We’ve designed each of the XPRT benchmarks to assess the performance of specific types of devices in scenarios that mirror the ways consumers typically use those devices. While most XPRT benchmark users are interested in producing official overall scores, some members of the tech press have been using the XPRTs in unconventional, creative ways.
One example is the use
by Tweakers, a popular tech
review site based in The Netherlands. (The site is in Dutch, so the Google
Translate extension in Chrome was helpful for me.) As Tweakers uses WebXPRT to
evaluate all kinds of consumer hardware, they also measure the sound output of each
device. Tweakers then publishes the LAeq metric for each device,
giving readers a sense of how loud a system may be, on average, while it
performs common browser tasks.
Other labs and tech
publications have also used the XPRTs in unusual ways such as automating the
benchmarks to run during screen burn-in tests or custom battery-life rundowns. If
you’ve used any of the XPRT benchmarks in creative ways, please let us know!
We are interested in learning more about your tests, and your experiences may
provide helpful information that we can share with other XPRT users.
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!
Tom’s Guide published an interesting article
about how they used ChromeOS Flex to turn a
ten-year-old Apple MacBook Pro into a functioning Chromebook by replacing the
laptop’s macOS operating system with ChromeOS. ChromeOS Flex is a free Google
tool that allows users to create a bootable USB drive that they can then use to
install ChromeOS on a wide variety
of hardware platforms that traditionally run other operating systems such as
macOS or Windows. Because ChromeOS is a cloud-first, relatively low-overhead
operating system, the ChromeOS Flex option could breathe new life into an old
laptop that you have lying around.
Never having encountered a MacBook Pro with ChromeOS, we were interested to learn about Tom’s experience running XPRT benchmarks in this new environment.WebXPRT 4, WebXPRT 3, and the CrXPRT 2 performance test apparently ran without any issues, but we have not yet seen a CrXPRT 2 battery life result from a ChromeOS Flex environment. We plan to experiment with this soon.
were happy to publish the results on our site, and will consider any ChromeOS
Flex results we receive for publication. If you submit results from ChromeOS
Flex testing, we ask that you use the “Additional information” field in the
results submission form to clarify that you ran the tests in a ChromeOS Flex
environment. This will prevent any possible confusion when we see a submission
that lists a traditional macOS or Windows hardware platform along with a
ChromeOS version number.
Do you have experience running CrXPRT or WebXPRT with ChromeOS Flex? We’d love to hear about it!
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!
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.
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!