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WebXPRT passes the million-run milestone!

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!

Justin

Helpful tips for WebXPRT 4 results submission

Back in March, we discussed the WebXPRT 4 results submission process and reminded readers that everyone who runs a WebXPRT 4 test is welcome to submit scores for us to consider for publication in the WebXPRT 4 results viewer. Unlike sites that publish every result that users submit, we publish only results that meet our evaluation criteria. Among other things, scores must be consistent with general expectations and must include enough detailed system information to help us assess whether individual scores represent valid test runs. Today, we offer a couple of tips to increase the likelihood that we will publish your WebXPRT 4 test results.

Tip 1: Specify your system’s processor

While testers usually include detailed information for the device, model number, operating system, and browser version fields, we receive many submissions with little to no information about the test system’s processor.

In the picture below, you can see an example of the level of detail that we require to consider a submission. We need the full processor name, including the manufacturer and model number (e.g., Intel Core i9-9980HK, AMD Ryzen 3 1300X, or Apple M1 Max). Note that we do not require the processor speed reported by the system.

Tip 2: Include a valid email address

It is also common for submissions to not include a valid email address. While we understand the privacy concerns related to submitting a personal or corporate email address, we need a valid address that we can use as a point of contact to confirm test-related information when necessary. We don’t use those addresses for any other purposes, such as selling them, sharing them with any third parties, or adding them to a mailing list.

We hope this information explains why we might not have published your results. We look forward to receiving your future score submissions. If you have any questions about the submission process, please let us know!

Justin

Using WebXPRT 4 to compare the performance of popular browsers

From time to time, we like to run a series of in-house WebXPRT comparison tests to see if recent updates have changed the performance rankings of popular web browsers. We published our most recent comparison last October, when we used WebXPRT 3 to compare Windows 10 and Windows 11 browser performance on the same system. Now that WebXPRT 4 is live, it’s time to update our comparison series with the newest member of the XPRT family.

For this round of tests, we used a Dell XPS 13 7930, which features an Intel Core i3-10110U processor and 4 GB of RAM, running Windows 11 Home updated to version 21H2 (22000.593). We installed all current Windows updates and tested on a clean system image. After the update process completed, we turned off updates to prevent them from interfering with test runs. We ran WebXPRT 4 three times each across five browsers: Brave, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera. The posted score for each browser is the median of the three test runs.

In our previous round of tests with WebXPRT 3, Google Chrome narrowly beat out Firefox in Windows 10 and Windows 11 testing, but the scores among three of the Chromium-based browsers (Chrome, Edge, and Opera) were close enough that most users performing common daily tasks would be unlikely to notice a difference. Brave performance lagged by about 7 percent, a difference that may be noticeable to most users. This time, when testing updated versions of the browsers with WebXPRT 4 on Windows 11, the rankings changed. Edge was the clear winner, with a 2.2 percent performance advantage over Chrome. Firefox came in last, about 3 percent slower than Opera, which was in the middle of the pack. Performance from Brave improved to the point that it was no longer lagging the other Chromium-based browsers.

Do these results mean that Microsoft Edge will always provide you with a speedier web experience? A device with a higher WebXPRT score will probably feel faster during daily use than one with a lower score. For comparisons on the same system, however, the answer depends in part on the types of things you do on the web, how the extensions you’ve installed affect performance, how frequently the browsers issue updates and incorporate new web technologies, and how accurately each browser’s default installation settings reflect how you would set up that browser for your daily workflow.

In addition, 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 Edge on Windows 11 and Chrome on Chrome OS. All these variables are important to keep in mind when considering how WebXPRT results translate to your everyday experience.

Do you have insights you’d like to share from using WebXPRT to compare browser performance? Let us know!

Justin

Exploring the WebXPRT 4 results viewer

Now that WebXPRT 4 is live, we want to remind readers about the features of the WebXPRT 4 results viewer. We’re excited about this new tool, which we view as an ongoing project that we will expand and improve over time. The viewer currently has over 100 test results, and we’re just getting started. We’ll continue to actively populate the viewer with the latest PT-curated WebXPRT 4 results for the foreseeable future.

