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Category: HDXPRT source code

HDXPRT 4 v1.2 and the HDXPRT 4 source code package are available

This week, we have good news for HDXPRT 4 testers. A few weeks ago, we discussed the fact that Adobe removed the trial version of Adobe Photoshop Elements (PSE) 2018 from the PSE download page. HDXPRT 4 used PSE 2018 for the Edit Photos scenario, so this change meant that new HDXPRT testers would not be able to successfully install and run the benchmark.

Fortunately, we were able to adapt the Edit Photos scripts to use the new trial version of PSE 2020, and have incorporated those changes in an updated HDXPRT 4 build (v1.2). It’s available for download on HDXPRT.com, along with an updated user manual. Apart from slightly different instructions for installing the trial version of PSE 2020, all aspects of the installation and test process remain the same. We tested the new build and found that individual workload and overall scores did not vary significantly, so scores from the new build will be comparable to existing HDXPRT 4 scores.

We also posted the HDXPRT 4 source code and build instructions on the HDXPRT tab in the Members’ Area (login required). If you’d like to review XPRT source code, but haven’t yet joined the community, we encourage you to join! Registration is quick and easy, and if you work for a company or organization with an interest in benchmarking, you can join for free. Simply fill out the form with your company e-mail address and select the option to be considered for a free membership. We’ll contact you to verify the address and then activate your membership.

We apologize to HDXPRT testers for the inconvenience over the last several weeks, and we thank you for your patience while we worked on a solution. If you have any questions about HDXPRT or the community, please feel free to ask!

Justin

HDXPRT: see how your Windows PC handles media tasks

Over the last several weeks, we reminded readers of the capabilities and benefits of TouchXPRT, CrXPRT, and BatteryXPRT. This week, we’d like to highlight HDXPRT. HDXPRT, which stands for High Definition Experience & Performance Ratings Test, was the first benchmark published by the HDXPRT Development Community, which later became the BenchmarkXPRT Development Community. HDXPRT evaluates the performance of Windows devices while handling real-world media tasks such as photo editing, video conversion, and music editing, all while using real commercial applications, including Photoshop and iTunes. HDXPRT presents results that are relevant and easy to understand.

We originally distributed HDXPRT on installation DVDs, but HDXPRT 2014, the latest version, is available for download from HDXPRT.com. HDXPRT 2014 is for systems running Windows 8.1 and later. The benchmark takes about 10 minutes to install, and a run takes less than two hours.

HDXPRT is a useful tool for anyone who wants to evaluate the real-world, content-creation capabilities of a Windows PC. To see test results from a variety of systems, go to HDXPRT.com and click View Results, where you’ll find scores from many different Windows devices.

If you’d like to run HDXPRT:

Simply download HDXPRT from HDXPRT.com. The HDXPRT user manual provides information on minimum system requirements, as well as step-by-step instructions for how to configure your system and kick off a test. Testers running HDXPRT on Windows 10 Creators Update builds should consult the tech support note posted on HDXPRT.com.

If you’d like to dig into the details:

Check out the Exploring HDXPRT 2014 white paper. In it, we discuss the benchmark’s three test scenarios in detail and show how we calculate the results.

If you’d like to dig even deeper, the HDXPRT source code is available to members of the BenchmarkXPRT Development Community, so consider joining today. Membership is free for members of any company or organization with an interest in benchmarks, and there are no obligations after joining.

If you haven’t used HDXPRT before, give it a shot and let us know what you think!

On another note, Bill will be attending Mobile World Congress in Shanghai next week. Let us know if you’d like to meet up and discuss the XPRTs or how to get your device in the XPRT Spotlight.

Justin

HDXPRT 2014 source code coming soon

We’ve really been enjoying the smaller size and quicker install and runtimes of HDXPRT 2014, and we encourage you to give the benchmark a try if you haven’t already! Within the next week or so, we’ll make the HDXPRT 2014 source code available to BenchmarkXPRT Development Community members. Part of what makes the XPRT community work is the feedback we get from members, whether it comes in the form of new benchmark ideas, suggestions for improvement, or questions raised during community preview testing. Having members comb through the code is another aspect of that community model. We welcome any members with programming skills to comment on our code and submit their own code for review.

If you decide to submit code, please read the XPRT commenting conventions, which are simply brief descriptions of a few practices that will make it easier for us to read your code.

