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SPEC/GPC Application Group Releases
Pro/ENGINEER™, SolidWorks 98Plus™ Benchmarks

MANASSAS, Va., May 19, 1999 -- SPEC’s Graphics Performance Characterization (GPC) Group has released free downloadable source code and initial performance results for graphics application benchmarks based on Pro/ENGINEER™ Rev. 20 and SolidWorks 98Plus™ CAD/CAM software. The new benchmarks and performance results are available on this web site.

The Pro/ENGINEER benchmark is the first to concentrate on the graphics-intensive aspects of the popular solids modeling software. Developed by SPEC/GPC’s Application Performance Characterization (APC) project group and Parametric Technology Corp., maker of Pro/ENGINEER, the benchmark is designed to reflect user experiences in dealing with large models and a typical range of graphics operations within the application.

Large-Model Metrics

According to Gary Jones, IT manager of the Mechanical Systems Center for NASA/GSFC, the new benchmark fills a void for Pro/ENGINEER users. "Our solid models of spacecraft and complex experiments are typically very large and we have performance issues," says Jones. "We need to make the right decisions as to the workstations to purchase and configure for these tasks. The SPEC/GPC benchmark is the best metric that I have seen for judging Pro/E performance with large models."

SPEC/GPC’s Pro/ENGINEER benchmark uses a complete and realistic model of a photocopy machine. The model contains approximately 370,000 polygons. The benchmark runs 17 tests to measure performance for different rendering modes, features and CPU operations. Scores are recorded for each of the 17 tests, composite numbers are calculated for four areas of graphics performance, and there is a final composite score for overall graphics/CPU performance. Start-up and initiation time is also recorded, but not included as part of the composite number. Users of the benchmark must have a fully licensed, released version of Pro/ENGINEER Rev.20.

The SPEC/GPC Web site provides initial Pro/ENGINEER results from seven vendors for 15 different systems. Benchmark testing is performed by the vendors themselves, according to rules established by the APC project group. Vendors are responsible for the accuracy of the results they report. All results are reviewed and approved by APC project group members before publication on the Web site.

"We are pleased with the initial vendor acceptance of this benchmark and expect a high level of reporting and user interest," says Paul Martin of Hewlett-Packard, chair of the APC project group. "We bring some added value to the Pro/E benchmarking table, with a large, graphically intense model, free downloading, and the proven SPEC/GPC methodology, which helps ensure standardized measurement criteria."

Update to SolidWorks 98

SPEC/GPC’s SolidWorks 98Plus benchmark reflects updates in the latest version of this popular solids modeling package. The benchmark was developed by SolidWorks and enhanced by the APC project group. It is written in Visual Basic and C, and runs on Windows NT and Windows 95 platforms. The SolidWorks 98Plus benchmark uses different-sized CAD/CAM solid models, the largest of which is a line assembly model with 276,000 polygons.

Five tests are included within the benchmark. I/O-intensive operations, CPU-intensive operations, and three different types of graphics operations are timed based on common user interaction with the models. A single number is derived from a weighted geometric mean of the normalized score for all five tests. Scores are also reported for each of the five individual tests and for the geometric mean of the three graphics tests. Results are normalized to a reference machine (300-MHz Pentium II processor; PERMEDIA 2 graphics processor) chosen by the APC group’s membership.

Results for SPEC/GPC’s SolidWorks 98Plus benchmark should not be compared to those from its predecessor, SPEC/GPC’s SolidWorks 98, since the benchmarks are based on two different versions of the application. The SPEC/GPC Web site currently provides SolidWorks 98Plus results from eight vendors for 13 different system configurations.

Members of the APC project group include 3Dlabs, Compaq, Dell, HAL Computers, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Intergraph, Real 3D, S3, SGI, Sun Microsystems, Universidad Nacional de Mexico, and University of Central Florida. The APC project group is part of the GPC Group, which in turn is part of the non-profit Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC). Additional information about SPEC/GPC's Pro/ENGINEER and SolidWorks 98Plus benchmarks can be found on this web site. Questions can be sent to the group’s alias: gpcapc@spec.org.