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Category: HDXPRT 4

Planning for the next TouchXPRT

We’re in the very early planning stages for the next version of TouchXPRT, and we’d love to hear any suggestions you may have. What do you like or dislike about TouchXPRT? What features do you hope to see in a new version?

For those who are unfamiliar with TouchXPRT, it’s a benchmark for evaluating the performance of Windows 10 devices. TouchXPRT 2016, the most recent version, runs tests based on five everyday scenarios (Beautify Photos, Blend Photos, Convert Videos for Sharing, Create Music Podcast, and Create Slideshow from Photos) and produces results for each of the five scenarios plus an overall score. The benchmark is available two ways: as a Universal Windows App in the Microsoft Store and as a sideload installer package on TouchXPRT.com.

When we begin work on a new version of any benchmark, one of the first steps we take is to assess its workloads to determine whether they will provide value during the years ahead. This step involves evaluating whether to update test content such as photos and videos to more contemporary file resolutions and sizes, and can also involve removing workloads or adding completely new ones. Should we keep the TouchXPRT workloads listed above or investigate other use cases? Should we research potential AI-related workloads? What do you think?

As we did with MobileXPRT 3 and HDXPRT 4 earlier this year, we’re also planning to update the TouchXPRT UI to improve the look of the benchmark and make it easier to use. We’re just at the beginning of this process, so any feedback you send has a chance to really shape the future of the benchmark.

On a related note, TouchXPRT 2016 testers who use the installer package available on TouchXPRT.com may have noticed that the package has a new file name (TX2016.6.52.0_8.19.19.zip). Microsoft requires developers to assign a security certificate to all sideload apps, and the new TouchXPRT file contains a refreshed certificate. We did not change the benchmark in any other way, so scores from this package are comparable to previous TouchXPRT 2016 scores.

Justin

A new HDXPRT 4 build is available!

A few weeks ago, we announced that a new HDXPRT 4 build, v1.1, was on the way. This past Monday, we published the build on HDXPRT.com.

The new build includes an updated version of HandBrake, the commercial application that HDXPRT uses for certain video conversion tasks. HandBrake 1.2.2 supports hardware acceleration with AMD Video Coding Engine (VCE), Intel Quick Sync, and the NVIDIA video encoder (NVENC). By default, HDXPRT4 v1.1 uses the encoder available through a system’s integrated graphics, but testers can target discrete graphics by changing a configuration file flag before running the benchmark. HDXPRT will then use the encoder provided by the discrete graphics hardware. This configuration setting takes effect only when more than one of the supported encoders (VCE, QSV, or NVENC) is present on the system.

As we mentioned before, in all other respects, the benchmark has not changed. That means that, apart from a scenario where a tester changes the targeted graphics hardware, scores from previous HDXPRT 4 builds will be comparable to those from the new build.

The updated HDXPRT 4 User Manual contains additional information and instructions for changing the configuration file flag. Please contact us if you have any questions about the new build. Happy testing!

Justin

An updated HDXPRT 4 build is on the way

HandBrake recently released a new version, v1.2.2, of their video conversion software. Among other improvements, the new version includes support for certain AMD (VCE) and NVIDIA (NVENC) hardware-accelerated video encoders. Because we include HandBrake as one of the commercial applications in the HDXPRT installer package, and because we want to keep HDXPRT 4 up-to-date for testers, we’ve put together a new HDXPRT 4 build: v1.1.  It includes HandBrake 1.2.2’s new capabilities, and we’re currently testing it in the lab.

With the new build, testers will be able to choose whether HDXPRT’s HandBrake tasks target a system’s integrated or discrete graphics cards by changing a flag called “UseIntegrated” in the config file. In HDXPRT 4 v1.1, the flag is set to “true” by default, directing HandBrake to use the codec provided by the system’s integrated graphics hardware. On the other hand, if a system has both integrated and discrete graphics available, and a user sets the flag to “false,” HandBrake will use the codec provided by the discrete graphics.

This update allows users to compare the video conversion performance of different video codecs on the same system. In all other respects, the benchmark has not changed. So apart from a scenario where a tester changes the targeted graphics hardware, scores from previous HDXPRT 4 builds will be comparable to those from the new build.

We’ll let the community know as soon as the new build is available, and we’ll update the HDXPRT 4 User Manual to reflect the changes.

