SPEC releases major new CPU benchmark suite

The SPEC CPU2017 benchmark suite features updated and improved workloads, use of OpenMP to accommodate more cores and threads, and optional metric for measuring power consumption

Gainesville, Va., June 20, 2017 — The Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC) today released the SPEC CPU2017 benchmark suite, an all-new version of the non-profit group’s software for evaluating compute-intensive performance across a wide range of hardware systems.

The SPEC CPU2017 benchmark suite is the first major update of the worldwide standard CPU performance evaluation software in more than 10 years. The new suite includes updated and improved workloads with increased size and complexity, the use of OpenMP to allow performance measurement for parallelized systems with multiple cores and threads, and an optional metric for measuring power consumption.

Current SPEC CPU subcommittee members include AMD, ARM, Dell, Fujitsu, HPE, IBM, Inspur, Intel, Nvidia and Oracle.

Filling a distinct need

The SPEC CPU2017 benchmark suite replaces SPEC CPU2006, launched in 2006. Since that time, more than 43,000 SPEC CPU2006 performance results have been published on SPEC’s website. Thousands of articles appear on news sites each year citing SPEC CPU testing results.

“SPEC CPU has filled a distinct need for the worldwide computing community, allowing comparisons of system and compute performance to be made between platforms with different instruction sets and operating systems,” says Jeff Reilly, SPEC CPU subcommittee chair. “It has done so using actual applications, as opposed to kernels or synthetic codes.”

The changes within the new SPEC CPU2017 benchmark suite reflect the progress of the computing industry according to Reilly.

“Raw computing capability continues to increase, particularly in the ability to provide more cores, threads and sockets,” he says. “SPEC CPU2017 provides new workloads that allow for testing of these capabilities and other factors related to new levels of speed and functionality. We’ve also added power metrics to the equation, as organizations are increasingly concerned with trade-offs between performance and power consumption.”

Real-world performance testing

The SPEC CPU2017 benchmark suite is a useful tool for anyone interested in how hardware systems will perform under compute-intensive workloads based on real applications. This includes computer users, buyers evaluating system options, hardware system vendors, researchers, and application developers. Those who do not own a SPEC CPU2017 license can track performance results on SPEC’s website.

SPEC CPU2017 includes 43 individual benchmarks organized into four suites: SPECspeed 2017 Integer, SPECspeed 2017 Floating Point, SPECrate 2017 Integer, and SPECrate 2017 Floating Point. SPECspeed metrics measure the time it takes to complete each of the benchmarks in the given suite; SPECrate metrics measure throughput, the rate at which a system can complete a set of defined tasks.

The benchmarks within SPEC CPU2017 use the compute-intensive portions of real C, C++ and FORTRAN applications. They are portable to a variety of CPU architectures (32- and 64-bit including AMD64, ARMv8 AArch64, Intel IA32, Power ISA, SPARC, etc.) and various operating systems, including UNIX and Windows.

Now shipping

The SPEC CPU2017 suite is available for downloading on the SPEC website. The cost is $1,000 for new customers, $500 for upgrades from SPEC CPU2006, and $250 for qualified educational institutions.

Additional product and ordering information is available on the SPEC web site at www.spec.org/cpu2017.

About SPEC

SPEC is a non-profit organization that establishes, maintains and endorses standardized benchmarks and tools to evaluate performance and energy consumption for the newest generation of computing systems. Its membership comprises more than 120 leading computer hardware and software vendors, educational institutions, research organizations, and government agencies worldwide.

Media contact:

Bob Cramblitt
Cramblitt & Company
919-481-4599; info@cramco.com

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