When we first released WebXPRT 2013, some users in mainland China reported slow download times when running the benchmark. In response, we set up a mirror host site in Singapore to facilitate WebXPRT testing in China and other East Asian countries. We continued this practice with subsequent WebXPRT versions, and currently offer Singapore-based instances of WebXPRT 4, WebXPRT 3, and WebXPRT 2015.
Until this past month,
we used an Amazon Web Services (AWS) EC2-Classic environment to host the
Singapore mirror site. Because Amazon retired the EC2-Classic environment, we
had to migrate each of the WebXPRT Singapore instances to a new AWS Virtual
Private Cloud (VPC) environment.
We do not expect the new environment to affect WebXPRT Singapore testing or results, and have not yet observed any significant differences in WebXPRT performance scores while testing on the new site. If you have a different experience when testing on the new site or encounter interruptions when trying to access the test, please let us know!
We’re excited to see that users have successfully completed over 1,000,000 WebXPRT runs! If you’ve run WebXPRT in any of the 924 cities and 81 countries from which we’ve received complete test data—including newcomers Bahrain, Bangladesh, Mauritius, The Philippines, and South Korea —we’re grateful for your help. We could not have reached this milestone without you!
As the chart below illustrates, WebXPRT use has grown steadily since the debut of WebXPRT 2013. On average, we now record more WebXPRT runs in one month than we recorded in the entirety of our first year. With over 104,000 runs so far in 2022, that growth is continuing.
For us, this moment represents more than a numerical milestone. Developing and maintaining a benchmark is never easy, and a cross-platform benchmark that will run on a wide variety of devices poses an additional set of challenges. For such a benchmark to succeed, developers need not only technical competency, but the trust and support of the benchmarking community. WebXPRT is now in its ninth year, and its consistent year-over-year growth tells us that the benchmark continues to hold value for manufacturers, OEM labs, the tech press, and end users like you. We see it as a sign of trust that folks repeatedly return to the benchmark for reliable performance metrics. We’re grateful for that trust, and for everyone that’s contributed to the WebXPRT development process throughout the years.
We’ll have more to share related to this exciting milestone in the weeks to come, so stay tuned to the blog. If you have any questions or comments about WebXPRT, we’d love to hear from you!
We’re excited to see
that users have successfully completed over 750,000 WebXPRT runs! If you’ve run WebXPRT in any of the more than 654 cities
and 68 countries from which we’ve received complete test data—including
newcomers Belize, Cambodia, Croatia, and Pakistan—we’re grateful for your help.
We could not have reached this milestone without you!
As the chart below illustrates, WebXPRT use has grown steadily over the years. We now record, on average, almost twice as many WebXPRT runs in one month as we recorded in the entirety of our first year. In addition, with over 82,000 runs to date in 2021, there are no signs that growth is slowing.
Developing a new
benchmark is never easy, and the obstacles multiply when you attempt to create
a cross-platform benchmark, such as WebXPRT, that will run on a wide variety of
devices. Establishing trust with the benchmarking community is another
challenge. Transparency, consistency, and technical competency on our part are critical
factors in building that trust, but the people who take time out of their busy
schedules to run the benchmark for the first time also play a role. We thank
all of the manufacturers, OEM labs, and members of the tech press who decided
to give WebXPRT a try, and we look forward to your input as we continue to improve WebXPRT in the years to come.
If you have any
questions or comments about WebXPRT, we’d love to hear from you!
At over 412,000 runs and counting, WebXPRT is our most popular benchmark. From the first release in 2013, it’s been popular with device manufacturers, developers, tech journalists, and consumers because it’s easy to run, it runs on almost anything with a web browser, and it evaluates device performance using the types of web-based tasks that people are likely to encounter on a daily basis.
With each new version of WebXPRT, we analyze browser development trends to make sure the test’s underlying web technologies and workload scenarios adequately reflect the ways people are using their browsers to work and play. BenchmarkXPRT Development Community members can play an important part in that process by sending us feedback on existing tests and suggestions for new workloads to include.
For example, when we released WebXPRT 3, we updated the photo workloads with new images and a deep learning task used for image classification. We also added an optical character recognition task in the Encrypt Notes and OCR scan workload, and combined part of the DNA Sequence Analysis scenario with a writing sample/spell check scenario to simulate online homework in an all-new Online Homework workload.
