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Category: Browser-based benchmarks

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

Helpful tips for WebXPRT 4 results submission

Back in March, we discussed the WebXPRT 4 results submission process and reminded readers that everyone who runs a WebXPRT 4 test is welcome to submit scores for us to consider for publication in the WebXPRT 4 results viewer. Unlike sites that publish every result that users submit, we publish only results that meet our evaluation criteria. Among other things, scores must be consistent with general expectations and must include enough detailed system information to help us assess whether individual scores represent valid test runs. Today, we offer a couple of tips to increase the likelihood that we will publish your WebXPRT 4 test results.

Tip 1: Specify your system’s processor

While testers usually include detailed information for the device, model number, operating system, and browser version fields, we receive many submissions with little to no information about the test system’s processor.

In the picture below, you can see an example of the level of detail that we require to consider a submission. We need the full processor name, including the manufacturer and model number (e.g., Intel Core i9-9980HK, AMD Ryzen 3 1300X, or Apple M1 Max). Note that we do not require the processor speed reported by the system.

Tip 2: Include a valid email address

It is also common for submissions to not include a valid email address. While we understand the privacy concerns related to submitting a personal or corporate email address, we need a valid address that we can use as a point of contact to confirm test-related information when necessary. We don’t use those addresses for any other purposes, such as selling them, sharing them with any third parties, or adding them to a mailing list.

We hope this information explains why we might not have published your results. We look forward to receiving your future score submissions. If you have any questions about the submission process, please let us know!

Justin

CrXPRT 2 on FydeOS!

Recently, a tester contacted us with details from a CrXPRT 2 performance test run that they’d successfully completed on… an Apple MacBook Pro! Because CrXPRT 2 is a Chrome Web App that we designed for Chrome OS, it was quite a surprise to hear that it is now possible to run CrXPRT 2 on non-Chrome OS platforms by using FydeOS.

FydeOS is an operating system based on a fork of the Chromium OS project. Developers originally intended FydeOS to be a Google-independent, Chrome-like alternative for the Chinese educational market, but FydeOS is now available to the English-speaking consumer and enterprise markets as well. FydeOS users can run a Chrome-like OS on something other than a Chromebook or a Chromebox, such as a PC, Mac, virtual machine, or even a Raspberry Pi device. Additionally, FydeOS supports Android, Chrome OS, and Linux apps, and users can run those apps at the same time on the same screen.

We have not yet conducted any testing with FydeOS in our lab, but we wanted to pass along this information to any readers who may be interested. If the OS operates as described, it may provide a way for us to experiment with using CrXPRT 2 in some interesting cross-platform tests.

Justin

A great start for WebXPRT 4!

WebXPRT 4 has been available to testers since the end of December, and we’re excited to see that the benchmark is already gaining significant traction in the tech press and testing communities. Several tech publications have already published reviews that feature WebXPRT results, and the number of WebXPRT 4 runs is growing by about fifty percent each month, more than twice the rate of growth for WebXPRT 3 after launch.

As WebXPRT 4 use continues to grow, and more tech publications and OEM labs add WebXPRT 4 to their benchmark suites, we encourage you to keep an eye on the WebXPRT 4 results viewer. The viewer currently has about 120 test results, and we’ll continue to populate the viewer with the latest PT-curated WebXPRT 4 results each week.

You don’t have to be a tech journalist to publish a WebXPRT 4 result, however. We publish any results—including individual user submissions—that meet our evaluation criteria. To submit a result for publication consideration, simply follow the straightforward submission instructions after the test completes. Scores must be consistent with general expectations and must include enough detailed system information that we can determine whether the score makes sense. If you’ve tested with WebXPRT 4 on a new device, or any device or device configuration that’s not already present in the results viewer, we encourage you to send in the result. We want to hear from you!

Justin

Using WebXPRT 4 to compare the performance of popular browsers

From time to time, we like to run a series of in-house WebXPRT comparison tests to see if recent updates have changed the performance rankings of popular web browsers. We published our most recent comparison last October, when we used WebXPRT 3 to compare Windows 10 and Windows 11 browser performance on the same system. Now that WebXPRT 4 is live, it’s time to update our comparison series with the newest member of the XPRT family.

For this round of tests, we used a Dell XPS 13 7930, which features an Intel Core i3-10110U processor and 4 GB of RAM, running Windows 11 Home updated to version 21H2 (22000.593). 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 4 three times each across five browsers: Brave, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera. The posted score for each browser is the median of the three test runs.

In our previous round of tests with WebXPRT 3, Google Chrome narrowly beat out Firefox in Windows 10 and Windows 11 testing, but the scores among three of the Chromium-based browsers (Chrome, Edge, and Opera) were close enough that most users performing common daily tasks would be unlikely to notice a difference. Brave performance lagged by about 7 percent, a difference that may be noticeable to most users. This time, when testing updated versions of the browsers with WebXPRT 4 on Windows 11, the rankings changed. Edge was the clear winner, with a 2.2 percent performance advantage over Chrome. Firefox came in last, about 3 percent slower than Opera, which was in the middle of the pack. Performance from Brave improved to the point that it was no longer lagging the other Chromium-based browsers.

Do these results mean that Microsoft Edge will always provide you with a speedier web experience? 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 in part on 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 11 and Chrome on Chrome OS. All these variables are important to keep in mind when considering how WebXPRT 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!

Justin

Chrome OS support for CrXPRT apps ends in June 2022

Last March, we discussed the Chrome OS team’s original announcement that they would be phasing out support for Chrome Apps altogether in June 2021, and would shift their focus to Chrome extensions and Progressive Web Apps. The Chrome OS team eventually extended support for existing Chrome Apps through June 2022, but as of this week, we see no indication that they will further extend support for Chrome Apps published with general developer accounts. If the end-of-life schedule for Chrome Apps does not change in the next few months, both CrXPRT 2 and CrXPRT 2015 will stop working on new versions of Chrome OS at some point in June.

To maintain CrXPRT functionality past June, we would need to rebuild the app completely—either as a Progressive Web App or in some other form. For this reason, we want to reassess our approach to Chrome OS testing, and investigate which features and technologies to include in a new Chrome OS benchmark. Our current goal is to gather feedback and conduct exploratory research over the next few months, and begin developing an all-new Chrome OS benchmark for publication by the end of the year.

While we will discuss ideas for this new Chrome OS benchmark in future blog posts, we welcome ideas from CrXPRT users now. What features or workloads would you like the new benchmark to retain? Would you like us to remove any components from the existing benchmark? Does the battery life test in its current form suit your needs? If you have any thoughts about these questions or any other aspects of Chrome OS benchmarking, please let us know!

Justin

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