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The Graphics and Workstation Performance Group (SPEC/GWPG):
Rules For Project Groups

Version 1.16

Last Updated: 07/30/2016

  1. Overview
    1. Project Groups and Scope of Rules
      1. a. Three project groups exist under the umbrella of SPEC/GWPG:
        • The Graphics Performance Characterization Project Group (henceforth abbreviated as SPECgpcSM)
        • The Application Performance Characterization Project Group (henceforth abbreviated as SPECapcSM)
        • The Workstation Performance Characterization Project Group (henceforth abbreviated as SPECwpcSM)
      2. The rules contained in this document shall apply to all three project groups (SPECgpc, SPECapc and SPECwpc).
      3. Each project group shall maintain its own project group rules document, which shall apply in conjunction with this document.
      4. Where a project group's rule overrides a rule in this document, this will be explicitly indicated in that project group's rule document.
      5. Should a new project group be approved or an existing one dissolved, this document shall be updated accordingly.
  1. Membership
    1. Membership
      1. Membership in the SPEC/GWPG and its project groups is open to any organization that has a direct and/or material interest in graphics- or workstation-related application performance benchmarking.
      2. Membership in one or more SPEC/GWPG project groups leads to membership in SPEC/GWPG.
      3. Members are expected but not required to be active participants developing and improving the respective project group's benchmarks.
      4. Members are entitled to secure access to development code.
      5. Members are entitled to unlimited publication rights.
      6. New members become eligible for voting on the 2nd consecutive qualified meeting. The first qualified meeting may have been attended prior to becoming a member. Qualified meetings are defined in Section II.4.b.
      7. A member maintains voting rights by attending 1 out of the last 3 qualified meetings. A member loses their voting rights upon missing 2 consecutive qualified meetings.
      8. A member regains voting rights on attending a second consecutive qualified meeting.
      9. For a qualified meeting for which attendance in person is expected, attending remotely (e.g. by telephone) does not count as qualified attendance.
      10. Voting status is lost if the organization fails to remit payment for membership fees or annual dues. Voting status is restored by payment of these fees or dues.
    2. Associate Status
      1. Associate status is available to non-profit organizations.
      2. All rights and rules of the respective project group, GWPG and SPEC apply to Associates unless specifically stated otherwise.
      3. Associates are entitled to secure access to development code.
      4. Associates do not have voting rights.
    3. Officers and Elections
      1. On an annual basis the project groups will elect from their eligible voting memberships the following officers:
        1. Chairperson
        2. Vice Chairperson
        3. Secretary
      2. The Chairperson's responsibilities are to
        1. conduct meetings,
        2. send out the agenda on time,
        3. conduct votes on time,
        4. deal with outside organizations such as the press,
        5. represent and respond on behalf of the group to external questions and queries,
        6. interact with the SPEC/GWPG committee, and
        7. police the submission, review and appeal process.
      3. The Vice-Chairperson's responsibility is to do the chairperson's job when the chairperson is not available, or if the chairperson is subject to a conflict of interest.
      4. The Secretary's responsibilities are to:
        1. record minutes,
        2. maintain the rules document,
        3. keep a history of email.
      5. If an officer is subject to a conflict of interest in pursuance of his or her duties and if any defined succession of responsibility would fail to resolve the conflict of interest, the committee may appoint any committee member to fulfill that officer's duties for the scope of the discussion in which the conflict of interest exists.
    4. Meetings
      1. SPEC/GWPG project groups have three types of meetings (not including ad-hoc working-group meetings)
        1. Regular quarterly face-to-face meetings
        2. Special face-to-face meetings for the full membership
        3. Conference-call meetings
      2. Meetings which qualify for attendance are limited to:
        1. face-to-face meetings scheduled at least one month in advance and
        2. conference calls scheduled at least a week in advance and which are explicitly indicated as qualified at least a week in advance.
    5. Voting
      1. Issues may be designated for resolution by ballot by voting members of the GWPG or Subcommittee. Ballot may be by standard mail, by electronic means, conference call voice ballot or a combination of any of the three. A ballot is deemed valid if a quorum of eligible voting organizations returns ballots. Voting is Approved, Approved with Comment, Disapproved with Comment, or Abstained with Comment. Disapproval and Abstained votes require comment on the nature of the vote.
      2. A valid vote requires a quorum. A quorum is met if at least 66% of eligible voting members respond.
    6. Membership Dues and Billing
      1. Dues are assessed on the basis of membership in SPEC/GWPG's project groups.
      2. Dues for the SPEC/GWPG project groups will be set annually by the SPEC Board of Directors with input from the SPEC/GWPG. Once set, the dues amount will be recorded in the SPEC minutes and communicated to the SPEC/GWPG by the SPEC office.