We’ll also post detailed build instructions for HDXPRT 2014 in the Members Area. When the source code is available, check it out and let us know what you think. If you have code to share, please post on the forums or send us a message. If you haven’t yet joined the community, we’d love for you to join now.

Justin

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Straight from the source

One of the pillars of our community model of benchmark development is making the source available.  As we’ve said many times, we believe that doing so leads to better benchmarks.

Today we released the source for HDXPRT 2012. As with previous versions of HDXPRT, the source is available only to community members, not to the general public.  We apologize that it has taken so long. HDXPRT is complicated to build, and we wanted to have a simpler and more robust build process before we made the source available.

The source allows you to examine how HDXPRT is implemented and to try some experiments of your own. Because of the size of HDXPRT 2012, the source package does not include the applications or the data files for the workloads. By including only the benchmark source code and associated files, we could keep the package small enough to download. If you want to try some changes for experiments and test them, all you need to do is install HDXPRT 2012 from the distribution DVDs. The compilation instructions will tell you how to copy your modified executables over the shipping versions.

Community members can get instructions on how to download the source code here (registration required).

If you create something interesting while you’re experimenting, let us know! We’d love to have the community consider it for HDXPRT 2013.

Speaking of the community, we’ve sent T-shirts to all community members who’ve supplied their up-to-date mailing address. If you’re a community member who wants a shirt but hasn’t yet let us know, please e-mail benchmarkxprtsupport@principledtechnologies.com with your mailing address by February 15th.

Eric

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What you’re going to need

We’re planning to release the source code for HDXPRT 2012 soon after we release the update for Windows 8, probably in mid-November. The source code will be freely available to the members of the community. In preparation for that, here’s some information about what you’ll need to build the benchmark.

As we’ve discussed before, HDXPRT is a complicated entity, with a test harness, multiple workloads, and an installer. Consequently, you’ll need several tools to edit and build
HDXPRT 2012:

Microsoft Visual Studio 2005
Microsoft SDK, (version 6.0.6000.0)
Microsoft .Net Framework 2.0 SDK x64
AutoIT v3
InstallShield 2012 Standalone version. Note: The InstallShield Professional Version is required to edit the install script.
Visual Build Pro 7 Note: It is possible to edit and build HDXPRT without Visual Build Pro. However, Visual Build Pro enables an automated build process.

If you install these products per their instructions, your system will be ready to build HDXPRT 2012 when the source code becomes available.

Remember, the HDXPRT 2013 suggestion period starts Monday. We’ll open a section of the forum for suggestions then. However, if you want to get an early start, feel free to go ahead and send suggestions to hdxprtsupport@hdxprt.com.

Eric

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Back to the future of source code

Today I’m spending a good chunk of the day participating in a panel discussion on the Kermit file transfer protocol as part of an oral history project with the Computer History Museum. A little over 30 years ago, I worked at Columbia University on the original versions of Kermit. In preparing for the panel discussions, I’ve been thinking about projects with available source code, like Kermit and HDXPRT.

Kermit was a protocol and set of programs for moving files before the Internet. We designed Kermit to work between a wide variety of computers—from IBM mainframes to DEC minicomputers to CP/M microcomputers. As such, we wrote the code to accommodate the lowest common denominator and assume as little as possible. That meant we could not assume that the computers all used ASCII characters (IBM mainframes used EBCDIC), that 8-bit characters would transmit over a phone line, or that packets of more than 100 characters were possible (DEC-20 computers specifically had an issue with that). The pair of Kermit programs negotiated what was possible at the beginning of a session and were able to work, often in situations where nothing else would.

We developed Kermit before the open-source movement or Gnu. We just had the simple notion that the more people who had access to Kermit, the better. Because we did not want incompatible versions of Kermit or the code to be used for the wrong purposes, we retained control (via copyright) while allowing others to use the code to create their own versions. We also encouraged them to share their code back with us so that we could then share it with others. In this way, Kermit grew to support all sorts of computers, in just about every corner of the planet as well as outer space.

In many ways, what we are doing with HDXPRT and its source code is similar. We are working to create a community of interested people who will work together to improve the product. Our hope is that by having the HDXPRT source code available to the Development Community, it will encourage openness, foster collaboration, and spark innovation.

I believe that what made Kermit successful was not so much the design as it was the community. I’m hoping that through the Development Community here, we can make just as successful HDXPRT, TouchXPRT, and who knows what else in the future. If you have not already joined, please do—the more folks we have, the better the community and its resulting benchmarks will be. Thanks!

Bill

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