, illustrator. My scores came in as follows:

Processor 7.4
Memory 7.4
Graphics 2.3
Gaming graphics 4.9
Primary hard disk 7.7

The low one there being graphics at 2.3 whilst the majority are in the 7 bracket. I have a Sapphire Radeon HD5450 graphics card. I went and updated the drivers right now and got an even worse score!! - on updating the windows experience it is now down to just 2.0 with the drivers update.

What I am interested in is improving the speed of my pc. I am wondering whether a purchase of a better graphics card might help. Do you think that would be a good idea? I don't really understand why I am only getting a 2.0 for graphics. I mean it's not a bad graphics card, got a lot of 5 stars here on amazon

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sapphire-11166-02-20R-5450-DDR3-Graphics/dp/B0036DD4CO/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

I don't actually notice any noticeable poor performance on graphics, but that 2.0 score is a worry. However it does sometimes hour glass when moving a load of objects in Flash. I always just thought it would be the cpu trying to do its tasks, but could it actually be the graphics card causing the delay? Would it be logical to suggest that a better card would get a better score and better overall pc performance?

Thanks for any comment/advice.
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RupertA
Asked:
RupertA
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5 Solutions
 
aboo_sCommented:
Although your graphics card isn't the best ,it should give more performance than what you have described.
It sure looks like driver and/or configurations problem ,anyway it wouldn't give too much performance once sorted the driver issue ,cause it still is cheap low performance card ,especially if we are talking about the 1Gb brand.

If you really want high graphics performance then I would advise you to buy a better VCard.
Although I have to be honest with you ,for the applications you described earlier ,photoshop etc.. ,this card will also do.
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RupertAAuthor Commented:
Hi aboo_s,

yeah I would have thought that it would be better as well. I mean the graphics card was just put into the motherboard and downloaded drivers program run and I def got the correct exe from the sapphire site. I don't actually have to disable the onboard graphics on the Asrock N68c-s ucc motherboard do I?

Thanks.
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
"I am just wondering how much credibility and importance should be placed on the Windows Experience Index as regards graphics."
Very little - WEI is really little more than marketing fluff from Microsoft

"I mean it's not a bad graphics card, got a lot of 5 stars here on amazon"
That's customers who are happy with what they got from Amazon - but is no measure of technical ability - 5 stars could equally be "It arrived quickly and worked first time out of the package"

If you want a useful comparison try something like PassMark which will show where your card lies in the scheme of available graphics cards by direct comparison:
http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=Radeon+HD+5450&id=7

Yes, you could do better but if everything does what you need don't get hung up on WEI
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aboo_sCommented:
Although it is supposed to be neutral when a pcx is installed it would be better if disabled the onboard graphics card from your pc's BIOS. This way you insure there are no hardware conflicts.
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
if everything does what you need don't get hung up on WEI  <-- Yes. WEI was ditched in Windows 8 and does not reappear in Windows 10. If the machine is working to your satisfaction, you do not need WEI.
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Daniel FoyeCommented:
I think an upgrade is in order, especially based on the abysmal score your HD5450 receives here:
http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=Radeon+HD+5450

Basically any video card you see above yours in the graph will be a huge upgrade.
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Could be. I have a Lenovo Windows 7 commercial desktop with Intel Graphics and a score of 4.9 and the other scores similar to you.

If you see a performance issue for your stuff, by all means upgrade. But if you are satisfied, you may not need to spend the money. At this point, Windows 7 is at end of life (security patches only now) and you may wish to wait and invest in a Windows 10 machine in 6 months or so.
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Daniel FoyeCommented:
Those cards above yours are high-end gaming graphics cards. So, you probably don't need to spend that much.

Personally, my nVidia GeForce GTX 750Ti is great bang-for-the-buck, and is efficient, as it does NOT require an additional power connection from the power supply.

I would suggest the nVidia GeForce GTX 750 for your needs. Just over $100, and it will DRASTICALLY improve your graphics performance, won't require any additional power nor a different power supply, and it will increase your PassMark score more than 10X, according to:

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=GeForce+GTX+750&id=2825
 

You can see it is near the top of the pile at this Value Comparison:
http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu_value.html

Amazon link:
http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-GeForce-Dual-Link-Graphics-01G-P4-2751-KR/dp/B00IDG3NDY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424642820&sr=8-1&keywords=GeForce+GTX+750
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aboo_sCommented:
I don't think using win10 or win7 would have impact on vcard performance ,that should not be a consideration.
What should be though is whether you are satisfied with your video performance or not.
That said ,you should note that vcard performance would not affect data transfer speeds in copying files or installing new programs or downloading from the web. It would only affect video related functions such as video games rendering ,or divx video playback or similar stuff. So this is the field where you should check if you are satisfied with in respect of your video card's performance.

On any case I don't think your video card should give a result of 2-3 in performance but rather a 4-5 at the least.
So you should check your motherboard drivers as well as your graphic card's and do turn off any extra unused hardware that would be potentially cause hardware conflicts.
Check your motherboard's chipset drivers.
Do check video performance before and after installing your video card. You see even the built in card on your board should get a score of more than 2.0 !
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jmpg_70Commented:
As  a Mac user I don't have experience with WEI, I do have over 15 years graphic, digital imaging and graphic pre-press experience using a variety of older windows platforms (and old macs and mac clones).

It is common mistake when specifying a PC to run Photoshop to consider that games systems are sooome much more powerful than any photoshop processing requirement. Running Photoshop is just hard on any PC, Mac or other platform you chose to use.

Photoshop and video require 3 things.

1. the fastest use speed and drives you can build into a PC (Windows, PC line etc). This speeds up the read/write processes that occur when you save, do and undo move an image across the screen zoom, apply a filter etc, etc..
2. use the best video card you can put into you particular PC. (Adobe tend to under specify the requirements for some reason), this will allow the the PC to display the video component of the photoshopping process as fast as possible. (painting drawing type task are video processor intensive and the video card speed helps this.
3. The last is RAM, as much as you can have be it video or processor RAM.

Adding more ram is often the easiest and cheapest way to get better performance from photoshop (and the rest of the Adobe Creative Cloud products). Adding RAM also (in my experience) doesn't have the mother board - processor - monitor compatibility issue video cards have.

I have never had enough RAM or processor speed so have always desired more when working on graphics. However you can manage with lesser amounts, things just get slower.
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RupertAAuthor Commented:
Thank you for all the excellent advice, which has been very helpful reading it all. I think that I will get a better graphics card for the timebeing. However I think my intentions over the next few months will be to then get a  more powerful computer. It will pay for itself in no time.

Everyone has been helpful, I'll share points equally.

Thanks.
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@RupertA  - You are very welcome and I was happy to assist.
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