Consider for a moment what an ideal future version of WebXPRT would look like for you. Are there new web technologies or workload scenarios that you would like to see? Would you be interested in an associated battery life test? Should we include experimental tests? We’re interested in what you have to say, so please feel free to contact us with your thoughts or questions.
If you’re just now learning about WebXPRT, we offer several resources to help you better understand the benchmark and its range of uses. For a general overview of why WebXPRT matters, watch our video titled What is WebXPRT and why should I care? To read more about the details of the benchmark’s development and structure, check out the Exploring WebXPRT 3 white paper. To see WebXPRT 2015 and WebXPRT 3 scores from a wide range of processors, visit the WebXPRT 3 Processor Comparison Chart.
We’re excited to see that users have successfully completed over 250,000 WebXPRT runs! From the original WebXPRT 2013 to the most recent version, WebXPRT 3, this tool has been popular with manufacturers, developers, consumers, and media outlets around the world because it’s easy to run, it runs quickly and on a wide variety of platforms, and it evaluates device performance using real-world tasks.
If you’ve run WebXPRT in any of the more than 458 cities and 64 countries from which we’ve received complete test data—including newcomers Lithuania, Luxembourg, Sweden, and Uruguay—we’re grateful for your help in reaching this milestone. Here’s to another quarter-million runs!
If you haven’t yet transitioned your browser testing to WebXPRT 3, now is a great time to give it a try! WebXPRT 3 includes updated photo workloads with new images and a deep learning task used for image classification. It also uses an optical character recognition task in the Encrypt Notes and OCR scan workload and combines part of the DNA Sequence Analysis scenario with a writing sample/spell check scenario to simulate online homework in the new Online Homework workload. Users carry out tasks like these on their browsers daily, making these workloads very effective for assessing how well a device will perform in the real world.
Happy testing to everyone, and if you have any questions about WebXPRT 3 or the XPRTs in general, feel free to ask!
Recently, a tester wrote in and asked for help determining why they were seeing different WebXPRT scores on two tablets with the same hardware configuration. The scores differed by approximately 7.5 percent. This can happen for many reasons, including different software stacks, but score variability can also result from different testing behavior and environments. While some degree of variability is natural, the question provides us with a great opportunity to talk about the basic benchmarking practices we follow in the XPRT lab, practices that contribute to the most consistent and reliable scores.
Below, we list a few basic best practices you might find useful in your testing. While they’re largely in the context of the WebXPRT focus on evaluating browser performance, several of these practices apply to other benchmarks as well.
Test with clean images: We use an out-of-box (OOB) method for testing XPRT Spotlight devices. OOB testing means that other than initial OS and browser version updates that users are likely to run after first turning on the device, we change as little as possible before testing. We want to assess the performance that buyers are likely to see when they first purchase the device, before installing additional apps and utilities. This is the best way to provide an accurate assessment of the performance retail buyers will experience. While OOB is not appropriate for certain types of testing, the key is to not test a device that’s bogged down with programs that influence results unnecessarily.
Turn off updates: We do our best to eliminate or minimize app and system updates after initial setup. Some vendors are making it more difficult to turn off updates completely, but you should always account for update settings.
Get a feel for system processes: Depending on the system and the OS, quite a lot of system-level activity can be going on in the background after you turn it on. As much as possible, we like to wait for a stable baseline (idle) of system activity before kicking off a test. If we start testing immediately after booting the system, we often see higher variability in the first run before the scores start to tighten up.
Disclosure is not just about hardware: Most people know that different browsers will produce different performance scores on the same system. However, testers aren’t always aware of shifts in performance between different versions of the same browser. While most updates don’t have a large impact on performance, a few updates have increased (or even decreased) browser performance by a significant amount. For this reason, it’s always worthwhile to record and disclose the extended browser version number for each test run. The same principle applies to any other relevant software.
Use more than one data point: Because of natural variability, our standard practice in the XPRT lab is to publish a score that represents the median from at least three to five runs. If you run a benchmark only once, and the score differs significantly from other published scores, your result could be an outlier that you would not see again under stable testing conditions.
We hope those tips will make testing a little easier for you. If you have any questions about the XPRTs, or about benchmarking in general, feel free to ask!