Viewperf is a portable OpenGL performance benchmark program written in C. It was developed by IBM. Later updates and significant contributions were made by SGI, Digital and other OPC project group members. Viewperf provides a vast amount of flexibility in benchmarking OpenGL performance. Currently, the program runs on most implementations of UNIX, Windows NT, Windows95, and OS/2.
The OpenGL Performance Characterization (OPC) project group has endorsed Viewperf as its first OpenGL benchmark. Performance numbers based on Viewperf were first published in the Q4 1994 issue of The GPC Quarterly.
OPC group member companies have ported the Viewperf code to their operating systems and window environments. The OPC project group maintains a single source code version of the Viewperf code that is available to the public.
Viewperf parses command lines and data files, sets the rendering state, and converts data sets to a format that can be traversed using OpenGL rendering calls. It renders the data set for a pre-specified amount of time or number of frames with animation between frames. Finally, it outputs the results.
Viewperf reports performance in frames per second. Other information about the system under test -- all the rendering states, the time to build display lists (if applicable), and the data set used -- are also output in a standardized report.
A "benchmark" using Viewperf is really a single invocation of Viewperf with command-line options telling the Viewperf program which data set to read in, which texture file to use, what OpenGL primitive to use to render the data set, which attributes to apply and how frequently, whether or not to use display lists, and so on. One quickly realizes that there are an infinite number of Viewperf "benchmarks" (an infinite number of data sets multiplied by an almost infinite number of command-line states).
OPC project group members recognize the importance of real-world benchmarks. From the beginning, the group has sought benchmarks representative of the OpenGL rendering portion of independent software vendor (ISV) applications. Along these lines, the project group has come up with what it calls a viewset. A viewset is a group of individual runs of Viewperf that attempt to characterize the graphics rendering portion of an ISV's application.
Viewsets are not developed by the OPC project group; they come from the ISVs themselves. Members of the OPC project group often "sponsor" the ISV. Sponsorship entails helping the ISV in several areas, including how to obtain the Viewperf code, how to convert data sets to a Viewperf format, how to use Viewperf, how to create Viewperf tests to characterize the application, how to determine weights for each of the individual Viewperf tests based on application usage, and finally to help offer the viewset to the OPC project group for consideration as a standard OPC viewset. Any ISV wishing to develop a viewset should contact an OPC representative listed on the GPC Organization page.
Currently, there are five standard OPC viewsets: Parametric Technology's CDRS, which contains seven different Viewperf tests, is a modeling and rendering application for computer-aided industrial design. IBM's Data Explorer (DX), which has 10 different tests, is a visualization application. Intergraph's DesignReview (DRV), which has 10 different tests, is a 3D computer model review package. Alias/Wavefront's Advanced Visualizer, with 10 tests, is an animation application. And Lightscape Technology's Lightscape Visualization System, with 4 tests, is a radiosity visualization application. All five viewsets represent relatively high-end applications. These type of applications typically render large data sets. They almost always include lighting, smooth shading, blending, line antialiasing, z-buffering, and some texture mapping.
The input to Viewperf is the command line. Here are the current command line options for Viewperf 5.0:
