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Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation

 
 

The Application Performance Characterization Project Committee Rules

Version 2.03

Last Updated: 07/20/2006

  1. Overview

    1. General Philosophy
      1. All rules declared in "The Graphics Performance Characterization Group (SPEC/GPC): Rules For Project Groups" document (known hereafter as the GPC Project Groups Ruleset) apply, unless specifically overruled by a rule in this document.
    2. General Philosophy
      1. Within SPEC's Graphics Performance Characterization (GPC) Group there was a strong belief that it is important to benchmark graphics performance based on actual applications. Application-level benchmarks exist, but they are not standardized and they do not cover a wide range of application areas. Thus, the Application Performance Characterization (SPECapcSM)  Project was created within the GPC to create a broad-ranging set of standardized benchmarks for graphics-intensive applications.
      2. The SPECapc seeks to develop benchmarks for generating accurate application-level graphics performance measures in an open, accessible and well-publicized manner.
      3. The SPECapc wishes to contribute to the coherence of the field of application 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.
      4. The SPECapc will provide formal beta benchmarks to members and final benchmark releases to the public in a timely fashion.
      5. Hardware and software used to run the SPECapc benchmarks must provide a suitable environment for running typical (not just benchmark) workloads for the applications in question.
      6. SPECapc 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, SPECapc will notify the appropriate parties (i.e. SPECapc members and users of the benchmark) and SPECapc will re-designate the benchmark by changing its name and/or version. In the case that a benchmark is removed in whole or in part, SPECapc 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.
    3. Overview of Optimizations
      1. SPECapc is aware of the importance of optimizations in producing the best system performance. SPECapc is also aware that it is sometimes hard to draw an exact line between legitimate optimizations that happen to benefit SPECapc benchmarks and optimizations that specifically target SPECapc benchmarks. However, with the list below, SPECapc wants to increase awareness of implementers and end-users to issues of unwanted benchmark-specific optimizations that would be incompatible with SPECapc's goal of fair benchmarking.
      2. To ensure that results are relevant to end-users, SPECapc expects that the hardware and software implementations used for running SPECapc benchmarks adhere to a set of general rules for optimizations.
    4. General Rules for Optimization
      1. Optimizations must generate correct images and results for the application under test, for both the benchmark case and similar cases. Correct images and results are those deemed by the majority of the SPECapc electorate, potentially with input from the associated independent software vendor (ISV) and/or end-users, to be sufficiently adherent to the intent behind the application.
      2. Optimizations must improve performance for a class of workloads where the class of workloads must be larger than a single SPECapc benchmark or SPECapc benchmark suite.
      3. For any given optimization a system should generate correct images with and without said optimization. An optimization should not reduce system stability.
      4. The vendor encourages the implementation for general use (not just for running a single SPECapc benchmark or SPECapc benchmark suite).
      5. The implementation is generally available, documented and supported by the providing vendor.
      6. In the case where it appears that the above guidelines have not been followed, SPECapc may investigate such a claim and request that the optimization in question (e.g. one using SPECapc benchmark-specific pattern matching) be removed and the results resubmitted. Or, SPECapc 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.
      7. It is expected that system vendors would endorse the general use of these optimizations by customers who seek to achieve good application performance.
      8. No pre-computed (e.g. driver-cached) images, geometric data, or state may be substituted within an SPECapc benchmark on the basis of detecting that said benchmark is running (e.g. pattern matching of command stream or recognition of benchmark's name).

  1. Benchmarks

    1. Benchmark Acceptance
      1. Benchmark components are defined as
        1. specific revision of an application,
        2. run rules,  scripts and associated data sets.
      2. New or modified benchmark components require a 2/3-majority vote to be accepted for publication. Selection of datecode versions of a specific revision of an application is by majority vote.
      3. A minimum 3-week review period is required for new or significantly modified benchmark components.
      4. At the end of the review period a vote will be called to approve the proposed changes.
      5. An amendment to a benchmark component during the review period must be unanimously accepted. If not, the review period shall be restarted.
    2. Benchmark Code Versioning
      1. Benchmarks use the following version coding: M.m (e.g. SPECapcSM for Pro/ENGINEER 20.0 v1.1) M is the major release number and m is the minor release number.

        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 certainly fail).

