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SPEC CPU2000 Press Release

Date: December 30, 1999

SPEC Releases CPU2000 Benchmarks

New applications set standard for evaluating computer performance

Manassas, VA, December 30, 1999 -- The Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC) today released SPEC CPU2000, the latest version of the recognized standard for evaluating computer system performance. SPEC CPU2000 was developed by SPEC's Open Systems Group (OSG), which includes more than 30 computer vendors, systems integrators, publishers and consultants from throughout the world. The new application-based benchmarks can be used across several versions of UNIX and Microsoft NT.

"Computer systems technology evolves so rapidly that we must provide new benchmark suites to ensure a level playing field," says Kaivalya M. Dixit, SPEC president. "SPEC CPU95 was a great success, but it's time to make the transition to standardized benchmarks that reflect the advances in microprocessor technologies, compilers and applications that have taken place over the last five years; those benchmarks constitute SPEC CPU2000."

Longer Run Times, Larger Problems
SPEC CPU2000 comprises two sets (or suites) of benchmarks: CINT2000 for measuring compute-intensive integer performance, and CFP2000 for compute-intensive floating point performance. The two suites measure the performance of a computer's processor, memory architecture and compiler. Improvements to the new suites include longer run times and larger problems for benchmarks, more application diversity, greater ease of use, and standard development platforms that will allow SPEC to produce additional releases for other operating systems.

SPEC CPU2000 benchmarks were selected from application and source codes running across multiple platforms. Seventeen (17) of the 26 benchmarks resulted from SPEC's search campaign that offered the general public rewards up to $5,000 for application codes and datasets. Each benchmark was tested on different platforms to determine if it was portable, relevant and suitable for the final SPEC CPU2000 suite.

SPEC CPU2000 is the fourth major version of the SPEC CPU benchmark suites, which in 1989 became the first widely accepted standard for comparing compute-intensive performance across various architectures. The new release replaces SPEC CPU95, which will be gradually phased out between now and July 2000, when SPEC will stop publishing CPU95 results. Performance results from CPU2000 cannot be compared to those from CPU95, since new benchmarks have been added and existing ones changed.

The Metrics for Measurement
SPEC CPU2000 incorporates run and reporting rules that permit both baseline and optimized results for the CINT2000 and CFP2000 suites. The baseline rules restrict the number of compiler optimizations that can be used for performance testing and are mandatory for all reported results; reporting of optimized results is optional.

SPEC CPU2000 provides performance measurements for system speed and throughput. The speed metric, SPECint2000, measures how fast a machine completes running all of the CPU2000 benchmarks. The throughput metric, SPECint_rate2000, measures how many tasks a computer can complete in a given amount of time. SPEC CPU2000 has been designed to measure throughput for single-processor, symmetric-multiprocessor, and cluster systems.

The CINT2000 suite comprises 12 application-based benchmarks written in C and C++ languages. Fourteen (14) CPU-intensive benchmarks written in FORTRAN (77 and 90) and C languages are included in the floating-point benchmarks, known as the CFP2000 suite.

SPEC selected the Sun Microsystems Ultra5_10 workstation with a 300-MHz SPARC processor and 256-MB of memory as a reference machine. All benchmark results are computed as ratios against the reference machine, which has a SPECint2000 and SPECfp2000 score of 100. Each benchmark was run and measured on the Ultra5_10 to establish a reference time.

Vendor Reporting
Initial SPEC CPU2000 results are available now at the SPEC web site, Additional results will be reported starting in February 2000. SPEC member companies have been encouraged to report CPU2000 results on older platforms to provide a historical perspective for the new results.

SPEC CPU2000 (CINT2000 and CFP2000) is available now on CD-ROM from SPEC. The cost is $500 for new customers and $250 for current licensees. Universities can acquire the product for $125.

SPEC is a non-profit corporation formed to establish, maintain and endorse a standardized set of relevant benchmarks that can be applied to the newest generation of high-performance computers. SPEC member groups include the Open Systems Group (OSG), the High Performance Group (HPG); and the Graphics Performance Characterization (GPC) Group. The membership consists of leading computer hardware and software vendors, universities and research facilities. For more information or to order SPEC CPU2000, contact Dianne Rice, SPEC, 10754 Ambassador Drive, Ste. 201, Manassas, VA 20109; tel: 703-331-0180; fax: 703-331-0181; e-mail: or

Additional information, including answers to frequently asked questions about SPEC CPU2000 and the latest benchmark results, is available at

Press contacts:

Bob Cramblitt or Ellen Gooch
Cramblitt & Company