      3. Dues payment, purchase order or letter of intent to pay for a given calendar year must be received at the SPEC office by March 1st of that year. Alternatively, a letter of intent to join the respective project group must be received by the SPEC office by March 1st of that year with a subsequent dues payment by May 1st of that year. Failure to meet these deadlines will result in loss of membership and voting rights. Membership will be reinstated when full payment is received at the SPEC office. Voting rights will be reinstated according to the attendance rules in section II.1.g and II.1.h.
    7. Non-Member Publication
      1. The SPEC/GWPG project groups will accept submissions from non-members for review and publication on the SPEC public website.
      2. Non-member submissions must follow the same rules and procedures as member submissions.
      3. Non-members are not eligible to participate in reviewing results.
      4. Non-members will be charged for their submissions according to an approved fee structure. Any change in hardware or software constitutes a new configuration.
      5. On an annual basis the SPEC/GWPG will establish the pricing and periods for non-member publication. These will be recorded in the SPEC/GWPG minutes and published on the GWPG web-site.
      6. Following acceptance by the assigned reviewers, a non-member's submission will not be published until the SPEC office has received the submission fee in full.
      7. The SPEC office will not deposit funds provided by the non-member submitter until the submission has been accepted by the assigned reviewers.
      8. A configuration will be published on-line for three months, unless the submitter notifies the publisher that it should be removed.
      9. After three months, the configuration will be removed automatically, unless the submitter notifies the publisher that it should remain on-line.
      10. An additional non-member fee will be assessed for extending on-line publication beyond three months.
      11. There is a limit of eight (8) non-member submissions per 12-month period. If a company joins SPEC/GWPG, it will receive a credit for all submissions within the 12-month period before becoming a member.
      12. Each SPEC/GWPG project group may remove published results from its web pages due to benchmark revision. In this case, a non-member submitter will be given notice by the project group and may resubmit the identical configuration for the revised benchmark if the submission is still within the three-month time period for publication.
  2. Benchmarks
    1. Each project group shall document all benchmark-related rules in its respective project group rules document.
  3. Submission and Review Rules
    1. Submission Preparation Rules
      1. The rules for the submission and review cycle to be used are those approved by the respective project group's committee prior to the submission deadline. The approved rules must be posted to the respective project group's web-site by the first publication date for the benchmark.
      2. Version compliance: The benchmark and (where applicable) application versions to be used are those approved by the respective project group's committee prior to the submission deadline. The approved benchmark (and application) versions must be posted to the respective project group's web-site by the first publication date for the benchmark.
      3. All benchmark sources for a submission must be the same as that approved by the respective project group's committee prior to the submission deadline. The approved benchmark sources must be posted to the respective project group's web-site by the first publication date for the benchmark.
    2. Submission Content Rules
      1. The submitter must provide a valid name and contact email address.
      2. The information supplied must reflect the system as tested.
      3. Configuration description: All fields in a submission's results file must be supplied, unless the field names are marked "opt.", indicating an optional field.
      4. Date fields must always contain a valid date. "Now" is not valid in a date field.
      5. The submitter is required to declare sufficient information to reproduce the performance claimed. This includes but is not limited to:
        1. non-default environment variables,
        2. non-default registry variables,
        3. system BIOS or firmware version,
        4. hints,
        5. compiler name and version,
        6. compiler command line,
        7. changes to the standard makefiles.
      6. Any information required to be reported such as non-default environment variables, registry variables or hints, that does not have a predefined field must be documented in the "Comments" area of the results page.
      7. Valid submissions must include screen captures if required by the benchmark.
      8. Results previously published for a system can be resubmitted. Resubmissions do not require the inclusion of screen capture images.
      9. Previously published results being re-submitted can only have price changes.
      10. Each member company must ensure that the upload file contains data for all the new configurations and existing published configurations they wish to continue publishing.
      11. Standardized CPU nomenclature is as follows:
        1. CPU / Processor: a physical package containing one or more cores.
        2. Socket – Receptacle or physical connection between processors and the system.
        3. Core: set of execution units which completely implement the instruction set of a processor architecture and are capable of running one or more threads.