-polygon -pg <file> : Viewpoint object to be used in the tests -triangle -tr <file> : Viewpoint object to be used in the tests -quad -qd <file> : Viewpoint object to be used in the tests -mesh -mh <file> : Mesh object to be used in the tests -rendermode -rm <mode> : POINT, VECTOR, LINE, POLYGON, TMESH, TFAN, TRIANGLE, or QUAD - default LINE -vcriteria -vcrit : AUX Visual selection criteria - EXACT, MIN - default MIN -vid <id> : Ask AUX for visual with ID = <id> -vaccum -vac : Ask AUX for an accumulation buffer visual -valpha -val : Ask AUX for an alpha buffer visual -vdepthbuffer -vz : Ask AUX for a depth buffer visual -vstencil -vst : Ask AUX for a stencil buffer visual -indirectrender -ir : Render indirect - default direct -nodither -ndi : Disable dithering -ortho -or : Parallel/Orthographic projection - default Perspective -displaylist -dl : Render with display list mode -colorper -cp <mode> : FRAME = Color per Frame, : PRIMITIVE = Color per Primitive, : VERTEX = Color per Vertex - default FRAME -texture -tx <file> : MTV image for texturing -texgen -txg <file> <mode> : <file> is MTV image for environment mapping <mode> is SPHERE_MAP, OBJECT_LINEAR, EYE_LINEAR - default EYE_LINEAR -magfilter -magf <flt> : NEAREST, LINEAR - default NEAREST -minfilter -minf <flt> : NEAREST, LINEAR, NEAREST_MIPMAP_NEAREST, LINEAR_MIPMAP_NEAREST, NEAREST_MIPMAP_LINEAR, LINEAR_MIPMAP_LINEAR - default NEAREST -texenv -te <env> : Texture environment, MODULATE, DECAL, BLEND - default DECAL -texcomp -tc <num> : Texture components where <num> is 1,2,3, or 4 : -default 3 -blend -bl : Enable Blending -srcblendfunc -sbf : ZERO, ONE, DST_COLOR, ONE_MINUS_DST_COLOR, SRC_ALPHA, ONE_MINUS_SRC_ALPHA, DST_ALPHA, ONE_MINUS_DST_ALPHA, SRC_ALPHA_SATURATE - default SRC_ALPHA -dstblendfunc -dbf : ZERO, ONE, SRC_COLOR, ONE_MINUS_SRC_COLOR, SRC_ALPHA, ONE_MINUS_SRC_ALPHA, DST_ALPHA, ONE_MINUS_DST_ALPHA, - default ONE_MINUS_SRC_ALPHA -linewidth -lw <width> : Linewidth for wire/vector tests - default 1.0 -xwinsize -xws <side> : Size of test windows X dimension - default 700 -ywinsize -yws <side> : Size of test windows Y dimension - default 700 -numframes -nf <num> : Number of frames to be rendered during measurement Takes priority over -mp -numilights -nil <num> : Turns on <num> infinite lights - default 0 -numllights -nll <num> : Turns on <num> local lights - default 0 -colormaterial -cm <side> <mode> :<side> is FRONT, BACK, FRONT_AND_BACK - default FRONT <mode> is AMBIENT, DIFFUSE, EMISSION, SPECULAR, AMBIENT_AND_DIFFUSE - default AMBIENT_AND_DIFFUSE -backface -bf : Cull Backfacing primitives - default off -frontface -ff : Cull Frontfacing primitives - default off -singlebuffer -sb : Single buffer mode -fog -fg : Enable fog -linesmooth -ls : Enable line antialiasing -polysmooth -ps : Enable polygon antialiasing -facetnormal -fn : Use facet normals when lighting -linestipple -lp : Enable line stipple -polystipple -pp : Enable polygon stipple -toggle -tg <cap> : Toggle per primitive - BLEND, DEPTH_TEST, DITHER, LIGHTING, LINE_WIDTH, LINE_STIPPLE, POLYGON_STIPPLE, or MATRIX - multmatrix -batch -bt <num> : Batch <num> primitives together per glBegin/glEnd Valid with POINT, VECTOR, TRIANGLE, and QUADS -polymodefront -pmf : POINT, LINE, or FILL - default FILL -polymodeback -pmb : POINT, LINE, or FILL - default FILL -flat -f : Set shademodel to FLAT - default GOURAUD -zbuffer -zb : Enable zbuffer for tests - default off -clip -c : Align object on 3D clip boundary -lighttwoside -l2s : Light both sides of model -localview -lv : Define local viewer for lit tests -minperiod -mp <num> : Set minimum testing period in seconds -mblur <num> : Use motion blur with num being amount of decay -aa_multi <x> <r> : Full scene antialiasing rendered x times at an : offset of r. r should be tuned to the viewset -walkthru -wt : Walkthru mode
Here is an example of the command line from test #3 of the CDRS-03 viewset:
viewperf -mh mower-ts -dl -rm TMESH -vz -blend -zb -nil 1 -cp PRIMITIVE -mp 10 -nf 10
This command line is providing the following directions:
The following significant defaults are in effect during this test: direct rendering, perspective viewing, no texture mapping, window size is 700 x 700 pixels, no culling, double buffering, smooth shading, no clipping, and single-sided lighting.
Upon entering the command line, the system under test will run the benchmark for at least 10 seconds or 10 frames. This is to insure a valid test result. During the test, the Viewperf code renders the data set, mower-ts.msh, which is half of the shell of a lawnmower, rotating it about the center of the window with the above specified characteristics.
What follows is the output of Viewperf when this test, CDRS-03 Test #3, is run on an IBM RISC System/6000 Model 3BT with the GXT1000 Model 002 graphics option.
