of our goals during the ongoing WebXPRT 4 development process is to be as
responsive as possible to user feedback, and we want to emphasize that it’s not
too late to send us your ideas. Until we finalize the details for each workload
and complete the code work for the preview build, we still have quite a bit of
flexibility around adding new features.
this week, a community member raised the possibility of a WebXPRT 4 feature that
would enable user-specific test ID numbers or accounts. One possible implementation
of the idea would allow a user to sign up for a WebXPRT test account as an
individual or on behalf of their organization. The test accounts would be both
free and optional; you could continue to run the benchmark without an account,
but running it with an account would let you save and view your test history. Another
implementation option we are considering would let users generate a permanent
user ID number for themselves or their organization. They could then use that
number to tag and search for their automated test runs in our database, without
having to log into an account.
Our biggest question at the moment is whether our user base would be interested in WebXPRT user accounts or test IDs. If this concept piques your interest, or you have suggestions for implementation, please let us know!
CloudXPRT testers have reported installation failures while attempting to set
up CloudXPRT on Ubuntu virtual machines with Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and
Microsoft Azure. We have not yet determined whether the installation process
fails consistently on these VMs or the problem occurs under only specific
conditions. We believe these failures occur with only GCP and Azure, and you should
still be able to successfully install and run CloudXPRT on both Amazon Web
Services virtual machines and on-premises gear.
apologize for the inconvenience that this issue causes for CloudXPRT testers
and will let the community know as soon as we identify a reliable solution. If
you have encountered any other issues during CloudXPRT testing, please feel
free to contact us!
In November, we published our WebXPRT 3 browser performance comparison,
so we decided it was time to see if the performance rankings of popular
browsers have changed in the last nine months.
For this round of tests, we used the same laptop as last time:
XPS 13 7930 with an Intel
Core i3-10110U processor and 4 GB of RAM running Windows 10 Home, updated to
version 1909 (18363.1556). We installed all current Windows updates and tested
on a clean system image. After the update process completed, we turned off
updates to prevent them from interfering with test runs. We ran WebXPRT 3 three
times each on five browsers: Brave, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox,
and Opera. For each browser, the score we post below is the median of the three
In our last
round of tests, the four
Chromium-based browsers (Brave, Chrome, Edge, and Opera) produced very close scores,
though we saw about a four percent lower score from Brave. In this round
of testing, performance improved for all four of the Chromium-based browsers.
Chrome, Edge, and Opera still produced very close scores, but Brave’s
performance still lagged, this time by about seven percent.
Firefox separated itself from the pack with a much higher score
and has been the clear winner in all three rounds of testing. During our second
round of testing in November, every browser except for Chrome saw slightly slower
performance than the first
round. In these latest tests, all the
Chromium-based browsers produced significantly higher scores than the second
round. When discussing browser performance, it’s important to remember that there
are many possible reasons for these performance changes—including changes in browser
overhead or changes in Windows—and most users may not notice the changes during
Do these results mean that
Mozilla Firefox will always provide you with a speedier web experience? As we
noted in previous comparisons, a device with a higher WebXPRT score will
probably feel faster during daily use than one with a lower score. For comparisons
on the same system, however, the answer depends on several factors, such as the
types of things you do on the web, how the extensions you’ve installed affect
performance, how frequently the browsers issue updates and incorporate new web
technologies, and how accurately each browser’s default installation settings
reflect how you would set up that browser for your daily workflow.
In addition, browser speed can
increase or decrease significantly after an update, only to swing back in the
other direction shortly thereafter. OS-specific optimizations can also affect
performance, such as with Edge on Windows 10 or Chrome on Chrome OS. All these
variables are important to keep in mind when considering how browser
performance comparison results translate to your everyday experience.
Do you have insights
you’d like to share from using WebXPRT to compare browser performance? Let us know!
As we move forward with the WebXPRT 4 development
process, we’re also working on ways to enhance the value of WebXPRT beyond simply
updating the benchmark. Our primary goal is to expand and improve the WebXPRT-related
tools and resources we offer at WebXPRT.com, starting with a new results
Currently, users can view
WebXPRT results on our site two primary ways, each of which has advantages and
The first way is the WebXPRT results viewer, which includes hundreds of
PT-curated performance scores from a wide range of trusted sources and devices.
Users can sort entries by device type, device name, device model, overall
score, date of publication, and source. The viewer also includes a free-form
filter for quick, targeted searches. While the results viewer contains a wealth
of information, it does not give users a way to use graphs or charts for
viewing and comparing multiple results at once. Another limitation of the
current results viewer is that it offers no easy way for users to access the
additional data about the test device and the subtest scores that we have for
The second way to view WebXPRT
results on our site is the WebXPRT Processor Comparison
chart uses horizontal bar graphs to compare test scores from the hundreds of
published results in our database, grouped by processor type. Users can click
the average score for a processor to view all the WebXPRT results we currently
have for that processor. The visual aspect of the chart and its automated
“group by processor type” feature are very useful, but it lacks the sorting and
filtering capabilities of the viewer, and navigating to the details of
individual tests takes multiple clicks.
In the coming months, we’ll be working to combine the best features of the results viewer and the comparison chart into a single powerful WebXPRT results database tool. We’ll also be investigating ways to add new visual aids, navigation controls, and data-handling capabilities to that tool. We want to provide a tool that helps testers and analysts access the wealth of WebXPRT test information in our database in an efficient, productive, and enjoyable way. If you have ideas or comments about what you’d like to see in a new WebXPRT results viewing tool, please let us know!
In May, we surveyed
longtime WebXPRT users regarding the types of changes they would like to see in
a WebXPRT 4. We sent the survey to journalists at several tech press outlets,
and invited our blog readers to participate as well. We received some very helpful feedback. As we explore new possibilities for WebXPRT 4, we’ve decided to
open an updated version of the survey. We’ve adjusted the questions a bit based
on previous feedback and added some new ones, so we invite you to respond even
if you participated in the original survey.
We’re excited to have recently passed an important milestone: one million XPRT runs and downloads! Most importantly, that huge number does not just reflect past successes. As the chart below illustrates, XPRT use has grown steadily over the years. In 2021, we record, on average, more XPRT runs and downloads in one month (23,395) than we recorded in the entire first year we started tracking these stats (17,051).
We reached one million
runs and downloads in about seven and a half years. At the current rate, we’ll
reach two million in roughly three and a half more years. With WebXPRT 4 on the way, there’s a good chance we can reach that mark even sooner!
As always, we’re grateful for all the testers that have helped us reach this milestone. If you have any questions or comments about using any of the XPRTs to test your gear, let us know!