Another Siggraph came and went by, and we were greeted with another announcement from SPEC/GPWG about the new workstation benchmarks. The independent benchmarking body announced SPECviewperf 12, three years after SPECviewperf 11 came to the stage. Given that the software inside the benchmark is changed on an annual basis, it is obvious that SPECviewperf benchmarks are getting a bit outdated. 

Coming this fall - brand new SPECviewperf

Coming this fall – brand new SPECviewperf

This ‘outdatedness’ results in competitive results from some professional graphics vendors, while in the real world – they don’t stand a chance when compared to discrete GPUs. In order to resolve the issue with the pace of SPECviewperf, SPEC/GPWG changed a lot of things, and the new version of SPECviewperf, the working group decided to go back on the drawing board and create the first all-new SPECviewperf in 18 years. This means new applications and new models, which correlate to the contemporary tasks in CAD/CAM/CAE, but the body did not stop at that.

3D model of an engine from the SPECviewperf 12 professional graphics benchmark

3D model of an engine from the SPECviewperf 12 professional graphics benchmark 

There is a beta version of completely new benchmark, targeted to benchmark each and every aspect of a workstation. While SPECviewperf is a graphics benchmark which mostly relies on GPU performance to produce a high-end score, SPECwpc is a system-level benchmark that won’t require separate application licenses, yet targets to cover a large range of markets – energy, finance, general operations, life sciences, media and entertainment, and product development.

According to Paul Besl, SPEC/GPWG chair – the 2013 will be remembered as the biggest year in terms of benchmark release for SPEC. Following Siggraph, associated members retreated to Newport Beach for a series of meetings behind closed doors to see how to expand SPEC even more.

All in all, should all-new SPECviewperf (12), SPECwpc and of course, new versions of SPECapc for Maya and 3ds Max offer quite an insight into the world of professional workstation benchmarking. We’re currently evaluating the benchmarks and will be integrating them in our future articles, starting with our Maximus article in a weeks’ time.

You can learn more about SPEC on their official website.