If you have any questions about the upcoming HDXPRT 4 build, please let us know!

Justin

Principled Technologies and the BenchmarkXPRT Development Community release HDXPRT 4, a benchmark designed to show how well Windows devices handle real-world media tasks

Durham, NC, February 25 — Principled Technologies and the BenchmarkXPRT Development Community have released HDXPRT 4, a free benchmark that gives objective information about how well Windows 10 devices handle common media-creation tasks. HDXPRT 4 uses real commercial applications, like Photoshop and MediaEspresso, to perform tasks based on three everyday scenarios: photo editing, video conversion, and music editing. After the test is finished, the tool provides an overall measure by generating a single performance score. Anyone can go to HDXPRT.com to compare existing performance results on a variety of devices, or to download the app for themselves.

“When we started working on HDXPRT 4, we knew we wanted to create a benchmark that accurately reflects the kind of work average consumers do when creating content on their PCs,” said Bill Catchings, co-founder of Principled Technologies, which administers the BenchmarkXPRT Development Community. “HDXPRT delivers clear results that make sense to the wide audience of buyers shopping for new Windows systems.”

HDXPRT is part of the BenchmarkXPRT suite of performance evaluation tools, which includes WebXPRT, MobileXPRT, TouchXPRT, CrXPRT, and BatteryXPRT. The XPRTs help users get the facts before they buy, use, or evaluate tech products such as computers, tablets, and phones.

To learn more about the BenchmarkXPRT Development Community, go to www.BenchmarkXPRT.com.

About Principled Technologies, Inc.
Principled Technologies, Inc. is a leading provider of technology marketing, as well as learning and development services. It administers the BenchmarkXPRT Development Community.

Principled Technologies, Inc. is located in Durham, North Carolina, USA. For more information, please visit www.PrincipledTechnologies.com.

Company Contact
Justin Greene
BenchmarkXPRT Development Community
Principled Technologies, Inc.
1007 Slater Road, Ste. 300
Durham, NC 27704

BenchmarkXPRTsupport@PrincipledTechnologies.com

HDXPRT 4 is here!

We’re excited to announce that HDXPRT 4 is now available to the public! Just like previous versions of HDXPRT, HDXPRT 4 uses trial versions of commercial applications to complete real-world media tasks. The HDXPRT 4 installation package includes installers for some of those programs, such as Audacity and HandBrake. For other programs, such as Adobe Photoshop Elements and CyberLink Media Espresso, users will need to download the necessary installers prior to testing by using the links and instructions in the HDXPRT 4 User Manual.

In addition to the editing photos, editing music, and converting videos workloads from prior versions of the benchmark, HDXPRT 4 includes two new Photoshop Elements scenarios. The first utilizes an AI tool that corrects closed eyes in photos, and the second creates a single panoramic photo from seven separate photos.

HDXPRT 4 is compatible with systems running Windows 10, and is available for download at HDXPRT.com. The installation package is about 4.8 GB, so the download may take several minutes. The setup process takes about 30 minutes on most computers, and a standard test run takes approximately an hour.

After trying out HDXPRT 4, please submit your scores here and send any comments to BenchmarkXPRTsupport@principledtechnologies.com. To see test results from a variety of systems, go to HDXPRT.com and click View Results, where you’ll find scores from a variety of devices. We look forward to seeing your results!

Out with the old, and in with the new

What we now know as the BenchmarkXPRT Development Community started many years ago as the HDXPRT Development Community forum. At the time, the community was much smaller, and HDXPRT was our only benchmark. When a member wanted to run the benchmark, they submitted a request, and then received an installation DVD in the mail.

With hundreds of members, more than a half dozen active benchmarks, and the online availability of all our tools, the current community is a much different organization. Instead of the original forum, most of our interaction with members takes place through the blog, the monthly newsletter, direct email, and our social media accounts. Because of the way the community has changed, and because the original forum is no longer very active, we believe that the time and resources that we devote to maintaining the forum could be better spent on building and maintaining other community assets. To that end, we’ve decided to end support for the original BenchmarkXPRT forum.

As always, community members’ voices are an important consideration in what we do. If you have any questions or concerns about the decision to close down the original forum, please let us know as soon as possible.

On another note, we want to thank the community members who’ve participated in the HDXPRT 4 Community Preview. Testing has gone well, and we’re planning to release HDXPRT 4 to the public towards the end of next week!

Justin

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