SPEC/GWPG's Application Performance Characterization Group
(SPECapc) was formed in 1997. The group addresses graphics
and workstation performance evaluation based on actual
software applications. SPECapc was an off-shoot of its
sister organization, SPECgpc. SPECapc became part of
SPEC (Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation) to
take advantage of the systems and procedures the group
had in place to standardize the benchmarking process
-- from review processes and reporting formats to standardized
workloads and measurement criteria. This decision saved
administrative time and resources and allowed the group
to focus on developing and maintaining benchmarks.
The non-profit SPECapc project provides clear methods
for evaluating and comparing the performance of computers
across vendor platforms and configurations. SPECapc's
benchmarks are application-based, representative of end
user needs, and represent total system performance --
graphics, I/O and CPU. The members of SPECapc feel that
end users will benefit from a broad-ranging set of standardized
benchmarks that characterize the performance of computer
systems running graphics and workstation applications.
SPECapc has defined the following goals in support of
its benchmarking efforts:
- Develop a broad range of free, standardized performance
evaluation tools that are unambiguous, vendor-neutral
measures for product evaluation and comparison.
- Provide mechanisms that enable vendors, customers
and others to perform their own performance measurement
- Provide formal and timely software releases to the
public based on current graphics and workstation
- Contribute to the coherence of the field of graphics
and workstation performance evaluation so that vendors
will be better able to present well-defined measures,
and customers will be better able to compare and
evaluate vendors' products and environments.
SPECapc evaluates consumer need, market data, member company
knowledge and ISV input to determine relative market
segments and important applications in those segments.
Like the applications they represent, SPECapc benchmarks
are targeted at a specific level of hardware, such as
PCs or high-end workstations. Because of this, SPECapc
benchmarks are not required to run on all platforms.
SPECapc group members sponsor applications and work with
end-users, user groups, publications and ISVs to select
and refine workloads, which consist of data sets and
benchmark script files. Workloads are determined by end-users
and ISVs, not SPECapc group members. These workloads
will evolve over time in conjunction with end-users'
needs and the increasing functionality of PCs and workstations.
Structure and Membership
The SPECapc project group is a non-profit group whose
general costs are paid via membership fees or dues. Any
company, individual, institution or other group can become
a sustaining member at any point in the development phase
by remitting these dues. The project group maintains
an appeals process through which any interested or affected
party may register and have heard a complaint concerning
group action or inaction. The principles of due process
and antitrust compliance are adhered to by the project
group at all times.
Find out more about the benefits of
SPECapc membership, how you can take advantage of the
project group's review
and publication process, or how to help
develop a SPECapc benchmark. For specific queries,