        4. Thread: Processor-directed sequence of instructions
        5. All processors in the system, the number of their cores and the number of threads (if more than one) a core can execute must be disclosed in the system description whether or not they are directly enabled by system software or application software. If different from the number physically present, the number of processors, cores and threads enabled must also be disclosed.
      12. Standardized CPU cache nomenclature is as follows:
        1. (D+I) designates a unified instruction and data cache
        2. (D/I) designates separate instruction and data caches
        3. A number followed by KB or MB can be used to describe the size of the cache.
        4. Caches dedicated to a processor are listed as per processor cache size.
        5. Caches shared by multiple processors are listed by total size
      13. Each component of the submitted configuration (including the graphics driver) shall be:
        1. uniquely identified,
        2. available to members of the respective project group, upon demand, by the submission deadline and for the duration of the review process,
        3. verifiably available to the public by the publication date, with sufficient information in the comment field to enable users to directly obtain this component.
      14. Subsequent to publication, any change to or replacement of elements for a submitted configuration must not result in more than a 5% performance degradation in the submitted benchmark results. Upon demonstration of such a degradation, the submitted results for this configuration will be removed from the SPEC public website.
      15. On or before the date of publication, the submitted configuration shall be available for purchase by the public with a firm delivery date of 60 days or less. For all benchmarks, the submitted result file must contain the exact performance results as generated by the benchmark. Fields carrying performance results may not be altered.
    3. Submission Process Rules
      1. Each benchmark is considered a separate submission.
      2. Submissions of each benchmark's results (e.g. SPECwpc, Solidworks 2015™, SPECviewperf, etc.) must be in separate tar/zip files.
      3. A submitter of benchmark results must upload his or her submission to the proper server location by the submission deadline date and time. The submitter must not create any new directories on the server when uploading the submission.
      4. The submitter must notify SPEC Office after a submission is uploaded to the server prior to the submission deadline with contact information for questions about the submission.
      5. The submitter must contact the SPEC office if they have attempted to upload their submission and were not successful.
      6. The SPEC office will not disclose who has submitted results until the submission deadline has passed.
      7. Submissions will not be accepted after the submission deadline.
      8. The upload directory will be set to write-only until the submission deadline has passed. Then it is set to read-write (not modify) after the submission deadline.
      9. If a submitter is notified that their submission format is incorrect, they must re-send their submission in proper format within 3 business days of notification.
    4. Review Period Rules
      1. SPEC/GWPG project group members shall keep all submitted results confidential to the respective project group until those results appear on the public SPEC web site. The exception to this rule is that members are free to make their own submitted results public at any time.
      2. The project group chair assigns reviewers for submissions. Reviewers must acknowledge the assignment by email to the project group alias. If no acknowledgments are received by end of the second day of the review period, the project group chair will reassign reviewers.
      3. Members who wish not to review the submission of other specific members due to conflict of interest must submit that list to the project group chair prior to the submission deadline. The project group chair will hold the list in confidence from other members.
      4. The various SPECapc, SPECgpc and SPECwpc pools of eligible reviewers will be independent of each other. The project group chair will send the list of contact information for the submissions under review.
      5. All members will have access to all benchmark submissions once the review period begins.
      6. The review period shall be 5 calendar days, unless a special revision is voted upon by SPEC/GWPG members.
      7. Submissions cannot be withdrawn during the review period without cause and without prior approval of the primary reviewer. A submitter who is granted permission to withdraw a submission must inform the committee by email of the reason for withdrawal.
      8. If a primary reviewer has a question with a submission he or she must pose the question to the submitter first. The primary reviewer may also pose questions to the respective project group's officers or SPEC/GWPG Chair for clarification of rules if needed.
      9. Any reviewer who has one or more questions relating to a submission must:
        1. Pose the question(s) to the submitter and cc the primary reviewer, OR
        2. Pose the question(s) to the primary reviewer. The primary reviewer must then pose the question(s) to the submitter, OR
        3. Pose the question(s) to an officer of the respective project group. The officer must then pose the question(s) to the submitter and cc the primary reviewer.