      2. 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 performance).
      3. When there is a new major release of a benchmark, submissions using the previous release will be accepted for at least one submission cycle. When a superceded benchmark is retired, the associated run-rules will be archived in an "archived benchmark run-rules document" posted on the Previous SPECapc Benchmarks web-page.
  1. Submission, Review and Publication

    1. General Benchmark Run Rules
      1. The system under test must correctly perform all of the operations being requested by the application during the benchmark.
      2. No changes to any files associated with the benchmark are permitted excepted as noted in the benchmark-specific rules (section 5 of this document).
      3. The entire display raster must be available for use by the application being benchmarked.
      4. It is not permissible to override the intended behavior of the application through any means including, but not limited to, registry settings or environment variables.
      5. No interaction is allowed with the system under test during the benchmark, unless required by the benchmark.
      6. The system under test can not skip frames during the benchmark run.
      7. It is not permissible to change the system configuration during the running of a given benchmark. That is, one can't power off the system, make some changes, then power back on and run the rest of the benchmark.
      8. Results submitted must be obtained using the scripts, models, and application revisions which are specified for that submission cycle by the SPECapc.
      9. The color depth used must be at least 24 bits (true color), with at least 8 bits of red, 8 bits of green and 8 bits of blue, unless otherwise specified.
      10. The display raster resolution must be at least 1280 pixels by 1024 pixels, unless otherwise specified.
      11. The monitor refresh rate must be at least 75Hz. This requirement does not apply to digital flat panel displays, unless otherwise specified.
      12. The border width of the windows created during the benchmark shall not exceed 10 pixels, unless otherwise specified.
      13. The monitor used in the benchmark must support the stated resolution and refresh rate.
      14. The benchmark must successfully obtain all requested window sizes, with no reduction or clipping of any benchmark-related windows.  Windows created by the benchmark must not be obscured on the screen by anything other than other elements created by the benchmark.
      15. Tests may be run with or without a desktop/window manager if the application allows this, but must be run on some native windowing system.
    2. General Submission Content Rules
      1. The submission upload file structures are defined in the benchmark-specific section below.
    3. Submission Process Rules
      1. The submission file names are detailed below under the benchmark-specific rules.
    4. Review Period Rules
      1. Reviewers will decide if the image quality and results of the submission are sufficiently correct with respect to the intent of the ISV to satisfy the intended end-users' expectations.


  1. SPECapc Benchmark Specific Rules and Procedures

    1. Solid Edge V14
      1. The benchmark must be run using Solid Edge V14.00.00.70
      2. The application can be run with Tools-Options-View Graphics Display set to Graphics Card Driven, Software Driven or Backing Store. The choice must be documented in the notes portion of the results.
      3. Application settings must not be changed from the defaults set by the benchmark installation.  Settings that must not be changed include, but are not limited to:
        1. Culling
        2. Wireframe display in Move Part command
        3. Arc smoothness (3)
      4. The submission must contain the file result.txt that is generated during the benchmark run.
      5. The directory structure of the submission  must be as follows:
        .../company-name/system_1/SEV14/result.txt
        .../company-name/system_2/SEV14/result.txt
        etc...
      6. The submission file must be named company_apc_SolidEdgeV14_vN.zip where company is the member company or organization name in lower case and vN is the file version (e.g. hp_apc_SolidEdgeV14_v0.zip.) The initial submission is v0. Resubmitted files must have the version number incremented.
    2. Solidworks 2005
      1. The benchmark must be run using Solidworks2005 service pack 0.
      2. The application window size must not be changed from its initial size.
      3. The submission must contain a results.txt file generated by running the benchmark. Its contents are extracted from the file apcresultsN.txt, generated by benchmark GUI , where N is the number of the benchmark test run.
      4. The submission will be derived from the best composite generated by the default 5 benchmark runs, as controlled and reported by the benchmark GUI.
      5. The appearance of the the application's Quick Tips / Dynamic Help box, or other pop-ups that do not dismiss themselves, will cause the benchmark run to be invalid.  The benchmark FAQ has information on how to prevent this.
      6. The directory structure of the submission  must be as follows:
        .../company-name/system_1/sw2005/results.txt
        .../company-name/system_2/sw2005/results.txt
        etc...
      7. The submission file must be named company_apc_sw2005_vN.zip where company is the member company or organization name in lower case and vN is the file version (e.g. ibm_apc_sw2005_v0.zip.) The initial submission is v0. Resubmitted files must have the version number incremented.
    3. 3dsmax7
      1. The benchmark must be run using 3ds max version 7, service pack 0 (i.e. unpatched).
      2. The application windows will be visible as specified:
        1. The "3ds max 7" window is maximized and fills the screen (The window is not occluded by any other windows.) Note: Task-bar auto-hide should be enabled.
      3. Drivers and custom drivers must be configured (explicitly or implicitly) to use:
        1. GL_TEXTURE_MIN_FILTER = GL_LINEAR_MIPMAP_LINEAR
        2. GL_TEXTURE_MAG_FILTER = GL_LINEAR
        3. Textures cannot be modified, i.e. reduced in size or depth.
        4. Wireframe objects must NOT be drawn using triangle strips.
      4. The following Viewport parameters must be checked (i.e. enabled) in the Viewports Tab found in the 3ds max 7 Customize->Preferences menu (Viewports tab):
        1. Backface cull on object creation
        2. Mask viewport to safe region
        3. Update background while playing
        4. Display world axis
      5. The following Viewport parameters must NOT be checked in the 3ds max 7 Customize->Preferences menu (Viewports tab):
        1. Attenuate lights
        2. Filter environment backgrounds
      6. The benchmark can be run using either OpenGL or Direct 3D.
      7. For OpenGL submissions, an application graphics driver or plug-in may be used, but the images captured from the benchmark must not differ from the supplied 3ds max OpenGL driver's images by more than 5%. If the application driver or plug-in’s images do not match, the submitter may apply for a waiver based on documented errors in the 3ds max OpenGL driver. The availability and support of an application driver or plug-in shall not affect the submission's “single supplier” or “parts built” status.
      8. The submission must contain the files result.txt and result.xls that are generated during the benchmark run.
      9. The directory structure of the submission  must be as follows:
        .../company-name/system_1/3dsmax7/result.txt
        .../company-name/system_1/3dsmax7/result.xls
        .../company-name/system_2/3dsmax7/result.txt
        etc...
      10. The submission file must be named company_apc_3dsmax7_vN.zip where company is the member company or organization name in lower case and vN is the file version (e.g. hp_apc_3dsmax7_v0.zip.) The initial submission is v0. Resubmitted files must have the version number incremented.
      11. Submitters are not required to include pixel-comparison images.
      12. A committee member raising a challenge to a submission can employ pixel-comparison images to support the challenge. However, reference and grabbed images must be generated on a system with identical GPU, graphics and custom drivers and settings to the submitted configuration being challenged.
    4. Maya 6.5
      1. The benchmark must be run using Maya 6.5
      2. The benchmark script must be run with the command 'mayaTest(3)' where '3' is the number of runs.
      3. The submission must contain the results.txt submission file as well as the scoring spreadsheet used to calculate the result.
      4. The directory structure of the submission  must be as follows:
        .../company-name/system_1/maya65/results.txt
        .../company-name/system_1/maya65/MayaResults.xls
        etc...
      5. The submission file must be named company_apc_maya65_vN.zip where company is the member company or organization name in lower case and vN is the file version (e.g. ibm_apc_maya65_v0.zip.) The initial submission is v0. Resubmitted files must have the version number incremented.
    5. Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0
      1. The benchmark must be run using build “M160” of Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0. Submissions may be made with 32-bit or 64-bit versions of M160. However, submissions made with 32-bit Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0 on Windows XP 64-bit Edition are prohibited.
      2. The config.pro file must be used as-is and may not be modified or overridden.
      3. The script files “utilities\runbench.bat” or “utilities/runbench.csh” may be modified as necessary to enable execution of the benchmark on the system being tested. If modified, the modified version must be included in the benchmark submission.
      4. The submission must contain the “proe_result.txt” file (as generated by the “proescore” program) as well as the corresponding “trail.txt” file generated from running the benchmark. Both of these files may be found in the "results" directory after a successful run of the benchmark. The first section of the “proe_result.txt” file must be edited to reflect the system configuration.
      5. There must be no license-related warnings in the “trail.txt” file.
      6. The directory structure of the submission must be as follows:
        .../company-name/system_1/proewildfire2/proe_result.txt
        .../company-name/system_1/proewildfire2/trail.txt (may be compressed)
        .../company-name/system_1/proewildfire2/runbench.bat (or runbench.csh, if modified, as required by rule c above)
        .../company-name/system_2/proewildfire2/proe_result.txt
        .../company-name/system_2/proewildfire2/trail.txt (may be compressed)
        .../company-name/system_2/proewildfire2/runbench.bat (or runbench.csh, if modified, as required by rule c above)
        etc...
      7. The submission file must be named company_apc_proewildfire2_vN.zip or company_apc_proewildfire2_vN.tar.z where company is the member company or organization name in lower case and vN is the file version (e.g. “sgi_apc_proewildfire2_v0.tar.z” and “intel_apc_proewildfire2_v0.zip”.) The initial submission is v0. Resubmitted files must have the version number incremented.
    6. UGS NX3
      1. The benchmark must be run using build “3.0.3.2” of Unigraphics NX3. Submissions are only accepted on Windows XP Professional SP2 and later.
      2. The script file “%ProgramFiles%\SPECapc\nx3bench\nx3runbench.bat” may be modified to change the directory where the benchmark files are located on the system being tested. If modified, the modified version must be included in the benchmark submission.
      3. The application window must be maximized and all toolbars and the resource bar must be turned off.
      4. NX3's Fixed Frame Rate feature must be disabled.
      5. The system's booted configuration as specified in the "boot.ini" file must contain the "/3GB" flag.
      6. The chosen setting for View Frustum Culling must be documented in the Comments field of the "results.txt" file.
      7. The "Disable Line Smooth" option under Preferences>Visualization Performance>General Settings must be unchecked.
      8. All other application settings should be default.
      9. The submission must contain the “nx3result.txt” file as well as the corresponding “nx3result.xls” file generated from running the benchmark. Both of these files may be found in the "results" directory after a successful run of the benchmark. The first section of the “nx3bench.xls” file must be edited to reflect the system configuration.
      10. The directory structure of the submission must be as follows:
        .../company-name/system_1/nx3bench/nx3result.txt
        .../company-name/system_1/nx3bench/nx3bench.xls
        .../company-name/system_1/nx3bench/result.txt
        .../company-name/system_1/nx3bench/nx3bench.log
        .../company-name/system_1/nx3bench/nx3runbench.bat,if modified, as required by rule c above)
        .../company-name/system_2/nx3bench/nx3result.txt
        .../company-name/system_2/nx3bench/nx3bench.xls
        .../company-name/system_2/nx3bench/result.txt
        .../company-name/system_2/nx3bench/nx3bench.log
        .../company-name/system_2/nx3bench/nx3runbench.bat, if modified, as required by rule c above)
        etc...
      11. The submission file must be named company_apc_nx3bench_vN.zip or company_apc_nx3bench_vN.tar.z where company is the member company or organization name in lower case and vN is the file version (e.g. “sgi_apc_nx3bench_v0.tar.z” and “intel_apc_nx3bench_v0.zip”.) The initial submission is v0. Resubmitted files must have the version number incremented.
    7. 3ds Max 8
      1. The benchmark must be run using 3ds Max version 8, service pack 3.
      2. To ensure stability, the system must be booted with “/3GB” in the relevant line of “boot.ini”.
      3. The 3ds Max 8 window must be maximized, filling the screen. The window must not be occluded by any other windows. Note: Task-bar auto-hide must be enabled.
      4. Drivers and custom drivers must be configured (explicitly or implicitly) to use:
        1. GL_TEXTURE_MIN_FILTER = GL_LINEAR_MIPMAP_LINEAR
        2. GL_TEXTURE_MAG_FILTER = GL_LINEAR
        3. Textures cannot be modified, e.g. reduced in size or depth.
        4. Wireframe objects MUST be drawn using triangle strips. (Note: this differs from the previous version of the benchmark.)
      5. The following Viewport parameters must be checked (i.e. enabled) in the Viewports Tab found in the 3ds Max 8 Customize->Preferences menu (Viewports tab):
        1. Backface cull on object creation
        2. Mask viewport to safe region
        3. Update background while playing
        4. Display world axis
      6. The following Viewport parameters must NOT be checked in the 3ds max 8 Customize->Preferences menu (Viewports tab):
        1. Attenuate lights
        2. Filter environment backgrounds
      7. The benchmark can be run using either OpenGL or Direct3D. 3ds Max 8 supports shaders only for Direct3D; therefore, OpenGL submissions should contain a Shaders score of "N/A".
      8. For OpenGL submissions, an application graphics driver or plug-in may be used, but the images captured from the benchmark must not differ from the supplied 3ds Max OpenGL driver's images by more than 5%. If the application driver or plug-in’s images do not match, the submitter may apply for a waiver based on documented errors in the 3ds max OpenGL driver. The availability and support of an application driver or plug-in shall not affect the submission's “single supplier” or “parts built” status.
      9. The submission must contain the files “result.txt” and “result.xls”.
      10. The directory structure of the submission must be as follows:
        .../company-name/system_1/3dsmax8/result.txt
        .../company-name/system_1/3dsmax8/result.xls
        .../company-name/system_2/3dsmax8/result.txt
        .../company-name/system_2/3dsmax8/result.xls
        etc...
      11. The submission file must be named company_apc_3dsmax8_vN.zip where company is the member company or organization name in lower case and vN is the file version (e.g. hp_apc_3dsmax8_v0.zip.) The initial submission is v0. Resubmitted files must have the version number incremented.



  • Adoption
    v2.03: Adopted  20 July 2006
    v2.02: Adopted  27 April 2006 for 01 May 2006 publication
    v2.01: Adopted  26 January 2006
    v2.00: Adopted  26 January 2006