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Low Windows Experience Index CPU scores for i7 W520 improved by BIOS update

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Started ‎09-26-2011 by
Modified ‎09-26-2011 by



I am loving my ThinkPad W520 apart from slightly slow boot times (I think it has something to do with Windows) and an unusually low Windows Experience Index. It seems everywhere I search, the 2720QM gets a processor WEI of 7.5, however, I only get a processor WEI of 5.8 (with or without turbo boost). Also, I don't know if this is related or not, but I see 8 cores listed in device manager and the task manager even though I only have 4 cores.


Please let me know if there is some way I can squeeze more power out of my CPU because I am using this computer for numerical analysis. And if any of my questions were dumb, please forgive me as I'm new to Windows. 




Similar  WE index scores of 5.8 with the same spec machine have been reported with earlier BIOS versions that limited CPU clock rates on battery.  If you click on the rating link, it showed the breakdown:


  1. processor 6.9
  2. memory 7.6
  3. graphics 5.8
  4. gaming graphics (i.e. Quadra 2000) 6.9
  5. Primary disk (Scorpio black 320 at the moment) 5.9

Windows just takes the lowest for the WE socre, which will be the HD3000 graphics. 


This was with the CPU fixed at 2.2GHz - speedstep and / or turboboost were reported as limited under early BIOS versions.


Now with Bios 1.3 and power manager 3.62, the CPU finally goes up to 3GHz under load, and down below 2GHz idle.  Battery life increases from 2.5 hours to 5 hours have been reported, and rendering times have improved by 30%.  My score (after rerunning the test), has gone up to:


  1. processor 7.5
  2. memory 7.6
  3. graphics 5.8
  4. gaming graphics (i.e. Quadra 2000) 6.9
  5. Primary disk (Scorpio black 320 at the moment) 5.9

The Windows score may still be reported as 5.9, but the CPU scores have improved and should reflect a more responsive system.  Upgrade BIOS and power manager to the latest level from the Lenovo support site to ensure best system performance.