Last week, we released MobileXPRT 2013 to the public and published it as a free app on Google Play. On Monday, we will release the source code to the community. It hasn’t been long since we released the source code for MobileXPRT CP 1.1, but it’s an important part of the community model that the source for the current version is available to the community.
While we were putting the finishing touches on MobileXPRT, we’ve been hard at work on HDXPRT 2013. The feedback on HDXPRT made it clear that the benchmark should be smaller, faster, and easier to install. We have been working to keep all the value of the benchmark, and update the workloads to reflect current usage, even as we slim it down.
Speaking of HDXPRT, as we mentioned in The show is in previews, HDXPRT 2012 has issues running on Windows 8.1. However, we have had some success getting HDXPRT to run on Windows 8.1 by using beta drivers from Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA. We are still investigating this, and hope to have a general workaround for this soon.
There’s lots more stuff in the pipeline. Exciting times ahead!
There’s a lot going on in the world of the XPRTs. We’re working on HDXPRT 2013, writing white papers, building up our results database, and thinking ahead to the next versions of TouchXPRT and WebXPRT. At the same time, we are giving quite a bit of attention to PhoneXPRT.
As we said in the PhoneXPRT press release last month, PhoneXPRT will use the same kinds of realistic scenarios the other XPRT benchmarks do. These scenarios include tasks that people perform on phones as well as other mobile devices.
We’ve gone back and forth on the seemingly simple question of how to define what a phone is. At one point, defining a phone as a mobile device that you put to your ear seemed to suffice. As phones grow larger and tablets smaller, that doesn’t really hold up.
We also have a decent bit of interest in using the benchmark on Android-based tablets as well as phones. That seems like a good idea to us, as we are all for getting the most out of any benchmark.
One issue, however, is that PhoneXPRT is not a great name for a benchmark that may be commonly used on devices other than phones. So we’ve started thinking about what else we could call it.
As always, we look to the community. Do you think calling the benchmark PhoneXPRT would limit its usefulness for benchmarking tablets? Do you have any ideas for more inclusive names? We really need your feedback here and look forward to getting it. Please send suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org or post your comments in the forum. Thanks!
As we mentioned last week, the Samsung debuted the Galaxy S4 this past week. It seems to have hit all the expectations – including eye-scrolling. Looking at the reviews, it’s somewhere between the greatest phone ever made and something not quite as good as the iPhone. I’m looking forward to seeing one for myself and hoping someone submits a WebXPRT score for it soon.
We’ll be releasing the HDXPRT 2013 design document tomorrow. As we’ve said, the number one comment has been that HDXPRT 2012 is too big and takes too long to run. We have put a lot of thought into how to trim HDXPRT 2013 and still keep the essential value of the benchmark. We’ve also received some other good feedback that we’re incorporating, such as making installing and running HDXPRT scriptable.
We’ve been doing some investigation during the RFC period, and we’ve encountered problems scripting some of the applications, notably iTunes and PowerDirector. We’re working to overcome these problems but if they prove to be insurmountable, we might have to change the list of applications.
Again, thanks to everyone who commented on the HDXPRT 2013 RFC.
We’ve learned that some WebXPRT users in mainland China are having problems with very slow downloads. The good news is that results from the runs are valid. However, we understand that this is frustrating and are investigating solutions. If you are in China and have experienced slow downloads, please send an e-mail to email@example.com. We would like your help in evaluating any solutions we come up with.
Speaking of WebXPRT, over the next few weeks we’ll be releasing several white papers that look at WebXPRT results in more depth. The first paper will explain the WebXPRT confidence interval and how it relates to run to run variability, which has been confusing to a number of people. The second paper will look at the effect on the browser on WebXPRT scores. The third paper will look at the influence of the operating system.
I’m writing this on the morning of one of the most anticipated events in tech, Samsung’s rollout of the new Galaxy S4 phone. There have been many leaks, and it will be interesting to see how many are true. One feature generating buzz would let you scroll just by moving your eyes. Samsung filed for the patent, but there are conflicting reports about whether eye scrolling made it into the Galaxy S4.
The leaked reports say that the U.S. version of the Galaxy S4 will use Qualcomm Inc.’s quad-core chip, while versions for other markets will use Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa-core chip. As we continue development of PhoneXPRT, I will be very interested to see how the different processors stack up performance wise.
For browser-level performance, WebXPRT 2013 is available today. If you get a new Galaxy S4, try out WebXPRT 2013 on it. As it says on the WebXPRT.com page, your run is confidential. However, anyone who shares a Galaxy S4 score in the next week gets a free t-shirt (until they are gone). You can tag BenchmarkXPRT on a Facebook post, use the hashtag #WebXPRT on Twitter, or email us at BenchmarkXPRTsupport@principledtechnologies.com.
In other news, the HDXPRT 2013 comment period has ended and we’re working on the design document. We’ll be sharing that with the community next week. If you have comments you haven’t sent in, please do so, and we’ll try to address them in the design document.
Last week was possibly our biggest week ever. We announced PhoneXPRT, a new benchmark for evaluating the performance of smartphones, and released TouchXPRT 2013 and WebXPRT 2013 to the general public.
Since then, there’s been a lot of interest. The numbers keep going up! We’re not just talking about page views – people are downloading TouchXPRT and lots of people are running WebXPRT.
People have also been downloading the TouchXPRT source, which is very exciting. We strongly encourage community members to look at how the benchmark is put together. If you have programming skills and want to submit code, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!
Oh, and there’s a new video! This one introduces WebXPRT to the public. It gives a good idea of the range of devices WebXPRT will run on.
That’s a lot for one week. We’re not resting on our laurels, though. Obviously, we’re working on PhoneXPRT. However, let’s not forget about HDXPRT. The comment period for HDXPRT 2013 officially closed on March 6 and we are starting to work on the HDXPRT 2013 design document. If you have any feedback you haven’t sent, please do send it on. We’ll do our best to incorporate it into the design document.
We released the RFC, or request for comments, for HDXPRT 2013 yesterday. Our major objective with the RFC is to get your feedback. Your feedback played an important part in developing HDXPRT 2012, and we are hoping it plays an even larger role in developing HDXPRT 2013.
The RFC includes our thoughts and ideas for the design of HDXPRT 2013 based on the many conversations we’ve had over the six months since the current version of HDXPRT debuted. Indeed, during the last few weeks, we shared some of the feedback we received during and after the Webinar in January.
At this point, nothing is written in stone. Now is the time to let us know where you agree and where you disagree. For example, the current proposal drops support for Windows 7. Do you have an opinion about this? Let us know.
Of course, you can send comments to us any time, and you don’t have to limit yourself to HDXPRT! Do you have thoughts about TouchXPRT or WebXPRT? They are both moving rapidly toward their official releases. Do you have thoughts about other benchmarks we should consider developing? Send those, too!