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Category: HDXPRT Development Community benefits

Five years later…

Five years ago this month, we started what we then called the HDXPRT Development Community. The first benchmark, HDXPRT 2011, appeared six months later. A LOT has happened since then.

We’ve grown to six benchmarks (HDXPRT, TouchXPRT, WebXPRT, MobileXPRT, BatteryXPRT, and CrXPRT) with plenty of updates. As a result, we had to change the name to the BenchmarkXPRT Development Community, though we’ve come to refer to the benchmarks themselves as the XPRTs.

To tell the world about the XPRTs and the BenchmarkXPRT Development Community, we’ve written over 200 blog entries. We’ve created videos, a training course, infographics, and white papers. We’ve met members of the community at their companies, via webinars, and at trade shows. We’ve quite literally traveled around the world to shows in Las Vegas, Barcelona, Taipei, and Shenzhen.

As a result, the community has grown to about 150 individuals at over 60 companies and organizations. People have downloaded or run the benchmarks over 100,000 times in over 44 countries. The XPRTs have been cited over 3,800 times in a wide variety of websites around the world.

Yes, a lot has happened over these five years.

On behalf of the BenchmarkXPRT team, I want to convey my sincere thanks to all of you for your involvement over these years. I’m really looking forward to what the next five years will look like. We’re just getting started!

HDXPRT 2014 is here!

Today we formally released HDXPRT 2014. The BenchmarkXPRT Development Community has been using a community preview for several weeks now. Now that we’ve released the benchmark, anyone may freely use it.

HDXPRT home screen

HDXPRT 2014 address the most common comments we had about the previous versions. It is a much smaller and faster benchmark. Instead of taking over five hours to get a result, as HDXPRT 2012 did, you can now install the benchmark and get a result in less than 2 hours. Also, because we were able to trim the benchmark size considerably, you can download HDXPRT directly from our site via a compressed install file. See the HDXPRT 2014 User Manual, available in the download and at HDXPRT.com, for installation instructions.

The HDXPRT 2014 source code will soon be available to the community. Remember that community members have access to the source code, but it is not available to the general public.

Although HDXPRT is much smaller and faster than HDXPRT 2013, we worked hard to make sure than we did not compromise the results. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Eric

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The HDXPRT 2013 RFC is here

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.

The RFC is available for Development Community members at http://www.principledtechnologies.com/hdxprt/forum/hdxprt2013RFC.php. Our goal is to get your feedback by March 6. We’d like as much of the feedback as possible to appear on the forums to help stimulate discussion. However, if you prefer to send in your comments via email, please send them to BenchmarkXPRTsupport@hdxprt.com.

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!

Eric

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Straight from the source

One of the pillars of our community model of benchmark development is making the source available.  As we’ve said many times, we believe that doing so leads to better benchmarks.

Today we released the source for HDXPRT 2012. As with previous versions of HDXPRT, the source is available only to community members, not to the general public.  We apologize that it has taken so long. HDXPRT is complicated to build, and we wanted to have a simpler and more robust build process before we made the source available.

The source allows you to examine how HDXPRT is implemented and to try some experiments of your own. Because of the size of HDXPRT 2012, the source package does not include the applications or the data files for the workloads. By including only the benchmark source code and associated files, we could keep the package small enough to download. If you want to try some changes for experiments and test them, all you need to do is install HDXPRT 2012 from the distribution DVDs. The compilation instructions will tell you how to copy your modified executables over the shipping versions.

Community members can get instructions on how to download the source code here (registration required).

If you create something interesting while you’re experimenting, let us know! We’d love to have the community consider it for HDXPRT 2013.

Speaking of the community, we’ve sent T-shirts to all community members who’ve supplied their up-to-date mailing address. If you’re a community member who wants a shirt but hasn’t yet let us know, please e-mail benchmarkxprtsupport@principledtechnologies.com with your mailing address by February 15th.

Eric

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Unchecked ambition

With 10 applications and five scenarios, HDXPRT 2012 is the most ambitious version of HDXPRT ever. However, as we said in the blog post of the same name, There is such a thing as too much. We heard that message from you as well: HDXPRT 2012 is too big. At 11 GB, we can’t make it available for download, and it won’t fit on a single DVD.

It also takes longer to use than many of you would like. The installation takes a couple of hours, and each iteration takes 2 to 3 hours. Because a valid run of HDXPRT 2012 comprises three iterations, getting a single result takes all day.

As we work to reduce the size of HDXPRT 2013, we’re being careful. While we need to shrink the benchmark and its running time, we want to be sure that we don’t compromise its essential value. As part of this process, we’re looking at both the selection of applications and the ways we can reengineer the scenarios.

If you have ideas about HDXPRT 2012 that you haven’t sent yet, now is a good time to do that. We’ll be sending out the HDXPRT 2013 RFC in the next couple of weeks. Once it’s out, we will look forward to hearing your comments.

I also wanted to mention that as we had to cancel CES at the last minute, we’re planning to do a Webinar next week (Tuesday, January 22) to cover the material we planned to present there. We’ll send out an email later this week with more details.

Bill

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There is such a thing as too much

There’s been a lot of excitement about TouchXPRT recently. However, we haven’t been ignoring HDXPRT. On November 9, we released a patch that lets HDXPRT support Windows 8. We’ve now integrated the patch into HDXPRT2012, so all copies of HDXPRT 2012 going forward will install on Windows 8 without the need for a separate step.

As promised, we will be releasing the source code for HDXPRT 2012. We anticipate having it available for community members by December 14.

During the comment period for HDXPRT, this message came through loud and clear: HDXPRT 2012 is too big and takes too long to run. So we are working hard to find the best way to reduce the number of applications and scenarios. While we want to make the benchmark smaller and faster, we want to make sure that HDXPRT 2013 is comprehensive enough to provide useful performance metrics for the greatest number of people.

We’re working toward having an RFC in late January that will define a leaner, meaner HDXPRT 2013, and will reflect the other comments we have as received as well.  If you have thoughts about which applications and scenarios are most important to you, please let us know.

In other news, CES is coming in January, and Principled Technologies will be there! Once again, Bill is hoping to meet with as many of you in the Development Community as possible. We’ll have a suite at the Hilton and would love for you to come, kick back, and talk about HDXPRT, TouchXPRT, the future of benchmarks, or about the cool things you’ve seen at the show. (Bill loves talking about gadgets. Last year, he went into gadget overload!)

If you plan to be at CES, but are stuck working a booth or suite, let us know and Bill will try to stop by and say hi. Drop us an email at hdxrpt_CES@principledtechnologies.com and we will set up an appointment.

Finally, we’re really excited about the big changes at the Principled Technologies Web site. The new Web site gives us a lot of opportunities. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be looking at ways the Development Community can take advantage of them.

Eric

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