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Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation



SPECviewperf 8 adds four new viewsets,
features that mirror application performance

LOS ANGELES, August 11, 2004 - SPEC/GPC's OpenGL Performance Characterization (SPECopc) project group has released SPECviewperf 8, a major new version of its software that measures graphics performance for systems running popular CAD/CAM, digital content creation, and visualization applications.

Windows, Linux and Unix versions of SPECviewperf 8 can be downloaded without charge on the SPEC/GPC web site ( Testing results using the new benchmark are also available on the site.

SPECviewperf 8 includes four new test files, called viewsets, based on CATIA, SolidWorks, Alias Maya and CEI EnSight application software. The viewset based on the Lightscape application has been updated to capture the current OpenGL command stream, and the DX and DRV viewsets, whose workloads are not based on traces of the actual applications, have been retired.

Closer to reality

Viewsets in SPECviewperf 8 come closer than ever before to mimicking real-world application performance. All the viewsets are now derived from traces of actual applications. The state changes and geometry mixes that impact graphics application performance are reflected in the viewset. This allows analysis of the graphics subsystem performance without requiring licensed versions of the applications.

SPECviewperf 8 also offers new testing options. The benchmark can now be run at higher resolutions than the standard specified for the viewset, providing a wider range of comparisons for both users and vendors reporting results on the SPEC/GPC web site. As a preview of the benchmark's future direction, there is a new test file that enables users to see how their systems perform on a very large Unigraphics data set requiring more than one gigabyte of system memory.

"SPECviewperf 8 represents major advances in three key areas," says Ian Williams, SPECopc chair. "It uses viewsets that act more like actual applications, provides a broader range of viewsets that represent a very large portion of the dominant applications in the commercial 3D graphics market, and offers more options for testing performance within different computing environments."

New viewsets, bigger models and more geometry in SPECviewperf 8 have added to the size of the benchmark, which is 400 MB in its compressed state and expands to 1.2 GB when installed. The SPECopc group recommends that users run the benchmark on systems that have more than 512 MB of RAM.

Cooperative effort

More new viewsets and features have been added to SPECviewperf in the last two years than in any other period in the benchmark's history. The rapid progress is a result of cooperation between SPECopc and SPEC's Application Performance Characterization (SPECapc) group, and among independent software vendors (ISVs), hardware vendors, benchmark users and analysts. The ISVs have been especially instrumental in expanding the viewsets offered in the benchmark.

"ISVs contribute the content we need to make this benchmark realistic," says Williams. "They have provided a tremendous service to the 3D graphics community. We especially thank SolidWorks, CEI, Alias and CATIA Community for providing models and helping with development of the new viewsets for this release."

The changes in SPECviewperf 8 are a clear indication of where the SPECopc group is taking the benchmark, according to Williams. Users can expect a greater breadth of applications to be covered in the suite, increased realism in what can be captured and implemented within the benchmark, and a greater variety of tests for large and high-resolution data sets.

About SPECviewperf
SPECviewperf measures the 3D rendering performance of systems running under the OpenGL application programming interface (API). The benchmark's viewsets represent a similar mix of graphics rendering and manipulation found in actual applications. Current viewsets represent graphics functionality in CATIA, Pro/ENGINEER, SolidWorks, Unigraphics, 3ds max, Maya, EnSight and Lightscape applications.

About SPECopc
SPECopc is a project group of the Graphics Performance Characterization (GPC) Group, which in turn is part of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC). 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's membership includes computer hardware and software vendors, and leading universities and research facilities worldwide.


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