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Category: Windows 11

HDXPRT: See how your Windows PC handles real-world media tasks

Many of our blog readers first encountered the XPRTs when reading about a specific benchmark, such as WebXPRT, in a device review. Because these folks might be unfamiliar with our other benchmarks, we like to occasionally “reintroduce” individual XPRTs. This week, we invite you to get to know HDXPRT.

HDXPRT, which stands for High-Definition Experience & Performance Ratings Test, was the first benchmark published by the HDXPRT Development Community, which later became the BenchmarkXPRT Development Community. HDXPRT 4, the latest version, evaluates the performance of Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices while handling real-world media tasks such as photo editing, video conversion, and music editing. HDXPRT uses real commercial applications, such Photoshop and MediaEspresso, to complete its workloads. The benchmark then produces easy-to-understand results that are relevant to buyers shopping for new Windows systems.

The HDXPRT 4 setup process takes about 30 minutes on most systems. The length of the test can vary significantly depending on the speed of the system, but for most PCs that are less than a few years old, a full three-iteration test cycle takes under two hours.

HDXPRT is a useful tool for anyone who wants to evaluate the real-world, content-creation capabilities of a Windows PC. To see test scores from a variety of Windows devices, go to HDXPRT.com and click View Results.

Want to run HDXPRT?

Download HDXPRT from HDXPRT.com. The HDXPRT user manual provides information on minimum system requirements, as well as step-by-step instructions for configuring your system and kicking off a test.

Want to dig into the details?

The HDXPRT source code is available upon request. If you’d like to access the source code, please send your request to benchmarkxprtsupport@principledtechnologies.com. Build instructions are also available.

If you haven’t used HDXPRT before, give it a shot and let us know what you think!

Justin

A note about WebXPRT 4 and Internet Explorer

During some recent internal WebXPRT 4 Preview testing, we discovered that the WebXPRT 4 Preview does not run in Internet Explorer (IE) 11. In fact, before the first workload begins in IE, the WebXPRT 4 built-in WebAssembly (WASM) check fails and produces an error message.

The reason we haven’t tested WebXPRT 4 on IE 11 before now is that Internet Explorer is currently in its end-of-life phase. Microsoft has been removing support for IE 11 in Microsoft 365 and other apps for some time, they did not include the desktop version of IE 11 in Windows 11, and they are removing support for IE 11 in Windows 10 on June 15, 2022. Among Windows users, the most popular browsers are now Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox.

We’re proud that WebXPRT has historically had broad, cross-platform compatibility in almost any browser. However, the modern web is rapidly incorporating powerful tools such as WASM that do not work in older legacy browsers. To maintain the benchmark’s relevance in future years, we need to deprioritize some level of legacy compatibility, and this begins with WebXPRT 4 release.

For the WebXPRT testers who wish to continue testing with IE 11, WebXPRT 3 will remain on our site for the foreseeable future. Barring any further changes from Microsoft, the benchmark should continue to run in existing instances of the Internet Explorer desktop app.

The official WebXPRT 4 launch is approaching, and we hope to announce the release date within the next few weeks! Until that time, we will continue to share the latest updates here in the blog. If you have any questions or comments about WebXPRT 4 or compatibility with legacy browsers, please feel free to contact us!

Justin

Using WebXPRT 3 to compare the performance of popular browsers in Windows 10 and Windows 11

People choose a default web browser based on several factors. Speed is sometimes the deciding factor, but privacy settings, memory load, ecosystem integration, and web app capabilities can also come into play. Regardless of the motivations behind a person’s go-to browser choice, the dominance of software-as-a-service (SaaS) computing means that new updates are always right around the corner. In previous blog posts, we’ve talked about how 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 Microsoft Edge on Windows and Google Chrome on Chrome OS.

Windows 11 began rolling out earlier this month, and tech press outlets such as AnandTech and PCWorld have used WebXPRT 3 to evaluate the impact of the new OS—or specific settings in the OS—on browser performance. Our own in-house tests, which we discuss below, show a negligible impact on browser performance when updating our test system from Windows 10 to Windows 11. It’s important to note that depending on a system’s hardware setup, the impact might be more significant in certain scenarios. For more information about such scenarios, we encourage you to read the PCWorld article discussing the impact of the Windows 11 default virtualization-based security (VBS) settings on browser performance in some instances.