Viewperf Version 5.0 Viewperf Arguments -mh mower-ts -dl -rm TMESH -vz -blend -zb -nil 1 -cp PRIMITIVE -mp 10 Month 4 Day 29 Year 1996 Host exll Operating System AIX Operating System Version 4.2 Host Vendor IBM Host Model RISC System/6000 Model 3BT Host CPU POWER2 Host CPU Count 1 Host Memory Size (MB) 64 Host Primary Cache Size (KB) 64/32 (D/I) Host Secondary Cache Size (KB) 0 Window System X Window System V11 Driver Version NA OpenGL Vendor IBM OpenGL Version 1.0 OpenGL Extensions GL_EXT_abgr GL_EXT_blend_logic_op GL_EXT_blend_minmax GL_EXT_blend_subtract GL_EXT_polygon_offset GL_EXT_rescale_normal GL_EXT_subtexture GL_EXT_texture_object GL_EXT_vertex_array OpenGL Renderer POWER GXT1000 Model 2 OpenGL Client Vendor IBM OpenGL Client Version 1.1 OpenGL Client Extensions GLX_EXT_visual_info GLX_EXT_visual_rating GLX_EXT_import_context GLU Version 1.2 AIX GLU Extensions Direct Rendering False Double Buffer True Stereo False RGBA True Color Index Size -1 Red Size 8 Green Size 8 Blue Size 8 Alpha Size 0 Accum Red Size 0 Accum Green Size 0 Accum Blue Size 0 Accum Alpha Size 0 Depth Size 24 Stencil Size 2 Auxiliary Buffer Count 0 Frame BufferLevel 0 Visual ID 0X2A Visual Class TrueColor Window Width (pixels) 700 Window Height (pixels) 700 Screen Width (pixels) 1280 Screen Height (pixels) 1024 Display :0.0 OpenGL Server Vendor IBM OpenGL Server Version 1.1 OpenGL Server Extensions GLX_EXT_visual_info GLX_EXT_visual_rating GLX_EXT_import_context GLX Server Version 1.1 GLX Server Extensions GLX_EXT_visual_info GLX_EXT_visual_rating GLX_EXT_import_context Screen Number 0 Shared Memory Connection True Visual Selection Criteria MINIMUM Number of Execution Threads 1 Geometry File ./mower-ts Input Mode -mh Minimum Test Period 10.000000 Number of Frames 0 Number of Primitives 71 Number of Vertices per Frame 31380 Number of Vertices per Primitive 441.971831 Toggle Mode NONE Batching Count 0 Render Mode TMESH Color per COLOR_PER_PRIMITIVE Orthographic Projection FALSE Display List TRUE Clip Geometry FALSE Walkthrough Mode FALSE Back Face Cull FALSE Front Face Cull FALSE Front Polygon Mode FILL Back Polygon Mode FILL Polygon Stipple Enable FALSE Polygon Antialiasing Enable FALSE Line Width 1.000000 Line Stipple Enable FALSE Line Antialiasing Enable FALSE Number of Infinite Lights 1 Number of Local Lights 0 Color Material Enable TRUE Color Material Face FRONT Color Material Mode AMBIENT_AND_DIFFUSE Facet Normals FALSE Two Sided Lighting Enable FALSE Local Viewer Enable FALSE Flat Shading FALSE Fog Enable FALSE Texture Enable FALSE Texture Generation Mode NO_TEXTURE_GENERATION Texture File NONE Texture Minification Filter NEAREST Texture Magnification Filter NEAREST Texture Environment Mode DECAL Texture Components 3 Depth Test Enable TRUE Blend Enable TRUE Source Blend Function SRC_ALPHA Destination Blend Function ONE_MINUS_SRC_ALPHA Dithering Enable TRUE Motion Blur Amount 0.000000 Full Scene Antialiasing Redraws 0 Full Scene Antialiasing Jitter Amount 0.000000 0.210 sec (DL Build) -mh mower-ts -rm TMESH -cp PRIMITIVE -dl -zb -nil 1 -bl -vz Number of frames run 202 Test period 9.960000 (sec) 20.3 frames/sec -mh mower-ts -rm TMESH -cp PRIMITIVE -dl -zb -nil 1 -bl -vz =============================================================
The output provides all the Viewperf state information, as well as the configuration parameters for the system under test. The display list build time was 0.21 seconds, the number of frames was bumped up to 202 frames, and the actual test time was 9.96 seconds.
Viewperf does a test to see how many frames need to be rendered to meet the minimum time period. In this case, the calibration calculates the number of frames necessary to meet the minimum, bumps up the number of frames if the minimum is not met, then reruns the test.
The last line is the number of frames per second, which is the fundamental metric for each test. This is the result that is printed in the summary and individual report pages within the GPC News OPC section. Also printed in the summary and individual report pages is a single composite number for each viewset. This composite number is derived using a weighted geometric mean methodology.
Rob Putney is an advisory programmer in IBM's RISC System/6000 Division in Austin, Texas. He can be reached by phone at 512-838-3639 or by e-mail to: email@example.com.