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.
In early May, we sent
a survey to members of the tech press who regularly use WebXPRT in articles and
reviews. We asked for their thoughts on several aspects of WebXPRT, as well as what
they’d like to see in the upcoming fourth version of the benchmark. We also
published the survey questions here in the blog, and invited
experienced WebXPRT testers to send their feedback as well. We received some
good responses to the survey, and for the benefit of our readers, we’ve
summarized some of the key comments and suggestions below.
One respondent stated that WebXPRT is demanding enough to test
performance, but if we want to simulate modern web usage, we should find the
most up-to-date studies on common browser tasks and web technologies. This
suggestion lines up with our intention to study the feasibility of adding a WebAssembly workload.
One respondent liked that fact that unlike many other browser
One respondent suggested that we include a link to a WebXPRT
white paper within the UI, or at least a guide describing what happens during
One respondent stated that they would like for WebXPRT to
automatically produce a good result file on the local test system.
One respondent said that WebXPRT has a relatively long runtime
for a browser benchmark, and they would prefer that the runtime not increase in
We had no direct calls for a battery life test, because many
testers already have scripts and/or methodologies in place for battery testing,
but one tester suggested adding the ability to loop the test so users can measure
performance over varying lengths of time.
There were no requests to bring back any aspects of WebXPRT 2015
that we removed in WebXPRT 3.
There were no reports of significant connection issues when
testing with WebXPRT.
We greatly appreciate the members of the tech press that responded to the survey. We’re still in the planning stages of WebXPRT 4, so there’s still time for anyone to send comments or ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!
Device reviews in publications
such as AnandTech, Notebookcheck, and PCMag, among many others, often feature
WebXPRT test results, and we appreciate the many members of the tech press that
use WebXPRT. As we move forward with the WebXPRT 4 development process, we’re especially
interested in learning what longtime users would like to see in a new version
of the benchmark.
In previous posts,
we’ve asked people to weigh in on the potential addition of a WebAssembly workload or a battery life test. We’d also like to ask experienced testers some other
test-related questions. To that end, this week we’ll be sending a WebXPRT 4
survey directly to members of the tech press who frequently publish WebXPRT
Regardless of whether you are a member of the tech press, we invite you to participate by sending your answers to any or all the questions below to email@example.com. We ask you to do so by the end of May.
Do you think WebXPRT 3’s selection of workload scenarios is representative of modern web tasks?
How do you think WebXPRT compares to other common browser-based benchmarks, such as JetStream, Speedometer, and Octane?
Are there web technologies that you’d like us to include in additional workloads?
Are you happy with the WebXPRT 3 user interface? If not, what UI changes would you like to see?
Are there any aspects of WebXPRT 2015 that we changed in WebXPRT 3 that you’d like to see us change back?
Have you ever experienced significant connection issues when testing with WebXPRT?
Given the array of workloads, do you think the WebXPRT runtime is reasonable? Would you mind if the average runtime were a bit longer?
Are there any other aspects of WebXPRT 3 that you’d like to see us change?
If you’d like to discuss any topics
that we did not cover in the questions above, please feel free to include additional
comments in your response. We look forward to hearing your thoughts!
We’re excited to see
that users have successfully completed over 750,000 WebXPRT runs! If you’ve run WebXPRT in any of the more than 654 cities
and 68 countries from which we’ve received complete test data—including
newcomers Belize, Cambodia, Croatia, and Pakistan—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 over the years. We now record, on average, almost twice as many WebXPRT runs in one month as we recorded in the entirety of our first year. In addition, with over 82,000 runs to date in 2021, there are no signs that growth is slowing.
Developing a new
benchmark is never easy, and the obstacles multiply when you attempt to create
a cross-platform benchmark, such as WebXPRT, that will run on a wide variety of
devices. Establishing trust with the benchmarking community is another
challenge. Transparency, consistency, and technical competency on our part are critical
factors in building that trust, but the people who take time out of their busy
schedules to run the benchmark for the first time also play a role. We thank
all of the manufacturers, OEM labs, and members of the tech press who decided
to give WebXPRT a try, and we look forward to your input as we continue to improve WebXPRT in the years to come.
If you have any
questions or comments about WebXPRT, we’d love to hear from you!
We’re currently formulating our 2021 development roadmap for the XPRTs. In addition to planning CloudXPRT and WebXPRT updates, we’re discussing the possibility of releasing HDXPRT 5 in 2021. It’s hard for me to believe, but it’s been about two and a half years since we started work on HDXPRT 4, and February 2021 will mark two years since the first HDXPRT 4 release. Windows PCs are more powerful than ever, so it’s a good time to talk about how we can enhance the benchmark’s ability to measure how well the latest systems handle real-world media technologies and applications.
When we plan a new
version of an XPRT benchmark, one of our first steps is updating the
benchmark’s workloads so that they will remain relevant in years to come. We
almost always update application content, such as photos and videos, to
contemporary file resolutions and sizes. For example, we added both higher-resolution
photos and a 4K video conversion task in HDXPRT 4. Are there specific types of
media files that you think would be especially relevant to high-performance
media tasks over the next few years?
Next, we will assess
the suitability of the real-world trial applications that the editing photos,
editing music, and converting videos test scenarios use. Currently, these are Adobe
Photoshop Elements, Audacity, CyberLink MediaEspresso, and HandBrake. Can you
think of other applications that belong in a high-performance media processing
In HDXPRT 4, we gave
testers the option to target a system’s discrete graphics card during the video
conversion workload. Has this proven useful in your testing? Do you have
suggestions for new graphics-oriented workloads?
We’ll also strive to
make the UI more intuitive, to simplify installation, and to reduce the size of
the installation package. What elements of the current UI do you find
especially useful or think we could improve?
We welcome your answers to these questions and any additional suggestions or comments on HDXPRT 5. Send them our way!
A few months ago, we invited readers to send in their thoughts and ideas about web
technologies and workload scenarios that may be a good fit for the next WebXPRT. We’d like to share a few of those ideas today, and we invite
you to continue to send your feedback. We’re approaching the time when we need to begin firming up
plans for a WebXPRT 4 development cycle in 2021, but there’s still plenty of
time for you to help shape the future of the benchmark.
One of the most
promising ideas for WebXPRT 4 is the potential addition of one or more WebAssembly (WASM) workloads.
WASM is a low-level, binary instruction format that works across all modern browsers.
It offers web developers a great deal of flexibility and provides the speed and
efficiency necessary for running complex client applications in the browser. WASM
enables a variety of workload scenario options, including gaming, video editing, VR, virtual
machines, image recognition, and interactive educational content.
In addition, the
Chrome team is dropping Portable Native Client (PNaCL) support in favor of
WASM, which is why we had to remove a PNaCL workload when updating CrXPRT 2015 to CrXPRT 2. We
generally model CrXPRT workloads on existing WebXPRT workloads, so
familiarizing ourselves with WASM could ultimately benefit more than one XPRT
We are also
considering adding a web-based machine learning workload with TensorFlow for
tasks including image classification, object detection, sentence encoding,
natural language processing, and more. We could also use this technology to
enhance one of WebXPRT’s existing AI-themed workloads, such as Organize Album
using AI or Encrypt Notes and OCR Scan.
Other ideas include using
a WebGL-based workload to target GPUs and investigating ways to incorporate a
battery life test. What do you think? Let us know!