Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 has also picked up some improvements to the reference comparison feature that was introduced in 1.8 Selbu. The reference comparison feature allows the user when completing a single test run to have the ability to instantly compare their test results against similar system(s). Users have been able to do this already since before Phoronix Test Suite reached a 1.0 status through Phoronix Global, but this reference comparison feature brings these "verified" results (these results are generated by us on clean installations using some of our test systems) within easy reach to compare the said results. Users can continue to use Phoronix Global to perform additional result comparisons.
For example, when a test run is completed, if there are comparable test result(s), there will be a widget that is shown along with the different reference systems, of which they can select the systems they are interested in and then have the reference results added in immediately (screenshot). Some of the reference systems in Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 for most of the test profiles include an AMD 8-Core Workstation, an Intel Core i7 Desktop, an AMD Phenom II Desktop, and an Atom Netbook. Companies interested in having their systems featured in the reference comparison area can contact Phoronix Media for more information. Those not using the GTK2 GUI can run phoronix-test-suite reference-comparison <saved results name> to perform a reference comparison. More work on this reference comparison support will continue to come in Phoronix Test Suite 2.2.
Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 has also picked up a module for the Phoromatic client. Phoromatic is a new software service provided by Phoronix Media that will launch around the time of 2.0 Sandtorg. As we describe at Phoromatic.com:
"Phoromatic is a remote management system for the Phoronix Test Suite. Phoromatic allows the automatic (hence the name Phoromatic) scheduling of tests, remote installation of new tests, and the management of multiple test systems all through an intuitive, easy-to-use web interface. Tests can be scheduled to automatically run on a routine basis across multiple test systems. The test results are then available from this central, secure location.
Phoromatic is able to communicate with any system running Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 or newer whether it is running Linux, Mac OS X, BSD, or OpenSolaris. Creating a single-user account at Phoromatic.com is free, easy, and can then connect to one or even dozens of test systems running the Phoronix Test Suite. Phoromatic can also be installed on a LAN / intranet for professional support customers of the Phoronix Test Suite."
We will have more information on Phoromatic when it officially launches, but if you are interested in beta access, you can request it at Phoromatic.com.
On top of introducing Phoromatic and the horde of changes in Phoronix Test Suite 2.0, in tandem with the launch of Sandtorg we are also introducing PTS Linux Live, a Linux distribution designed solely for testing/benchmarking desktop computers from a LiveDVD / LiveUSB environment. The Phoronix Test Suite is setup on this distribution with many of the tests already being pre-installed. Providing this as a live distribution makes it very easy for anyone to test out a given system, lowers the barrier for entry to basically nothing (Windows users can easily benchmark on Linux with PTS!), and isolates all software differences so that hardware can be more easily compared. More information on PTS Linux Live can be found in Driving Linux-based Benchmarking With Sandtorg. We will likely have an article out next week that is dedicated to PTS Linux Live.
Well, that about covers up the notable changes in Phoronix Test Suite 2.0. There were hundreds of code commits that went into the PTS Git repository for Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 and so far nearly 24,000 lines of code have been changed between 1.8 Selbu and 2.0 Sandtorg. Look for the release of Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 in early August. Phoronix Test Suite 2.2 is already well into planning with even more additions and that will premiere in the fourth quarter of 2009. The latest testing snapshot of the Phoronix Test Suite is available from Phoronix-Test-Suite.com. Feedback, questions, and ideas for the Phoronix Test Suite can be directed to the forums or the mailing list.