      10. With permission of the primary reviewer, as communicated through the respective project group's email alias, the submitter can request that his or her submission be rejected on stated technical grounds.
      11. With permission of the primary reviewer, as communicated through the respective project group's email alias, a submitter may resubmit a submission to resolve issues found during the review process. The submitter must notify the respective project group's mailing list with the date and version of the resubmitted file(s).
      12. The submitter must provide the primary reviewer access to the system under test at the submitter's facilities if requested by the reviewer during the review period. The reviewer must state prior to the visit what part of the submission is going to be verified. Travel expenses are the responsibility of the reviewer.
      13. By the end of the review period, the primary reviewer of a submission must designate the status of the submission one of: “accepted without comment”, "accepted with comment", “pending with comment”, or “rejected with comment”. The submitter may appeal a rejection as described in "Review Appeal Rules" below.
      14. Any comments for rejection of a submission received after the end of the review period will not delay publication of the submission.
      15. A submission designated “pending with comment” will not go public and will remain pending until the submitter addresses all comments. Once the comments are addressed the web master will post to the public site. Any member who feels comments are not satisfactorily addressed may challenge the submission according to Section IV.6 for challenging approved results.
      16. If a submitter repeatedly makes submissions that are non-compliant or which do not address concerns identified in the previously-assigned reviewers' rejection comments, the reviewer may engage the committee to solicit appropriate action, which may be up to and including an embargo on submissions from that submitter for a period of time.
    5. Review Appeal Rules
      1. The appeal period shall have the same duration as one submission cycle, and shall immediately follow the review period.
      2. Any submitter of a rejected submission can make their case to the respective project group's email alias during the appeal period.
      3. At the end of the appeal period, if there is no resolution, the project group Chair shall call a vote to accept or reject the submission.
      4. The project group electorate votes on accepting or rejecting an appealed submission. A simple majority is required to accept or reject the appeal. In case of a tie the submission is rejected.
    6. Challenging Accepted Results
      1. Any member may challenge accepted results at any time. This includes:
        1. archived results,
        2. currently published results, and
        3. resubmitted results not subject to the regular submission review process.
      2. The burden of proof that the result should be modified is on the member who is challenging the result.
      3. The challenge must be ratified by a majority vote of the project group's electorate.
      4. The project group Chair will call a special review cycle for a resubmission in the event that there is a ratified challenge to currently published results.
      5. A ratified challenge to archived results can only result in annotation, not removal or modification. The annotation will be determined by the majority of the electorate. It is the responsibility of the challenger to verify that the results have been annotated correctly on the public website within two working days from the ratification of the challenge.
  4. Publication Rules
    1. Official Publication
      1. Benchmark results for publication by the SPECgpc, SPECapc or SPECwpc must adhere to Articles concerning "Overview", "Benchmark Run Rules" and "Submission and Review Rules" as presented in this document AND the respective project group's rules document.
    2. Unofficial Publication
      1. Benchmark results for publication elsewhere (e.g. industry journals, vendor web sites, analyst reports) must adhere to Articles concerning "Overview" and "Benchmark Run Rules" as presented in this document AND the respective project group's rules document.
      2. The respective project group or any member thereof reserve the right to request and receive evidence that the published results have been achieved in accordance with the rules and that published information is accurate.
      3. SPECgpc, SPECapc or SPECwpc metrics may be estimated. Metrics shall not be estimated for configurations that are capable of running the benchmark. All estimated metrics must be clearly identified as estimated. Licensees are encouraged to publish actual SPECgpc, SPECapc or SPECwpc metrics as soon as possible.


V1.16 adopted on 7/30/2016 (minor edits, update of meeting notices, correction of non-member publication information)

V1.15 adopted on 9/23/2014 (removal of pricing and single/multiple supplier rules, addition of SPECwpc, revision of reviewer assignment responsibility)

V1.14 adopted on 05/14/2012 (new rule IV.2.a, changed rule IV.2.g, and changed wording IV.2.t/u)

V1.13 adopted on 04/21/2010 (edited rule IV.2.p.iii, and removed duplicate rule (was IV.4.m)

V1.12 adopted on 01/27/2010 (new rule IV.2.u)

V1.11 adopted on 08/13/2009 (new/changed rules IV.2.h, IV.4.b and IV.4.m)

V1.10 adopted on 09/13/2007 (reflects transition from GPC to GWPG)

V1.04 adopted on 10/20/2006

V1.03 adopted on 08/04/2006

V1.02 adopted on 04/27/2006

V1.01 updated on 02/09/2006 to align wording with SPEC policy

V1.00 adopted on 01/25/2006