The screenshot below shows the tool’s default display. Each vertical bar in the graph represents the overall score of a single test result, with bars arranged from lowest to highest. To view a single result in detail, the user hovers over a bar until it turns white and a small popup window displays the basic details of the result. Once the user clicks to select the highlighted bar, the bar turns dark blue, and the dark blue banner at the bottom of the viewer displays additional details about that result.

In the example above, the banner shows the overall score (227), the score’s percentile rank (98th) among the scores in the current display, the name of the test device, and basic hardware disclosure information. Users can click the Run info button to see the run’s individual workload scores.

The viewer includes a drop-down menu to quickly filter results by major device type categories, and a tab that allows users to apply additional filtering options, such as browser type, processor vendor, and result source. The screenshot below shows the viewer after I used the device type drop-down filter to select only laptops.

The screenshot below shows the viewer as I use the filter tab to explore additional filter options, such browser type.

The viewer also lets users pin multiple specific runs, which is helpful for making side-by-side comparisons. The screenshot below shows the viewer after I pinned four runs and viewed them on the Pinned runs screen.

The screenshot below shows the viewer after I clicked the Compare runs button: the overall and individual workload scores of the pinned runs appear as a table.

We’re excited about the WebXPRT 4 results viewer, and we want to hear your feedback. Are there features you’d really like to see, or ways we can improve the viewer? Please let us know, and send us your latest test results!

Justin

WebXPRT 4 is live!

We’re excited to announce that WebXPRT 4 is now available! Testers can access the benchmark at WebXPRT.com. If you’ve already been using the WebXPRT 4 Preview, your Preview test results will be comparable with results from the current official build.

Longtime WebXPRT users will notice that WebXPRT 4 has a new, but familiar, UI. The general process for kicking off both manual and automated tests is the same as with WebXPRT 3, so the transition from WebXPRT 3 to WebXPRT 4 testing should be straightforward. We will continue to make WebXPRT 3 available for legacy testing.

If you missed earlier XPRT blog posts about WebXPRT 4, here is a quick overview of the differences between WebXPRT 3 and WebXPRT 4:

General changes

  • We’ve updated the aesthetics of the WebXPRT UI to make WebXPRT 4 visually distinct from older versions. We did not significantly change the flow of the UI.
  • We’ve updated content in some of the workloads to reflect changes in everyday technology, such as upgrading most of the photos in the photo processing workloads to higher resolutions.
  • We’ve updated the base calibration system for score calculations, and adjusted the scoring scale. WebXPRT 4 scores should not be compared to scores from previous versions of WebXPRT.

Workload changes

  • Photo Enhancement. We increased the efficiency of the workload’s Canvas object creation function, and replaced the existing photos with new, higher-resolution photos.
  • Organize Album Using AI. We replaced ConvNetJS with WebAssembly (WASM) based OpenCV.js for both the face detection and image classification tasks. We changed the images for the image classification tasks to images from the ImageNet dataset.
  • Stock Option Pricing. We updated the dygraph.js library.
  • Sales Graphs. We made no changes to this workload.
  • Encrypt Notes and OCR Scan. We replaced ASM.js with WASM for the Notes task and updated the WASM-based Tesseract version for the OCR task.
  • Online Homework. In addition to the existing scenario which uses four Web Workers, we have added a scenario with two Web Workers. The workload now covers a wider range of Web Worker performance, and we calculate the score by using the combined run time of both scenarios. We also updated the typo.js library.

We’re thankful for all of the feedback we received during the WebXPRT 4 development process, and we look forward to seeing your WebXPRT 4 results!

Justin

WebXPRT 4 is almost here!

We’re putting the last pieces in place for the WebXPRT 4 GA, and expect to take the final build live by this time next week! When we released the WebXPRT 4 Preview and encouraged testers to submit and publish results, we said we’d try to limit any changes to things that would not affect test scores. We’re happy to report that we’ve achieved that goal, and Preview testing results are comparable with GA build results.

If you missed the blog post about the differences between WebXPRT 3 and WebXPRT 4, we encourage you to check it out. Everything we mentioned about the general and workload-specific changes in the Preview build holds true for the upcoming GA.

Keep an eye on the blog and WebXPRT.com for more information in the coming week. We look forward to seeing your test results!

Justin

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