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Category: HDXPRT workloads

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

A necessary update for HDXPRT 4

If you tried to install HDXPRT 4 over the past few days, you likely noticed that Adobe Photoshop Elements 2018, the version the Edit Photos scenario uses, is no longer available on the Adobe Photoshop Elements download page. In the past, Adobe has provided access to multiple older versions of their software for some time after a new release, but they appear to be moving away from that practice. We have not yet found an alternative way for users to download PSE 2018 on a trial basis. Unfortunately, this means testers will be temporarily unable to successfully complete the HDXPRT 4 installation process.

We’re adapting the scripts in the HDXPRT 4 Edit Photos scenario to use PSE 2020. As soon as we finish, we’ll start testing, with a focus on determining whether the change significantly affects the individual workload or overall scores.

We apologize for the inconvenience that this issue causes for HDXPRT testers. We’ll continue to update the community here in the blog about our progress with the new build. If you have any questions or comments, please let us know.

Justin

An updated HDXPRT 4 v1.1 installer package

Today, we published an updated HDXPRT 4 v1.1 installer package that addresses an issue brought to light by HDXPRT testers and our own follow-up testing. We’ve also encountered an issue caused by anti-virus program interference during the HDXPRT installation process, so we’re providing steps for a workaround below. Neither the updated build nor the workaround steps affect the comparability of previous HDXPRT 4 test scores.

The first issue involves the hdxprt4.exe setup file. You may recall that the main updates in HDXPRT 4 v1.1 were the inclusion of the latest version of HandBrake and the ability for testers to choose whether to target a system’s discrete graphics card during the Convert Videos workload. Prior to today’s update, the HDXPRT 4 v1.1 installation package mistakenly included an old hdxprt4.exe setup file, which likely caused problems for testers attempting to target discrete graphics. We apologize for this oversight. The installer package we published today includes the correct hdxprt4.exe setup file.

The second issue is that during the installation process, Windows Security and other anti-virus programs may quarantine some of the AutoIt executables that HDXPRT 4 uses to install real-world applications, and the incomplete installation process will cause the test to fail. The files do not contain viruses, but the anti-virus programs may assume that the user has not granted HDXPRT permission to install the ancillary files. One of the executables currently triggering this behavior is the MediaEspresso ME75_2x4K_transcode.exe file. To check whether your test system is quarantining this file, navigate to the C:\Program Files (x86)\HDXPRT4\HDXPRT4_Workloads\HDXPRT4_Tests folder. Once the installation process is complete, the folder should contain 32 files, including ME75_2x4K_transcode.exe. If you see all 32 files, you’re ready to test. (Note: Once you run the test, HDXPRT 4 will add HDXPRTRunLog.txt to the folder, so you might see 33 files.)

If you see only 31 files, ME75_2x4K_transcode.exe is likely missing. To restore it, use the following steps:

1. Open the Windows Security app.
2. Select Virus & threat protection.
3. Under Current threats, select Protection history.
4. Check to see if Windows Security removed any threats around the time you installed HDXPRT 4.
5. If so, click the drop-down menu on the right side, where Windows Security lists the severity of the threat, and look for a false positive that reports the ME75_2x4K_transcode.exe file as Trojan:Win32/Wacatac.B!ml.
6. Click the Actions drop-down menu, and select Restore.
7. Navigate to the C:\Program Files (x86)\HDXPRT4\HDXPRT4_Workloads\HDXPRT4_Tests folder, and check to see where the ME75_2x4K_transcode.exe file is present.

Windows Security and other anti-virus programs may quarantine other HDXPRT installation files in the future. If your first HDXPRT 4 run fails to complete successfully, we suggest checking the anti-virus quarantine for HDXPRT-related files.

We also updated the HDXPRT 4 User Manual to include the steps above. If you have any questions about any of these topics, please feel free to contact us.

Justin

HDXPRT 4 is here!

