SPEC/GWPG Announces Upcoming Benchmarks

12 Aug, 2008

New releases from power consumption to SPECviewperf v10.1 to new application benchmarks are expected.

SPEC's Graphics and Workstation Performance Group (SPEC/GWPG) today announced a wide range of upcoming benchmarks at the SIGGRAPH 2008 conference in Los Angeles. The new offerings will include a power-performance benchmark for workstations, a new version of SPECviewperf, and new and updated application benchmarks. All are slated for release before spring of next year.

"Under our expanded charter announced last year, we are branching out in new directions such as power consumption, while continuing to move ahead with our graphics and workstation application benchmarks," said George Chaltas, SPEC/GWPG chair. "The overriding objective is to apply SPEC's expertise and proven methodologies in areas that provide the most value to users, vendors, and testing labs worldwide."

Since the beginning of the year, a SPEC/GWPG subcommittee has been working on an industry-standard benchmark that measures power consumption in relation to performance for professional workstations. An initial benchmark is being submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for possible use in its v5 requirements for workstation ENERGY STAR qualification. A public release of a SPEC/GWPG power benchmark will follow.

The SPEC/GWPG power benchmark will incorporate workloads from the SPECviewperf benchmark for 3D graphics, as well as CPU workloads in areas such as rendering, computational fluid dynamics, scientific computing, and video encoding. Workloads will have the common attributes of scalability, open source, and portability across all major workstation platforms.

SPECviewperf v10.1, developed by SPEC's graphics performance characterization (SPECgpc) working group, is expected before the end of the year. It will feature new functionality and a major update of viewsets, the testing data sets that are based on traces of graphical content in real applications.

On the functionality side, SPECviewperf v10.1 will have the ability to measure performance for applications incorporating vertex buffer objects (VBOs) and the latest OpenGL (GL2) shaders. Updates are being made to more than half of the viewsets, including those based on traces of 3ds Max, CATIA, EnSight, Maya, and Siemens PLM NX. Changes range from new traces that add GL2 and VBO functionality to test files, to completely new models that provide a greater challenge to the latest graphics systems.

SPEC/GWPG's Application Performance Characterization (SPECapc) project group has a range of new and updated benchmarks planned for fall and winter release. The list includes performance evaluation software for workstations running Siemens PLM NX5, 3ds Max 2009, Maya 2009, and Lightwave 3D. SPECapc also provides benchmarks for Pro/ENGINEER, Solid Edge, and SolidWorks.