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Category: TouchXPRT development process

Getting to know TouchXPRT

Many of our community members first encountered the XPRTs when reading about WebXPRT or MobileXPRT in a device review, using TouchXPRT or HDXPRT in an OEM lab, or using BatteryXPRT or CrXPRT to evaluate devices for bulk purchasing on behalf of a corporation or government agency. They know that specific XPRT provided great value in that context, but may not know about the other members of the XPRT family.

To help keep folks up to date on the full extent of XPRT capabilities, we like to occasionally “reintroduce” each of the XPRTs. This week, we invite you to get to know TouchXPRT.

We developed TouchXPRT 2016 as a Universal Windows Platform app for Windows 10. We wanted to offer a free tool that would provide consumers with objective information about how well a Windows 10 or Windows 10 Mobile laptop, tablet, or phone handles common media tasks. To do this, TouchXPRT runs five tests that simulate the kinds of photo, video, and music editing tasks people do every day. It measures how quickly the device completes each of those tasks and provides an overall score. To compare device scores, go to TouchXPRT.com and click View Results, where you’ll find scores from many different Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile devices.

TouchXPRT is easy to install and run, and is a great resource for anyone who wants to evaluate the performance of a Windows 10 device.

If you’d like to run TouchXPRT:

Simply download TouchXPRT from the Microsoft Store. (If that doesn’t work for you, you can also download it directly from TouchXPRT.com.) Installing it should take about 15 minutes, and the TouchXPRT 2016 release notes provide step-by-step instructions.

If you’d like to dig into the details:

Check out the Exploring TouchXPRT 2016 white paper. In it, we discuss the TouchXPRT development process, its component tests and workloads, and how it calculates individual workload and overall scores. We also provide instructions for automated testing.

BenchmarkXPRT Development Community members also have access to the TouchXPRT source code, so consider joining today. There’s no obligation and membership is free for members of any company or organization with an interest in benchmarks.

If you haven’t tried running TouchXPRT before, give it a shot and let us know what you think!

Justin

TouchXPRT’s future

If you’ve been following the blog, you know that we’ve been reviewing each part of the XPRT portfolio. If you missed our discussions of HDXPRT, BatteryXPRT, WebXPRT, and CrXPRT, we encourage you to check them out and send us any thoughts you may have. This week, we continue that series by discussing the state of TouchXPRT and what we see down the road for it in 2017.

We released TouchXPRT 2016, an app for evaluating the performance of Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile devices, last February. We built the app by porting TouchXPRT 2014 performance workloads to the new Universal Windows App format, which allows a single app package to run on PCs, phones, tablets, and even consoles.

TouchXPRT 2016 installation is quick and easy, and the test completes in under 15 minutes on most devices. The app runs tests based on five everyday tasks (Beautify Photos, Blend Photos, Convert Videos for Sharing, Create Music Podcast, and Create Slideshow from Photos). It measures how long your device takes to complete each task, produces results for each scenario, and gives you an overall score.

As we think about the path forward for TouchXPRT, we’re aware that many expect 2017 to be a year of significant change in the Windows world, with two updates scheduled for release. Microsoft is slated to release the Windows 10 Creators Update (Build 1704) in April, and a subsequent version of Windows codenamed Redstone 3 may arrive this fall. Many tech observers believe that the Creators Update will introduce new creativity and gaming features, along with a UI upgrade named Project NEON. Major foundational shifts in the OS’s structure are more likely to appear with Redstone 3. At this point, quite a lot is still up in the air, but we’ll be following developments closely.

As we learn more about upcoming changes, we’ll have the opportunity to reevaluate TouchXPRT workloads and determine the best way to incorporate new technologies. Virtual reality, 3D, and 4K are especially exciting, but it’s too soon to know how we might incorporate them in a future version of TouchXPRT.

Because TouchXPRT 2016 continues to run well on a wide range of Windows 10 devices, we think it’s best to keep supporting the current version until we get a better idea of what’s in store for Windows.

If you have any thoughts on the future of Windows performance testing, please let us know!

Bill

TouchXPRT 2016 is here!

Today, we released TouchXPRT 2016, the latest version of our tool for evaluating the performance of Windows devices. The BenchmarkXPRT Development Community has been using a community preview for several weeks, but now anyone can run TouchXPRT 2016 and publish their results.

TouchXPRT 2016 is compatible with systems running Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. The new release includes the same performance workloads as TouchXPRT 2014, but with updated content and in the form of a Universal Windows app.

TouchXPRT 2016 is available at TouchXPRT.com and in the Windows App store.

After trying TouchXPRT 2016, please submit your scores and send any comments to BenchmarkXPRTsupport@principledtechnologies.com. We’re eager to find out how you’ll use this tool!

There’s a lot going on!

We recently released TouchXPRT 2016 CP3 to the community. Testing has been going well, so we are releasing TouchXPRT 2016 to the general public on Monday. Thanks to everyone who tried out the previews!

Back in December, we told you about Nebula Wolf, a game-based workload developed by students at North Carolina State University. Now we have a new video that talks about the project and why efforts such as this one matter for the XPRTs. It’s a gorgeous video. I think it’s one of our best!

We’ve also created a page that talks about the Nebula Wolf project. And, of course, the page has links for the community members to see the game in action and check out the source code. If you’re not a member, it’s easy to join!

Our next community outreach effort will be the XPRT Women Code-a-Thon March 12-13 in Seattle. It’s a great chance to contribute to the XPRTs, hang with other coders, and maybe even win some prize money!

Later this month, Mark will be at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. If you’d like to chat with him, just let us know.

Finally, the XPRT Weekly Tech Spotlight shines on the Google Pixel C this week.

That’s a lot, and there’s more to come!

Eric

TouchXPRT 2016 Community Preview 3 is available

Today we are releasing TouchXPRT 2016 Community Preview 3 (CP 3). As we discussed in the blog, CP 3 resolves an issue reported on some systems, where the Create Slideshow test would take longer than expected to complete due to the output video not rendering correctly.

As with all community previews, TouchXPRT 2016 CP 3 is available only to community members. Members may download the preview from the TouchXPRT tab in the Members’ Area.

For more details about TouchXPRT 2016, please consult the release notes for further details (login required).

After you try out CP 3, please send us your comments. Either post them to the forum or mail them to BenchmarkXPRTsupport@principledtechnologies.com. If you send us information that’s relevant to the entire community, we may post an anonymous version of your comments to the forum.

Thanks for your participation!

Detective work

A few weeks ago, we described an issue with TouchXPRT’s Create Slideshow test. On some systems, this test would take longer than expected to complete due to the output video not rendering correctly. Since then, we released TouchXPRT 2016 CP2, which includes a check that verifies the output and reports an error if there’s a problem.

It took a lot of detective work, but I’m happy to say that we’ve been able to resolve this issue. We had to make a couple of changes. First, we changed the pixel format in which the photo content is read from GUID_WICPixelFormat32bppPBGRA to GUID_WICPixelFormat32bppBGR. Second, we changed the media format of the input into the video converter from MFVideoFormat_ARGB32 to MFVideoFormat_RGB32.

After making these changes, the Create Slideshow test ran in the expected amount of time, and rendered the output video correctly.

In our testing so far, results have not changed noticeably. However, we’re continuing to test. We want to be sure that the updated build is stable and that results are comparable to earlier TouchXPRT CPs. We’ll then release it to the community.

Here’s looking forward to the release of TouchXPRT 2016 to the world at large!

Check out the other XPRTs: