The OpenGL Performance Characterization Project
- General Philosophy
- The OpenGL Performance Characterization Project
of SPEC/GPC (henceforth abbreviated as SPECopcSM) believes the user community
will benefit from an objective series of tests, which
can serve as common reference and be considered as part
of an evaluation process.
- The SPECopc seeks to develop benchmarks for generating
accurate OpenGL performance measures in an open, accessible
and well-publicized manner.
- The SPECopc wishes to contribute to the coherence
of the field of OpenGL performance measurement and evaluation
so that vendors will be better able to present well-defined
performance measures; and customers will be better able
to compare and evaluate vendors' products and environments.
- The SPECopc will provide formal beta software to
members and final software releases to the public in
a timely fashion.
- Hardware and software used to run the SPECopc benchmarks
must provide a suitable environment for running typical
- SPECopc reserves the right to adapt its benchmarks
as it deems necessary to preserve its goal of fair and
useful benchmarking (e.g. remove benchmark, modify benchmark
code or data, etc). If a change is made to the suite,
SPECopc will notify the appropriate parties (i.e. SPECopc
members and users of the benchmark) and SPECopc will
re-designate the metrics (e.g. changing the metric from
DRV-04 composite to DRV-05 composite). In the case that
a benchmark is removed in whole or in part, SPECopc
reserves the right to republish in summary form "adapted"
results for previously published systems, converted
to the new metric. In the case of other changes, such
a republication may necessitate re-testing and may require
support from the original test sponsor.
- Overview of Optimizations
- SPECopc is aware of the importance of optimizations
in producing the best system performance. SPECopc is
also aware that it is sometimes hard to draw an exact
line between legitimate optimizations that happen to
benefit SPECopc benchmarks and optimizations that specifically
target SPECopc benchmarks. However, with the list below,
SPECopc wants to increase awareness of implementers
and end-users to issues of unwanted benchmark-specific
optimizations that would be incompatible with OPC's
goal of fair benchmarking.
- To ensure that results are relevant to end-users,
SPECopc expects that the hardware and software implementations
used for running SPECopc benchmarks adhere to a set
of general rules for optimizations.
- General Rules for Optimization
- Optimizations must generate correct images for a
class of programs, where the class of programs must
be larger than a single SPECopc benchmark or SPECopc
benchmark suite. Correct images are those deemed by
the majority of the SPECopc electorate to be sufficiently
adherent to the OpenGL specification for the targeted
end-user community (e.g. users of OpenGL on PDAs
would have lower quality expectations than those using
- Optimizations must improve performance for a class
of programs where the class of programs must be larger
than a single SPECopc benchmark or SPECopc benchmark
suite and applicable to at least one end user application.
For any given optimization a system must generate correct
images with and without said optimization. An optimization
must not reduce system stability.
- The vendor encourages the implementation for general
use (not just for running a single SPECopc benchmark
or SPECopc benchmark suite). As an indicator that the
implementation is suitable for general use, graphics
configurations submitted for the SPECopc benchmark suite
must be able to run the corresponding SPECapc application
benchmarks if applicable.
- The implementation is generally available, documented
and supported by the providing vendor.
- It is expected that vendors would endorse the general
use of these optimizations by customers who seek to
achieve good application performance.
- No pre-computed (e.g. driver cached) images, geometric
data, or OpenGL state may be substituted within an SPECopc
benchmark on the basis of detecting that said benchmark
is running (e.g. pattern matching of command stream
or recognition of benchmark's name).
- Every OpenGL implementation in both immediate and
display list mode must fully process every GL element presented
to it that will impact the frame buffer and GL state.
- Differences to the frame buffer between immediate
and display list modes must not exceed 0.01% of the
number of pixels in the window.
- In the case where it appears the guidelines in this
document have not been followed, SPECopc may investigate
such a claim and request that the optimization in question
(e.g. one using SPECopc benchmark-specific pattern matching)
be removed and the results resubmitted. Or, SPECopc
may request that the vendor correct the deficiency (e.g.
make the optimization more
general purpose or correct problems with image generation)
before submitting results based on the optimization.
- Membership in the SPECopc is open to any organization
that has a direct and/or material interest in OpenGL
graphics performance benchmarking.
- Members are expected but not required to be active
participants developing and improving SPECopc benchmarks.
- Members are entitled to secure access to development
- Members are entitled to unlimited publication rights.
- 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 2.04(b).
- A member maintains voting rights by attending 1
out of the last 3 qualified meetings. A member loses
their voting rights upon missing 3 consecutive qualified
- A member regains voting rights on attending a second
consecutive qualified meeting.
- Associate Status
- Associate status is available to non-profit organizations.
- All SPECopc, GPC and SPEC Rules and Rights apply
to Associates unless specifically stated otherwise.
- Associates are entitled to secure access to development
- Associates do not have voting rights.
- Officers and Elections
- On an annual basis the SPECopc will elect from its
membership the following officers:
- Vice Chairperson
- The Chairperson's responsibilities are to
- conduct meetings,
- send out the agenda on time,
- conduct votes on time,
- deal with outside organizations such as the press,
- police the submission, review and appeal processes.
- The Vice-Chairperson's responsibility is to do the
chairman's job when the chairman is not available.
- The Secretary-Treasurer responsibilities are to:
- record minutes,
- maintain the rules document,
- keeps a history of email,
- track finances and interact with the GPC and SPEC Board
in that regard.
- The SPECopc has three types of meetings (not including
- Regular quarterly face to face meetings
- Special SPECopc face to face meetings for the
- Conference Call meetings
- SPECopc meetings which
qualify for attendance are limited to:
- face to face meetings scheduled one month in advance
- conference calls scheduled two weeks in advance.
- Membership Dues and Billing
- Dues for the SPECopc will be set annually by the
SPEC Board of Directors with input from the SPECopc.
Once set, the dues amount will be recorded in the SPEC
minutes and communicated to the SPECopc by the SPEC
- Dues payment, purchase order, or letter of intent
must be received at the SPEC office in time for the
January annual meeting. Dues must be paid by the end
of February. Failure to meet these deadlines will result
in loss of membership and voting rights which will be
reinstated when full payment is received at the SPEC
- Non-Member Publication
- The SPECopc will accept submissions from non-members
for review and publication on the SPEC public website.
- Non-member submissions must follow the same procedures
as member submissions.
- Non-members are not eligible to participate in reviewing
- Non-members will be charged per system configuration
for their submissions. Any change in hardware or software
constitutes a new configuration.
- On an annual basis the SPECopc will establish the
pricing for non-member publication. The amounts will
be recorded in the SPECopc minutes.
- A configuration will be published on-line for one
year, unless the submitter notifies the publisher that
it should be removed.
- After one year, the configuration will be removed
automatically, unless the submitter notifies the publisher
that it should remain on-line.
- There are no additional non-member fees for extending
on-line publication beyond one year.
- The SPECopc project group may remove published results
due to benchmark revision. In this case, the submitter
will be given notice by the project group and may, at
no charge, resubmit the identical configuration for
the revised benchmark.
- Benchmark Acceptance
- Benchmark components are defined as
- code sets (e.g. SPECviewperf®, SPECglperf®),
- run rules, scripts and associated data sets (e.g.
viewsets or SPECglperf script).
- New or modified benchmark components require a 2/3-majority
vote of the SPECopc electorate to be accepted for publication.
- A minimum 3-week review period is required for new
or significantly modified benchmark components.
- At the end of the review period a vote will be called
to approve the proposed changes.
- An amendment to a benchmark component during the
review period must be unanimously accepted. If not,
the review period shall be restarted.
- It is the option of any future SPECviewperf Viewset author(s)
to require passing of selected conformance tests prior
to submission of results for that viewset.
- Benchmark Code Versioning
- Benchmark code is defined as the set of source code
required to build and run a benchmark executable (e.g.
SPECviewperf and SPECglperf).
- SPECglperf Benchmark code uses the following version coding:
M.m.p (e.g. 3.1.2) M is the
major release number, m is the minor release number
and p is the patch level.
- The major release number is only incremented when
large amounts of code are changed and the scripting
language is dramatically changed as a result --
backward compatibility is highly unlikely when moving
scripts or data sets between major releases (e.g.
running v2 scripts on a v3 executable would almost
- The minor release number is bumped if some small
set of code is replaced or removed - but the standard,
unchanged scripts and data sets, as a whole, must
run on the new version (but perhaps with different
- Patch releases can contain additions of new properties
and additions of new attributes to existing properties,
but cannot change or remove any existing properties,
attributes or functionality. These are typically
used for bug fixes, small enhancements and so forth.
- SPECviewperf Viewset Versioning
- The version of a SPECviewperf viewset should
be incremented if:
- changes to SPECviewperf affect the performance of the viewset,
- or changes to the Viewset script affect performance,
- or if the viewset data
- or if rule changes affect the acceptance criteria.
- New results for the previous version of a Viewset will no longer be published.
- SPECglperf Script Versioning
- The version of a SPECglperf script should be incremented if:
- changes to SPECglperf
affect the performance of the script,
- or changes to the SPECglperf script can affect performance,
- or if rule changes affect the acceptance criteria.
- Benchmark Run Rules
- Benchmark Run Rules
- The system under test must perform all of the OpenGL
functionality requested by the benchmark with the exception
that the system does not have to support dithering.
- The systems under test must be OpenGL Conformant
for the pixel format or visual used by the benchmark.
- Settings for environment variables, registry variables
and hints must not disable compliant behavior.
- No interaction is allowed with the system under
test during the benchmark, unless required by the benchmark.
- The system under test can not skip frames during
the benchmark run.
- It is not permissible to change the system configuration
during the running of a given benchmark. For example,
one can not power off the system, make some changes,
then power back on and run the rest of the benchmark.
- Screen grabs for SPECviewperf will be full window size.
- The monitor must support the stated resolution and
refresh rate and must fully display all of the benchmark
tests being submitted.
- Results to be made public must be run by official
scripts that may not be changed, with the following
exceptions (which must be documented if not the default):
- In SPECviewperf:
- specific selection of visual/pixel format on
a per-test basis
- the multithreading flag (-th) on approved multi-threading viewsets
- Visual/pixel format required:
- May be selected on a per-test basis by submission
of the viewset script.
- If RGB visual/pixel format is requested, it
must have at least eight bits of red, eight
bits of green and eight bits of blue.
- If destination alpha is requested, it must have
at least 1 bit.
- If depth buffer is requested, it must have at
least 16 bits of resolution.
- Screen resolution must be large enough to run the
individual tests at their requested window size, with
no reduction or clipping of test window.
- Tests may be run with or without a desktop/window
manager, but must be run on some native windowing system.
- Submission and Review Rules
- Submission Preparation Rules
- The rules for the submission and review cycle to
be used are those posted on the SPECopc web site two
weeks prior to the submission deadline.
- The benchmark versions to be used for a submission
are those posted on the SPECopc web site two weeks prior
to the submission deadline.
- All benchmark sources for a submission must be the
same as that posted on the SPECopc web site two
weeks prior to the submission deadline.
- Members who wish not to review the submission of
other specific members due to conflict of interest must
submit that list to the SPEC office prior to the submission
deadline. The SPEC office will hold the list in confidence
from other members.
- Submission Content Rules
- The information supplied must reflect the system
- All fields in the configuration description file
must be supplied.
- A date must be supplied for 'General Availability'
that is accurate for the entire system - hardware, software,
O/S, drivers, etc.
- If the system as tested is not available from the
submitter through the normal ordering process, the "Comments"
area of the results page must describe how the system
may be acquired.
- Date fields must always contain a valid date. "Now"
is not valid in a date field.
- A SPECviewperf submission
can be for one or more viewsets
- Price includes system and monitor as tested.
- The color depth used must be at least 24 bits (true
- The display raster resolution must be at least 1280
pixels by 1024 pixels.
- The monitor refresh rate must be at least 75Hz.
This requirement does not apply to digital flat panel
- Alternate currency from the US dollar can be submitted
as price and the submission will be sorted separately
on the summary pages for Price and Price/Performance.
- The submitter is required to declare sufficient
information to reproduce the performance claimed. This
includes but is not limited to:
- non-default environment variables,
- non-default registry variables,
- compiler name and version,
- compiler command line,
- changes to the standard makefiles.
- 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
- Valid submissions must include screen captures if
required by the benchmark.
- The SPECviewperf binary
must be submitted if it is not one of the standard binaries.
- Results previously published for a system can be
- Previously published results being re-submitted
can only have price changes.
- The SPECviewperf submission
upload file must have the structure defined in Figure
- 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.
- Standardized cache nomenclature are as follows:
- (D+I) is a Unified instruction and data cache
- (D/I) is a for separate instruction and data caches
- A number followed by KB or MB can be used to describe
the size of the cache.
- Caches dedicated to a processor are listed as
per processor cache size.
- Caches shared by multiple processors are listed
by total size.
- Each component of the submitted software configuration
(including the graphics driver) shall be:
- uniquely identified,
- available to SPECopc members, upon demand, by
the submission deadline and for the duration of the
- available to the public by the publication date, with continued
availability at least through the next submission deadline.
- Subsequent to publication, replacing elements of
a submitted configuration must not result in more than a
5% performance degradation in any of the submitted
benchmark results. The submitted results for this configuration
will be removed from the SPEC public website, if this requirement
is not met.
- On or before the date of publication, the submitted
configuration shall be available for purchase by the public,
for the specified price or less, with a firm delivery date
of 60 days or less.
- Submission Process Rules
- Each benchmark (SPECviewperf, etc.) is considered a separate submission.
- Submissions of each benchmark (SPECviewperf, etc.) must be in separate tar/zip files.
- The submission file names must contain opc_v for SPECviewperf and
opc_g for SPECglperf,
contain all lower case letters and not contain '.' except
prior to the zip or tar file extension (e.g. intel_opc_v_jun99_v0.zip).
The file version is denoted prior to the file extension.
The initial file version is v0. Resubmitted files must
increment the version number.
- A submitter of SPECopc benchmark results must upload
their submission to the proper server location by the
submission deadline date. The submitter must not create
any new directories on the server when uploading their
- 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.
- The submitter must contact the SPEC office if they
have attempted to upload their submission and were not
- The SPEC office will not
disclose who has submitted results until the submission
deadline has passed.
- Submissions will not be accepted after the submission
- 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.
- 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.
- Abuse of the resubmission allowance is grounds for
rejection of a submission.
- Review Period Rules
- SPECopc members must keep other members' submitted
results SPECopc-confidential until they are publicly available.
- SPEC Office pairs reviewers to submitters.
- SPECviewperf review pools will be independent of each other.
The SPEC office will send the list of contact information
for the submissions under review.
- All members will have access to all benchmark submissions
once the review period begins.
- The review period shall be 10 calendar days.
- Submissions cannot be withdrawn during the review
- If a primary reviewer has a question with a submission
they must pose the question to the submitter first.
- Any reviewer who has questions with a submission
- Pose these questions to the submitter and cc the
primary reviewer OR,
- Pose these questions to the primary reviewer.
The primary reviewer must then pose these questions
to the submitter OR,
- Pose these questions
to an officer of the SPECopc. The officer of the SPECopc
must then pose these questions to the submitter and
cc the primary reviewer.
- The submitter can request that their submission
be rejected on stated technical grounds.
- With public permission of the primary reviewer,
a submitter may resubmit their submission. The submitter
must notify the gpcopc mailing
list with the date and version of the resubmitted file.
- 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.
- Previously published results being re-submitted
can only be reviewed for consistency with the previous
submission, and price changes.
- Price can be challenged. If so, the submitter must
provide documentation that the system can be purchased
for the price quoted. Price must be valid for 90 days
from date of publication. Quantity 1 pricing must be used.
- Reviewers will decide if the image quality of the
submission is sufficiently adherent
to the OpenGL specification to satisfy the intended end
user's expectations. If a reviewer rejects the quality
of an image for a stated reason, the submitter can ask
for a vote of the full SPECopc electorate. In case of
a tie the submission is rejected.
- System configurations submitted for the SPECopc
benchmark suite must be able to run the corresponding
SPECapc application benchmarks if applicable. If this
criteria is not met the submission will be rejected.
- By the end of the review period, the primary reviewer
of a submission must approve it without comment, approve
it with comment, or reject it with comment. The submitter
may appeal a rejection as described in Section 5.05.
- Comments for rejection of a submission received
after the end of the review period will not delay publication
of the submission.
- Review Appeal Rules
- The appeal period shall be 2 weeks, and immediately
follow the review period.
- Any submitter of a rejected submission can make
their case on the gpcopc email
alias during the appeal period.
- At the end of the appeal period, if there is no
resolution, the Chair shall call a vote to approve or
reject the submission.
- The whole SPECopc electorate votes on approval or
rejection of an appealed submission. A simple majority
of the SPECopc electorate is required to approve or reject
the appeal. In case of a tie the submission is rejected.
- Challenging Approved Results
- Any member may challenge approved results at any
time. This includes:
- archived results,
- currently published results.
- The burden of proof that the result should be modified
is on the member who is
challenging the result.
- The challenge must be ratified by a majority vote
of the committee.
- The Chair will call a special review cycle in the
event that there is a ratified challenge to currently
published results .
- 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 committee.
- Publication Rules
- SPECopc Publication
- Benchmark results for publication by the SPECopc
must adhere to Articles I, IV and V.
- Unofficial Publication
- Benchmark results for publication elsewhere (e.g.
industry journals, vendor web sites, analyst reports)
must adhere to Articles I and IV.
- The SPECopc or any SPECopc member reserves 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.
- SPECopc 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 SPECopc metrics as soon as possible.
Proper trademark usage for estimated results would be
in the following forms:
- SPECviewperf Awadvs-04 estimated score of 30 fps
Adopted by the SPECopc on January 23, 2003.
Changes for version 1.1 adopted June 10, 1999.
Changes for version 1.2 adopted January 12, 2000.
V1.4 changes -- 5.02 (d) added
V1.5 changes -- 4.01.i.2(2), 4.01.i.2(4), 5.02.w
V1.6 changes -- 1.03.c, 5.04.o