In July, we discussed the Chrome OS team’s decision to end support for Chrome apps, and how that will prevent us from publishing any future fixes or updates for CrXPRT 2. We also announced our goal of beginning development of an all-new Chrome OS XPRT benchmark by the end of this year. While we are actively discussing this benchmark and researching workload technologies and scenarios, we don’t foresee releasing a preview build this year.
The good news is that,
in spite of a lack of formal support from the Chrome OS team, the CrXPRT 2
performance and battery life tests currently run without any known issues. We
continue to monitor the status of CrXPRT and will inform our blog readers of
any significant changes.
If you have any questions about CrXPRT, or ideas about the types of features or workloads you’d like to see in a new Chrome OS benchmark, please let us know!
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!
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
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!
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
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!
A few weeks ago, we discussed an error that we’d recently started encountering during the CrXPRT 2 battery life test on systems running Chrome OS v89.x and later.
The error prevents the test from completing and producing a battery life
estimate. CrXPRT stops running its normal workload cycle and produces a “Test
Error” page. The timing of the error can vary from run to run. Sometimes,
CrXPRT stops running after only a few workload iterations, while other times,
the battery life test almost reaches completion before producing the error.
We have seen the error on across multiple brands of Chromebooks running
Chrome OS v89.x and later. To our knowledge, Chromebooks running Chrome OS v88.x
and earlier versions complete the battery life test without issues. We are unaware
of any problems with the CrXPRT 2 performance test.
We’re continuing to investigate this problem. Unfortunately, we have not yet identified the root cause. Without a solution, we are recommending that for now, testers not use the CrXPRT 2 battery life test. We will post this recommendation on CrXPRT.com.
We apologize for the inconvenience that this error is causing CrXPRT 2 testers. As soon as we identify a possible solution, we will share that information here in the blog. If you have any insight into recent Chrome OS changes or flag settings that could be causing this problem, please let us know!
CrXPRT testers may
remember that back around the time that we began the CrXPRT 2 development process, the Chrome team announced that they were
phasing out support for Portable Native Client (PNaCL) in favor of WebAssembly (WASM). As a first step,
they changed the Chrome OS setting that enabled PNaCL by default. At the time,
this caused problems with the Photo Collage workload in CrXPRT 2015, and even
though we identified a workaround, details in the Chrome team’s announcement led us to conclude
that the workaround might stop working in June 2021. Because of this change, we
decided that the best decision would be to remove the workload from CrXPRT
2, and keep existing CrXPRT 2015 testers informed of any changes with the
In 2020, the Chrome
team also announced that they would be phasing out support for Chrome Apps
altogether starting in June 2021, and would shift their focus to Chrome
extensions. This change would have required us to reassess the viability of
CrXPRT in anything like its current form.
We’re happy to report that
the Chrome team has extended support for PNaCL and existing Chrome Apps through
June 2022. Barring further changes, this means that CrXPRT
2015 (with the workaround) and CrXPRT 2 should continue to serve as reliable
Chrome OS evaluation tools for some time.
If you have any questions about CrXPRT 2, please let us know!