How to Use the Windows 10 Assessment Tool

The Windows 10 Assessment Tool (WinSAT) tests the components of your computer (CPU, GPU, RAM, etc.) then measures their performance. But it can only be accessed from a Command Prompt or a PowerShell instance, and both must be opened with administrative rights.

Windows 10 Header

The Windows 10 Assessment Tool (WinSAT) tests the components of your computer (CPU, GPU, RAM, etc.) then measures their performance. But it can only be accessed from a Command Prompt or a PowerShell instance, and both must be opened with administrative rights.

This post shows you how to access and use the Windows 10 Assessment Tool to measure your computer’s performance.

This is for Windows 10 operating system

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Measure Your Computer Performance

For this example, we will use PowerShell, but the process is similar for the Command Prompt. Right-click the Start Menu button on the Windows 10 desktop and select Windows PowerShell (Admin). If the option is missing, in the Cortana search bar, enter cmd, then click Run as administrator in the upper right of the screen. Refer to below image for the Powershell option:

Benchmark 1
Starting PowerShell

At the prompt, type in winsat formal. See following image:

Benchmark 2
The formal parameter

The system will run through an extensive series of tests. This may take a few minutes. When finished, it will display the measurements. See below image:

Benchmark 3
Results of the running the formal parameter

The formal parameter runs a full test of all your computer’s components and
saves the results in an XML file located in this folder:

Windows/Performance/Winsat/DataStore

If you have an XML file editor, you can view the file and see your computer’s performance, however, there are user friendly alternatives.

At the PowerShell (Admin) prompt, type in one of these commands:

get-wmiobject -class win32_winsat

or

Get-CimInstance Win32_WinSat

Refer to below images for running both parameters:

Benchmark 4
Results of running the wmiobject parameter
Benchmark 5
Results of running the cimInstancr parameter

The first command gives you a few more details about the testing, while the second command condenses the measurements down to a minimum of information. In my example, the overall performance of my Dell desktop is limited by my graphics card. Overall, for a 5 year old desktop, my scores are still impressive.

The maximum score for any component test is 9.9.

WinSAT Parameters

You may opt to run specific tests on specific components by modifying the winsat command with parameters. Here is a list of the standard command parameters (most important are the cpu, mem, disk and media parameters), which will display measurements using default configurations:

  • winsat -?–displays the help.
  • winsat formal–runs the full assessment.
  • winsat dwmformal–runs only the Desktop Windows Manager assessment which generates the graphics score.
  • winsat cpuformal–runs only the CPU assessment to generate the processor score.
  • winsat memformal–runs only the memory assessment to generate the memory (RAM) score.
  • winsat graphicsformal–runs the graphics assessment to generate the gaming graphics score.
  • winsat diskformal–runs the disk assessment to generate the primary hard disk score.
  • winsat cpu–tests the processor.
  • winsat mem–tests the memory.
  • winsat disk–tests connected storage devices.
  • winsat d3d–assesses the Direct 3D application abilities.
  • winsat media–tests media capabilities.
  • winsat mfmedia–Windows Media Foundation assessment.
  • winsat features–runs the features assessment.
  • winsat dwm–runs the Desktop Windows Manager assessment.
  • winsat prepop–pre-populate WinSAT assessment results.

Diving Deeper

Because the Windows 10 Assessment Tool produces XML files containing performance scores and measurements, APIs and scripting tools like PowerShell can be used to display and process data points.

Developers can use such tools to customize testing parameters and search for ways to improve performance. You should keep in mind that the Windows 10 Assessment Tool is not the only way to measure your computer’s performance. Other benchmarking measures will provide more detail, particularly when measuring graphical capabilities.

UserBenchmark Tool is a utility that will test your PC and compare the results to other users with the same components. You can quickly size up your PC, identify hardware problems and explore the best upgrades. Click here to download the software. After running, just Close the dialog. The results are displayed in a web page. See below image on completing the benchmarks on my PC:

Benchmark 6
The results of running UserBenchmark. After closing, the results are displayed in a web page.

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I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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Author: Raymond

I am Raymond Oglesby, an Information Technology (IT) specialist with 30 years in the field. I have taught Microsoft Applications and troubleshot computers in 15 countries and many States. My career was focused on mainframes and desktops from application development to implementation. I have written hundreds of programs for various architectures. I decided to start a blog to share my knowledge and experiences with you. I plan on updating this blog at least twice a week about smart phone apps to Windows. Please feel free to leave a Comment or Tweet. I would love to hear from you. Do you have a computer tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the app and version that you are using. To help me out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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