Recent visitors to CrXPRT.com may have seen a notice that encourages visitors to use WebXPRT 4
instead of CrXPRT 2 for performance testing on high-end Chromebooks. The notice
reads as follows:
Chromebook technology has progressed rapidly since we released CrXPRT 2, and
we’ve received reports that some CrXPRT 2 workloads may not stress top-bin
Chromebook processors enough to give the necessary accuracy for users to
compare their performance. So, for the latest test to compare the performance
of high-end Chromebooks, we recommend using WebXPRT 4.
made this recommendation because of the evident limitations of the CrXPRT 2
performance workloads when testing newer high-end hardware. CrXPRT 2 itself is
not that old (2020), but when we created the CrXPRT 2 performance workloads, we
started with a core framework of CrXPRT 2015 performance workloads. In a
similar way, we built the CrXPRT 2015 workloads on a foundation of WebXPRT 2015
workloads. At the time, the harness and workload structures we used to ensure
WebXPRT 2015’s cross-browser capabilities provided an excellent foundation that
we could adapt for our new ChromeOS benchmark. Consequently, CrXPRT 2 is a close
developmental descendant of WebXPRT 2015. Some of the legacy WebXPRT
2015/CrXPRT 2 workloads do not stress current high-end processors—a limitation that
prevents effective performance testing differentiation—nor do they engage the
latest web technologies.
the past, the Chromebook market skewed heavily toward low-cost devices with down-bin,
inexpensive processors, making this limitation less of an issue. Now, however,
more Chromebooks offer top-bin processors on par with traditional laptops and
workstations. Because of the limitations of the CrXPRT 2 workloads, we now recommend
WebXPRT 4 for both cross-browser and ChromeOS performance testing on the latest
tools and libraries, modern WebAssembly workloads, and additional Web Workers
tasks that cover a wide range of performance requirements.
CrXPRT 2 continues to function as a capable performance and battery life
comparison test for many ChromeOS devices, WebXPRT 4 is a more appropriate tool
to use with new high-end devices. If you haven’t yet used WebXPRT 4 for
Chromebook comparison testing, we encourage you to give it a try!
If you have any questions or concerns about CrXPRT 2 or WebXPRT 4, please don’t hesitate to ask!
In July, we discussed the Chrome OS team’s decision to end support for Chrome apps, and how that will prevent us from publishing any future fixes or updates for CrXPRT 2. We also announced our goal of beginning development of an all-new Chrome OS XPRT benchmark by the end of this year. While we are actively discussing this benchmark and researching workload technologies and scenarios, we don’t foresee releasing a preview build this year.
The good news is that,
in spite of a lack of formal support from the Chrome OS team, the CrXPRT 2
performance and battery life tests currently run without any known issues. We
continue to monitor the status of CrXPRT and will inform our blog readers of
any significant changes.
If you have any questions about CrXPRT, or ideas about the types of features or workloads you’d like to see in a new Chrome OS benchmark, please let us know!
Tom’s Guide published an interesting article
about how they used ChromeOS Flex to turn a
ten-year-old Apple MacBook Pro into a functioning Chromebook by replacing the
laptop’s macOS operating system with ChromeOS. ChromeOS Flex is a free Google
tool that allows users to create a bootable USB drive that they can then use to
install ChromeOS on a wide variety
of hardware platforms that traditionally run other operating systems such as
macOS or Windows. Because ChromeOS is a cloud-first, relatively low-overhead
operating system, the ChromeOS Flex option could breathe new life into an old
laptop that you have lying around.
Never having encountered a MacBook Pro with ChromeOS, we were interested to learn about Tom’s experience running XPRT benchmarks in this new environment. WebXPRT 4, WebXPRT 3, and the CrXPRT 2 performance test apparently ran without any issues, but we have not yet seen a CrXPRT 2 battery life result from a ChromeOS Flex environment. We plan to experiment with this soon.
were happy to publish the results on our site, and will consider any ChromeOS
Flex results we receive for publication. If you submit results from ChromeOS
Flex testing, we ask that you use the “Additional information” field in the
results submission form to clarify that you ran the tests in a ChromeOS Flex
environment. This will prevent any possible confusion when we see a submission
that lists a traditional macOS or Windows hardware platform along with a
ChromeOS version number.
Do you have experience running CrXPRT or WebXPRT with ChromeOS Flex? We’d love to hear about it!
