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Category: Windows 8.1

HDXPRT: see how your Windows PC handles media tasks

Over the last several weeks, we reminded readers of the capabilities and benefits of TouchXPRT, CrXPRT, and BatteryXPRT. This week, we’d like to highlight 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 evaluates the performance of Windows devices while handling real-world media tasks such as photo editing, video conversion, and music editing, all while using real commercial applications, including Photoshop and iTunes. HDXPRT presents results that are relevant and easy to understand.

We originally distributed HDXPRT on installation DVDs, but HDXPRT 2014, the latest version, is available for download from HDXPRT.com. HDXPRT 2014 is for systems running Windows 8.1 and later. The benchmark takes about 10 minutes to install, and a run takes less than 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 results from a variety of systems, go to HDXPRT.com and click View Results, where you’ll find scores from many different Windows devices.

If you’d like to run HDXPRT:

Simply download HDXPRT from HDXPRT.com. The HDXPRT user manual provides information on minimum system requirements, as well as step-by-step instructions for how to configure your system and kick off a test. Testers running HDXPRT on Windows 10 Creators Update builds should consult the tech support note posted on HDXPRT.com.

If you’d like to dig into the details:

Check out the Exploring HDXPRT 2014 white paper. In it, we discuss the benchmark’s three test scenarios in detail and show how we calculate the results.

If you’d like to dig even deeper, the HDXPRT source code is available to members of the BenchmarkXPRT Development Community, so consider joining today. Membership is free for members of any company or organization with an interest in benchmarks, and there are no obligations after joining.

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

On another note, Bill will be attending Mobile World Congress in Shanghai next week. Let us know if you’d like to meet up and discuss the XPRTs or how to get your device in the XPRT Spotlight.

Justin

An update on TouchXPRT 2016

We’ll be releasing the MobileXPRT 2015 white paper tomorrow. It contains lots of information about MobileXPRT 2015 that you won’t find anywhere else. We hope you’ll find it very informative.

A couple of weeks ago, we released the design document for TouchXPRT 2016 (login required). This week, we put the first build of TouchXPRT 2016 into testing. It’s a Universal Windows app that runs on Windows 10 tablets, PCs, and phones. This means that TouchXPRT can now run on a wider variety of devices. However, it also means that TouchXPRT 2016 will not be backward compatible with Windows 8 and 8.1.

Given the current state of the SDKs, installing the test builds on phones is more complicated than we would like. We’re looking into ways to simplify the install before releasing the community preview. Testing on phones is particularly important because we made many of the UI changes to enable TouchXPRT to work acceptably on a small display.

We’ll keep you informed as testing proceeds. We’re hoping to release the community preview in the next couple of weeks.

Eric

One now, one later

Windows 10 has been on our mind this week.

Last week, we explained why the Notes test in WebXPRT would not complete when running in Edge on Windows 10. We’ve implemented the fix we discussed and have finished testing the updated versions of WebXPRT 2013 and WebXPRT 2015. We’ll release them by the end of the week. Results from the new versions are comparable with results from the existing versions.

In the current Windows 10 Mobile Beta, WebXPRT 2015 does not scroll correctly in portrait mode. It does scroll correctly in landscape mode, so, as a workaround, one can run it that way on the Windows 10 Mobile Beta.

Speaking of Windows 10 Mobile, we’ve talked before about TouchXPRT 2016 and how its purpose is to compare Windows 10 across different device types. However, Microsoft has said that Windows 10 Mobile won’t be available until after the release of Windows 10 on PCs. More importantly, the APIs and development tools won’t be final until July 29. Once Microsoft releases those tools, we’ll do our builds and tests and release a community preview.

That being said, TouchXPRT 2014 is the tool to use for comparing Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. By the time mobile devices running Windows 10 are available, TouchXPRT 2016 will be available.

Eric

More than Chromebooks

Recently, we got a question from AnandTech asking how hard it would be to get CrXPRT to run on Chrome on Windows.

The short answer is that getting it to run isn’t difficult. However, as we have written about many times in the past, it’s not enough for a benchmark to simply run on a device. The results it produces must be comparable. Even if the benchmark appears to run identically, small differences in timers or how the platform reports its state can have a big impact.

To date, we have been dealing only with Chromebooks of various flavors. However, we’re now testing CrXPRT on a much wider range of devices. The results are generally looking reasonable, although we’re finding some minor issues. For example, the battery information isn’t as granular on some devices as it is on Chromebooks.

As soon as we are sure that CrXPRT is returning reasonable results on the new classes of devices, you’ll be the first to know!

In other news, we’re planning to remove TouchXPRT 2013 from the Windows Store on February 16. We wanted to have a period of overlap with TouchXPRT 2014 to allow labs time to transition. It’s been over 6 months, and we feel this is a good time. TouchXPRT 2013 will remain available in the members’ area of the BenchmarkXPRT.com Web site.

Eric

An HDXPRT 2014 update

After the HDXPRT 2014 release last week, we discovered a new issue. During installation, if network connections were active, Windows SmartScreen would pop up with a message that said, “Windows SmartScreen prevented an unrecognized app from starting…” If network connections were disabled, a popup would say, “Windows SmartScreen can’t be reached right now.”

Even after turning off SmartScreen entirely, we continued to receive Windows publisher verification warnings. It turns out that the problem relates to testing on a system where Windows 8/8.1 is reinstalled over an existing copy of the OS. Residual information in the C:\Windows.old files apparently trigger the warning. It may also occur if you upgraded from Windows 8 or 8.1 Preview to Windows 8.1.

You may not encounter this problem at all during testing. If you do, there are at least three options for dealing with this. The first option is to turn off SmartScreen in the Windows Action center and disable Windows prompts about publisher verification. Then, open Internet Explorer – Internet Options, click the Security tab, click the Custom level button, and scroll down to select Enable Launching applications and unsafe files.

Screenshot (2)

The second option is to delete any Windows.old files. You can find instructions for that here.

The third is to test on a completely fresh OS install on a reformatted drive.

Also, today we’re posting an updated build that fixes a few UI issues. Scores from the original build are still valid and comparable.

If you have any feedback or questions regarding HDXPRT 2014, feel free to send us a message at BenchmarkXPRTsupport@principledtechnologies.com.

Justin

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TouchXPRT 2014 is here!

Today we formally released TouchXPRT 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.

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

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