In our comparison tests, we used a Dell XPS 13 7930 with an Intel Core i3-10110U processor and 4 GB of RAM. For the Windows 10 tests, we used a clean Windows 10 Home image updated to version 20H2 (19042.1165). For the Windows 11 tests, we updated the system to Windows 11 Home version 21H2 (22000.282). On each OS version, we ran WebXPRT 3 three times on the latest versions of five browsers: Brave, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera. For each browser, the score we post below is the median of the three test runs.

In our last round of tests on Windows 10, Firefox was the clear winner. Three of the Chromium-based browsers (Chrome, Edge, and Opera) produced very close scores, and the performance of Brave lagged by about 7 percent. In this round of Windows 10 testing, performance on every browser improved slightly, with Google Chrome taking a slight lead over Firefox.

In our Windows 11 testing, we were interested to find that without exception, browser scores were slightly lower than in Windows 10 testing. However, none of the decreases were statistically significant. Most users performing daily tasks are unlikely to notice that degree of difference.

Have you observed any significant differences in WebXPRT 3 scores after upgrading to Windows 11? If so, let us know!

Justin

A note about Adobe PSE and HDXPRT 4

During recent Windows 11 HDXPRT 4 compatibility testing, we noticed that Adobe now requires a user ID to download the free Adobe Photoshop Elements 2020 trial. Previously, testers could download the trial without setting up an account. While setting up an Adobe account is free, this change might inconvenience some HDXPRT 4 testers. Unfortunately, we don’t currently know of a way around it. We apologize for the hassle!

Justin

Following up on XPRT compatibility with Windows 11

Last week, we discussed the upcoming Windows 11 GA launch on October 5, and our hope is that the transition period from Windows 10 to Windows 11 will go smoothly for the three XPRTs that run on Windows 10, HDXPRT 4, TouchXPRT 2016, and AIXPRT. We’re happy to report that so far, we’ve been able to install HDXPRT 4 and TouchXPRT 2016 on the latest stable preview of Windows 11 without any problems. For TouchXPRT 2016, we successfully installed the benchmark using both available methods—directly from the Microsoft Store and through the manual sideload process—and ran it without issues.

We’re still testing Windows 11 compatibility with the AIXPRT OpenVINO, TensorFlow, and TensorRT test packages, and will share our findings here in the blog as soon as possible. Also, because Microsoft might still publish through the stable preview channel Windows 11 changes that interfere with the HDXPRT 4 or TouchXPRT 2016 installation or testing processes, we’ll continue to verify each benchmark’s Windows 11 compatibility up through and beyond launch day.

If you’re conducting your own HDXPRT 4, TouchXPRT 2016, or AIXPRT testing on the Windows 11 beta, you could encounter issues with newly published updates before we do due to the timing of our update cycles. You could also run into problems that are specific to your test gear. In either case, please don’t assume that we already know about the problem. Let us know!

Justin

Testing XPRT compatibility with Windows 11

Last week, Microsoft announced that the Windows 11 GA build will officially launch Tuesday October 5, earlier than the initial late 2021 estimate. The update will start rolling out with select new laptops and existing Windows 10 PCs that satisfy specific system requirements, and only some Windows 10 PCs will be eligible for the update right away. Through a phased Windows Update process, additional Windows 10 PCs will be able to access the update throughout the first half of 2022.

Between the phased Windows 11 rollout and the pledge Microsoft has made to continue Windows 10 support through October 2025, it will likely be a while before the majority of Windows users transition to the new version. We hope the transition period will go smoothly for the XPRTs. However, because we designed three of our benchmarks to run on Windows 10 (HDXPRT 4, TouchXPRT 2016, and AIXPRT), we might encounter compatibility issues with Windows 11.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be testing HDXPRT 4, TouchXPRT 2016, and AIXPRT on beta versions of Windows 11, and we’ll test again after the GA launch. In addition to obvious compatibility issues and test failures, we’ll note any changes we need to make to our documentation to account for differences in the Windows 11 installation or test processes.

We hope that testers will be able to successfully use all three benchmarks on both OS versions throughout the transition process. If problems arise, we will keep our blog readers informed while exploring solutions. As always, we’re also open to feedback from the community, so if you are participating in the Windows Insider Program and have encountered Windows 11 beta compatibility issues with any of the Windows-focused XPRTs, please let us know!

Justin

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