Each month, we send a newsletter to members of the BenchmarkXPRT Development Community. In the newsletter, we recap the latest updates from the XPRT world and provide a summary of the previous month’s XPRT-related activity, including uses or mentions of the XPRTs in the tech press. More people read the weekly XPRT blog than receive the monthly newsletter, so we realized that some blog readers may be unaware of the wide variety of tech outlets that regularly use or mention the XPRTs.
So for today’s blog, we want to give readers a sampling of the XPRT press usage we see on a weekly basis. Recent mentions include:
- Tom’s Guide used HDXPRT 4 to compare the performance of the Geekom Mini IT8 and Dell OptiPlex 7090 Ultra small-form-factor PCs.
- Intel used WebXPRT 4 test data in promotional material for their line of 12th Gen) Intel Core processors(Alder Lake). Hundreds of press outlets then republished the presentation.
- AnandTech used WebXPRT 4 to evaluate the Cincoze DS-1300 Industrial PC.
- ZDNet used CrXPRT 2 in a review titled The best Chromebooks for students: Student-proof laptops.
- PCWorld used CrXPRT 2 to provide data for an article listing their top Chromebook recommendations.
- TechPowerUp used WebXPRT 3 to compare the browser performance of Intel Core i9-12900KS processor-based systems and other Intel- and AMD processor-based systems.
- Other outlets that have published articles, ads, or reviews mentioning the experts in the last few months include: Android Authority, ASUS, BenchLife, Gadgets 360, Good Gear Guide, Hardware.info, Hot Hardware, ITHardware (Poland), ITMedia (Japan), Itndaily (Russia), Mobile01.com (China), Notebookcheck, PCMag, ProClockers, Sohu.com (China), Tom’s Hardware, and Tweakers.
If you don’t currently receive the monthly
BenchmarkXPRT newsletter, but would like to join the mailing list, please let us know! We will not publish or sell any of the contact information you
provide, and will only send the monthly newsletter and occasional benchmark-related
announcements such as patch notifications or new benchmark releases.
Recently, a tester contacted us with details from a CrXPRT 2 performance test run that they’d successfully completed on… an Apple MacBook Pro! Because CrXPRT 2 is a Chrome Web App that we designed for Chrome OS, it was quite a surprise to hear that it is now possible to run CrXPRT 2 on non-Chrome OS platforms by using FydeOS.
FydeOS is an operating system based on a fork of the Chromium OS project. Developers originally intended FydeOS to be a Google-independent, Chrome-like alternative for the Chinese educational market, but FydeOS is now available to the English-speaking consumer and enterprise markets as well. FydeOS users can run a Chrome-like OS on something other than a Chromebook or a Chromebox, such as a PC, Mac, virtual machine, or even a Raspberry Pi device. Additionally, FydeOS supports Android, Chrome OS, and Linux apps, and users can run those apps at the same time on the same screen.
We have not yet conducted any testing with FydeOS in our lab, but we wanted to pass along this information to any readers who may be interested. If the OS operates as described, it may provide a way for us to experiment with using CrXPRT 2 in some interesting cross-platform tests.
Last March, we discussed the Chrome OS team’s original announcement that they would be phasing out support for Chrome Apps altogether in June 2021, and would shift their focus to Chrome extensions and Progressive Web Apps. The Chrome OS team eventually extended support for existing Chrome Apps through June 2022, but as of this week, we see no indication that they will further extend support for Chrome Apps published with general developer accounts. If the end-of-life schedule for Chrome Apps does not change in the next few months, both CrXPRT 2 and CrXPRT 2015 will stop working on new versions of Chrome OS at some point in June.
To maintain CrXPRT
functionality past June, we would need to rebuild the app completely—either as
a Progressive Web App or in some other form. For this reason, we want to
reassess our approach to Chrome OS testing, and investigate which features and
technologies to include in a new Chrome OS benchmark. Our current goal is to
gather feedback and conduct exploratory research over the next few months, and begin
developing an all-new Chrome OS benchmark for publication by the end of the
While we will discuss ideas for this new Chrome OS benchmark in future blog posts, we welcome ideas from CrXPRT users now. What features or workloads would you like the new benchmark to retain? Would you like us to remove any components from the existing benchmark? Does the battery life test in its current form suit your needs? If you have any thoughts about these questions or any other aspects of Chrome OS benchmarking, please let us know!