We’re excited to announce that HDXPRT 4 is now available to the public! Just like previous versions of HDXPRT, HDXPRT 4 uses trial versions of commercial applications to complete real-world media tasks. The HDXPRT 4 installation package includes installers for some of those programs, such as Audacity and HandBrake. For other programs, such as Adobe Photoshop Elements and CyberLink Media Espresso, users will need to download the necessary installers prior to testing by using the links and instructions in the HDXPRT 4 User Manual.

In addition to the editing photos, editing music, and converting videos workloads from prior versions of the benchmark, HDXPRT 4 includes two new Photoshop Elements scenarios. The first utilizes an AI tool that corrects closed eyes in photos, and the second creates a single panoramic photo from seven separate photos.

HDXPRT 4 is compatible with systems running Windows 10, and is available for download at HDXPRT.com. The installation package is about 4.8 GB, so the download may take several minutes. The setup process takes about 30 minutes on most computers, and a standard test run takes approximately an hour.

After trying out HDXPRT 4, please submit your scores here and send any comments to BenchmarkXPRTsupport@principledtechnologies.com. To see test results from a variety of systems, go to HDXPRT.com and click View Results, where you’ll find scores from a variety of devices. We look forward to seeing your results!

An update on HDXPRT development

It’s been a while since we updated the community on HDXPRT development, and we’ve made a lot of progress since then. Here’s a quick summary of where we are and what to expect in the coming months.

The benchmark’s official name will be HDXPRT 4, and we’re sticking with the basic plan we outlined in the blog, which includes updating the benchmark’s real-world trial applications and workload content and improving the UI.

We’ve updated Adobe Photoshop Elements, Audacity, CyberLink Media Espresso, and HandBrake to more contemporary versions, but decided the benchmark will no longer use Apple iTunes. We sometimes encountered problems with iTunes during testing, and because we can complete the audio-related workloads using Audacity, we decided that it was OK to remove iTunes from the test. Please contact us if you have any concerns about this decision.

In addition to the editing photos, editing music, and converting videos workloads from prior versions of the benchmark, HDXPRT 4 includes two new Photoshop Elements scenarios. The first utilizes an AI tool that corrects closed eyes in photos and the second creates a single panoramic photo from seven separate photos. For the photo and video workloads, we produced new high-res photo content and 4K GoPro video footage respectively.

For the UI, our goal is to implement a clean and functional design and align it more closely with the themes, colors, and font styles we’ll be implementing in the XPRTs moving forward. The WebXPRT 3 UI will give you a feel for the direction the HDXPRT UI is headed.

Some of these details may change as we test preliminary builds, but we wanted to give you a better sense of where HDXPRT is headed. We’re not ready to share a date for the community preview, but will provide more details as the day approaches.

If you have any questions or comments about HDXPRT, please let us know. It’s not too late to for us to consider your input for HDXPRT 4.

Justin

Keep them coming!

Questions and comments have continued to come in since the Webinar last week. Here are a few of them:

  • How long are results valid? For a reviewer like us, we need to know that we can reuse results for a reasonable length of time. There is a tension between keeping results stable and keeping the benchmark current enough for the results to be relevant. Historically, HDXPRT allowed at least a year between releases. Based on the feedback we’ve received, a year seems like a reasonable length of time.
  • Is HDXPRT command line operable? (asked by a community member with a scripted suite of tests) HDXPRT 2012 is not, but we will consider adding a command line interface for HDXPRT 2013. While most casual users don’t need a command line interface, it could be very valuable to those of us using HDXPRT in labs.
  • I would be hesitant to overemphasize the running time of HDXPRT. The more applications it runs, the more it can differentiate things and the more interesting it is to those of us who run it at a professional level. If I could say “This gives a complete overview of the performance of this system,” that would actually save time. This comment was a surprise, given the amount of feedback we received saying that HDXPRT was too large. However, this gets to the heart of why we all need to be careful as we consider which applications to include in HDXPRT 2013.

If you had to miss the Webinar, it’s available at the BenchmarkXPRT 2013 Webinars page.

We’re planning to release the HDXPRT 2013 RFC next week. We’re looking forward to your comments.

Eric

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