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The XPRTs can help with your back-to-school shopping

The new school year is upon us, and learners of all ages are looking for tech devices that have the capabilities they will need in the coming year. The tech marketplace can be confusing, and competing claims can be hard to navigate. The XPRTs are here to help! Whether you’re shopping for a new phone, tablet, Chromebook, laptop, or desktop, the XPRTs can provide reliable, industry-trusted performance scores that can cut through all the noise.

A good place to start looking for scores is the WebXPRT 4 results viewer. The viewer displays WebXPRT 4 scores from over 175 devices—including many hot new releases—and we’re adding new scores all the time. To learn more about the viewer’s capabilities and how you can use it to compare devices, check out this blog post.

Another resource we offer is the XPRT results browser. The browser is the most efficient way to access the XPRT results database, which currently holds more than 3,000 test results from over 120 sources, including major tech review publications around the world, OEMs, and independent testers. It offers a wealth of current and historical performance data across all of the XPRT benchmarks and hundreds of devices. You can read more about how to use the results browser here.

Also, if you’re considering a popular device, chances are good that a recent tech review includes an XPRT score for that device. Two quick ways to find these reviews: (1) go to your favorite tech review site and search for “XPRT” and (2) go to a search engine and enter the device name and XPRT name (e.g. “Apple MacBook Air” and “WebXPRT”). Here are a few recent tech reviews that use one of the XPRTs to evaluate a popular device:

The XPRTs can help consumers make better-informed and more confident tech purchases. As this school year begins, we hope you’ll find the data you need on our site or in an XPRT-related tech review. If you have any questions about the XPRTs, XPRT scores, or the results database please feel free to ask!

Justin

We’ve moved WebXPRT Singapore to a new hosting environment

When we first released WebXPRT 2013, some users in mainland China reported slow download times when running the benchmark. In response, we set up a mirror host site in Singapore to facilitate WebXPRT testing in China and other East Asian countries. We continued this practice with subsequent WebXPRT versions, and currently offer Singapore-based instances of WebXPRT 4, WebXPRT 3, and WebXPRT 2015.

Until this past month, we used an Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2-Classic environment to host the Singapore mirror site. Because Amazon retired the EC2-Classic environment, we had to migrate each of the WebXPRT Singapore instances to a new AWS Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) environment.  

We do not expect the new environment to affect WebXPRT Singapore testing or results, and have not yet observed any significant differences in WebXPRT performance scores while testing on the new site. If you have a different experience when testing on the new site or encounter interruptions when trying to access the test, please let us know!

Justin

WebXPRT passes the million-run milestone!

We’re excited to see that users have successfully completed over 1,000,000 WebXPRT runs! If you’ve run WebXPRT in any of the 924 cities and 81 countries from which we’ve received complete test data—including newcomers Bahrain, Bangladesh, Mauritius, The Philippines, and South Korea —we’re grateful for your help. We could not have reached this milestone without you!

As the chart below illustrates, WebXPRT use has grown steadily since the debut of WebXPRT 2013. On average, we now record more WebXPRT runs in one month than we recorded in the entirety of our first year. With over 104,000 runs so far in 2022, that growth is continuing.

For us, this moment represents more than a numerical milestone. Developing and maintaining a benchmark is never easy, and a cross-platform benchmark that will run on a wide variety of devices poses an additional set of challenges. For such a benchmark to succeed, developers need not only technical competency, but the trust and support of the benchmarking community. WebXPRT is now in its ninth year, and its consistent year-over-year growth tells us that the benchmark continues to hold value for manufacturers, OEM labs, the tech press, and end users like you. We see it as a sign of trust that folks repeatedly return to the benchmark for reliable performance metrics. We’re grateful for that trust, and for everyone that’s contributed to the WebXPRT development process throughout the years.

We’ll have more to share related to this exciting milestone in the weeks to come, so stay tuned to the blog. If you have any questions or comments about WebXPRT, we’d love to hear from you!

Justin

An update on Chrome OS support for CrXPRT

In March, we discussed the Chrome OS team’s plan to end support for Chrome apps in June and instead focus their efforts on Chrome extensions and Progressive Web Apps. After receiving feedback on their published timeline, the Chrome OS team decided to extend Chrome app support for Enterprise and Education account customers through January 2025. Because we publish our Chrome app (CrXPRT) through a private BenchmarkXPRT developer account, and because we have not seen any further updates to the support timeline, we don’t assume that the support extension will apply to CrXPRT.

Since June has come and gone, and the support extension probably does not apply to our account, we do not expect to be able to publish any future fixes or updates for CrXPRT. As of now, and up through Chrome 105, the CrXPRT 2 performance and battery life tests are still working without a hitch. We will continue to run the benchmark on a regular basis to monitor functionality, and we will disclose any future issues here in the blog and on CrXPRT.com. We hope the app will continue to run both performance and battery life tests well into the future. However, given the frequency of Chrome updates, it’s difficult for us to predict how long the benchmark will remain viable.

As we mentioned back in March, we hope to begin development of an all-new Chrome OS XPRT benchmark by the end of this year. We’ll discuss that prospect in more detail in future blog posts, but if you have ideas about the types of features or workloads you’d like to see in a new Chrome OS benchmark, please let us know!

Justin

A note about AIXPRT

Recently, a member of the tech press asked us about the status of AIXPRT, our benchmark that measures machine learning inference performance. We want to share our answer here in the blog for the benefit of other readers. The writer said it seemed like we had not updated AIXPRT in a long time, and wondered whether we had any immediate plans to do so.

It’s true that we haven’t updated AIXPRT in quite some time. Unfortunately, while a few tech press publications and OEM labs began experimenting with AIXPRT testing, the benchmark never got the traction we hoped for, and we’ve decided to invest our resources elsewhere for the time being. The AIXPRT installation packages are still available for people to use or reference as they wish, but we have not updated the benchmark to work with the latest platform versions (OpenVINO, TensorFlow, etc.). It’s likely that several components in each package are out of date.

If you are interested in AIXPRT and would like us to bring it up to date, please let us know. We can’t promise that we’ll revive the benchmark, but your feedback could be a valuable contribution as we try to gauge the benchmarking community’s interest.

Justin

The XPRTs: What would you like to see?

One of the core principles of the BenchmarkXPRT Development Community is a commitment to valuing the feedback of both community members and the larger group of testers that use the XPRTs on a regular basis. That feedback helps us to ensure that as the XPRTs continue to grow and evolve, the resources that we offer will continue to meet the needs of those that use them.

In the past, user feedback has influenced specific aspects of our benchmarks such as the length of test runs, user interface features, results presentation, and the removal or inclusion of specific workloads. More broadly, we have also received suggestions for entirely new XPRTs and ways we might target emerging technologies or industry use cases.

As we approach the second half of 2022 and begin planning for 2023, we’re asking to hear your ideas about new XPRTs—or new features for existing XPRTs. Are you aware of hardware form factors, software platforms, or prominent applications that are difficult or impossible to evaluate using existing performance benchmarks? Are there new technologies we should be incorporating into existing XPRTs via new workloads? Can you recommend ways to improve any of the XPRTs or XPRT-related tools such as results viewers?

We are interested in your answers to these questions and any other ideas you have, so please feel free to contact us. We look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Justin

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