The biggest shopping
days of the year are fast approaching, and if you’re researching phones,
tablets, Chromebooks, or laptops in preparation for Black Friday and Cyber
Monday sales, the XPRTs can help! One of the core functions of the XPRTs is to
help cut through all the marketing noise by providing objective, reliable
measures of a device’s performance. For example, instead of trying to guess
whether a new Chromebook is fast enough to handle the demands of remote
learning, you can use its CrXPRT and WebXPRT performance scores to see how it stacks up against the
competition when handling everyday tasks.
A good place to start your
search for scores is our XPRT results browser. The browser is the most efficient way to access the XPRT
results database, which currently holds more than 2,600 test results from over 100
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 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 someone has already published an XPRT
score for that device in a recent tech review. The quickest way to find these
reviews is by searching for “XPRT” within your favorite tech review site, or by
entering the device name and XPRT name (e.g. “Apple iPad” and “WebXPRT”) in a
search engine. Here are a few recent tech reviews that use one or more of the
XPRTs to evaluate a popular device:
The XPRTs can help consumers make better-informed and more confident tech purchases this holiday season, and 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!
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!
Last month, we announced that we’re working on
a new AIXPRT learning tool. Because we want tech journalists, OEM lab
engineers, and everyone who is interested in AIXPRT to be able to find the
answers they need in as little time as possible, we’re designing this tool to serve
as an information hub for common AIXPRT topics and questions.
We’re still finalizing
aspects of the tool’s content and design, so some details may change, but we
can now share a sneak peak of the main landing page. In the screenshot below,
you can see that the tool will feature four primary areas of content:
The FAQ section will provide quick answers to the questions we
receive most from testers and the tech press.
The AIXPRT basics section will describe specific topics such as the
benchmark’s toolkits, networks, workloads, and hardware and software
The testing and results section will cover the testing process,
the metrics the benchmark produces, and how to publish results.
The AI/ML primer will provide brief, easy-to-understand definitions
of key AI and ML terms and concepts for those who want to learn more about the
We’re excited about the new AIXPRT learning tool, and will share more information here in the blog as we get closer to a release date. If you have any questions about the tool, please let us know!
In addition to
providing practical information about the installation package and minimum
system requirements for the data analytics workload, the paper will describe
test configuration variables, structural components, task workflows, and test
metrics. It will also include guidance on interpreting test results and submitting
them for publication.
As we’ve noted, CloudXPRT is one of the more complex tools in the XPRT family,
with no shortage of topics to explore. Possible future topics include the
impact of adjusting specific test configuration options, recommendations for
results reporting, and methods for results analysis. If there are specific
topics that you’d like us to address in future white papers, please feel free
to send us your ideas!
We hope that the
upcoming Overview of the CloudXPRT Data Analytics Workload paper
will serve as a go-to resource for CloudXPRT testers, and will answer any
questions you have about the workload. Once it goes live, we’ll provide links
in the Helpful Info box on CloudXPRT.com and the CloudXPRT section of our XPRT white papers page.
This week, we’re sharing news on two topics that we’ve discussed
here in the blog over the past several months: CloudXPRT v1.01 and a potential
AIXPRT OpenVINO update.
Last week, we announced that we were very close to releasing an
updated CloudXPRT build (v1.01) with two minor bug fixes, an improved post-test
results processing script, and an adjustment to one of our test configuration
recommendations. Our testing and prep is complete, and the new version is live
in the CloudXPRT GitHub repository and on our site!
None of the v1.01
changes affect performance or test results, so scores from the new build are
comparable to those from previous CloudXPRT builds. If you’d like to know more
about the changes, take a look at last week’s blog post.
The AIXPRT OpenVINO
In late July, we discussed our plans to update the AIXPRT OpenVINO packages
with OpenVINO 2020.3 Long-Term Support (LTS). While there are no
known problems with the existing AIXPRT OpenVINO package, the LTS version
targets environments that benefit from maximum stability and don’t require a
constant stream of new tools and feature changes, so we thought it would be
well suited for a benchmark like AIXPRT.
We initially believed that
the update process would be relatively simple, and we’d be able to release a
new AIXPRT OpenVINO package in September. However, we’ve discovered that the
process is involved enough to require substantial low-level recoding. At this
time, it’s difficult to estimate when the updated build will be ready for
release. For any testers looking forward to the update, we apologize for the
If you have any questions or comments about
these or any other XPRT-related topics, please let us know!
We want to let CloudXPRT testers know that we’re close to
releasing an updated version (build 1.01) with two minor bug fixes, an improved
post-test results processing script, and an adjustment to one of our test
configuration recommendations. None of these changes will affect performance or
test results, so scores from previous CloudXPRT builds will be comparable to
those from the new build.
The most significant changes in CloudXPRT build 1.01 are as
In previous builds, some testers encountered warnings during setup to update the version of Kubernetes Operations (kops) when testing on public-cloud platforms (the CloudXPRT 1.00 recommendation is kops version 1.16.0). We are adjusing the kops installation instructions in the setup instructions for the web microservices and data analytics workloads to prevent these warnings.
In previous builds, post-test cleanup instructions for public-cloud testing environments do not always delete all of the resources that CloudXPRT creates during setup. We are updating instructions to ensure a more thorough cleanup process. This change applies to test instructions for the web microservices and data analytics workloads.
We are reformatting the optional results graphs the web microservices postprocess program creates to make them easier to interpret.
In previous builds, the recommended time interval for the web-microservices workload is 120 seconds if the hpamode option is enabled and 60 seconds if it is disabled. Because we’ve found that the 60-second difference has no significant impact on test results, we are changing the recommendation to 60 seconds for both hpamode settings.
We hope these changes
will improve the CloudXPRT setup and testing experience. We haven’t set the
release date for the updated build yet, but when we do, we’ll announce it here
in the blog. If you have any questions about CloudXPRT, or would like to report
bugs or other issues, please feel free to contact us!