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The Workstation Performance Characterization Project Committee Rules

Version 2.1

Last Updated: 9/21/2017

  1. Overview

    1. General Philosophy

      1. All rules declared in "The Graphics and Workstation Performance Group (SPEC/GWPG): Rules For Project Groups" document (known hereafter as the GWPG Project Groups Ruleset) apply, unless specifically overruled by a rule in this document.

    2. General Philosophy

      1. Within the SPEC/GWPG (Graphics and Workstation Performance Group) committee, there is a strong belief that it is important to benchmark system performance running algorithms used in popular workstation applications, but without requiring the full application and associated licensing to be installed on the system under test. Thus, the SPECwpcSM (Workstation Performance Characterization) project group was created within the SPEC/GWPG committee to create a broad-ranging set of standardized benchmarks for workstation applications.
      2. The SPECwpc project group seeks to develop benchmarks for generating accurate workstation performance measures in an open, accessible and well-publicized manner.
      3. The SPECwpc project group 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 project group 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 SPECwpc benchmarks must provide a suitable environment for running typical (not just benchmark) workloads for the applications in question.
      6. The SPECwpc project group 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, the project group will notify the appropriate parties (i.e. the SPECwpc project group members and users of the benchmark) and 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, the project group 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. The SPECwpc group is aware of the importance of optimizations in producing the best system performance. The project group is also aware that it is sometimes hard to draw an exact line between legitimate optimizations that happen to benefit the SPECwpc project group benchmarks and optimizations that specifically target those benchmarks. However, with the list below, the SPECwpc project group wants to increase awareness of implementers and end-users to issues of unwanted benchmark-specific optimizations that would be incompatible with the project group's goal of fair benchmarking.
      2. To ensure that results are relevant to end-users, the SPECwpc project group expects that the hardware and software implementations used for running its benchmarks adhere to a set of general rules for optimizations. 

    4. Optimization Rules for the SPECwpc v2.1 benchmark

      1. Optimizations must improve performance for a class of workloads where the class of workloads must be larger than a single SPECwpc project group benchmark or benchmark suite.
      2. For any given optimization a system should generate correct results with and without said optimization. An optimization should not reduce system stability.
      3. The optimization implementation is generally available, documented and supported by the providing vendor.
      4. In the case where it appears that the above guidelines have not been followed, the SPECwpc project group may investigate such a claim and request that the optimization in question (e.g. one using a benchmark-specific pattern matching) be removed and the results resubmitted. Or, the project group 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.
      5. It is expected that system vendors would endorse the general use of these optimizations by customers who seek to achieve good application performance.
      6. No pre-computed intermediate or final results may be substituted within a SPECwpc project group benchmark on the basis of detecting that said benchmark is running (e.g. pattern matching of command stream or recognition of benchmark's name). 

  2. 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.
    1. Benchmark Code Versioning

      1. Benchmarks use the following version coding: M.m (e.g. the SPECwpcSM benchmark v2.1) M is the major release number and m is the minor release number.
      2. The minor release number is incremented when performance-neutral modifications are made to the benchmark.
      3. The major release number is incremented when changes to the benchmark cause results to no longer be comparable with previous results.
      4. 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 superseded benchmark is retired, the associated run-rules will be archived in an "archived benchmark run-rules document" posted on the Previous SPECwpc Project Group 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 4 of this document).
      3. The entire display raster must be available for use by the application being benchmarked, and the display must be powered on.
      4. It is not permissible to override the intended behavior of the tests 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. It is not permissible to interact with the system under test to influence the progress of the benchmark during execution.
      6. The system under test cannot skip steps 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 SPECwpc project group.
      9. The system under test must conform to the following in minimum system configuration:
        1. 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.
        2. The display used in the benchmark must support the stated resolution and refresh rate.
        3. 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.
        4. The system under test must be running Microsoft Windows 7 64bit, Microsoft Windows 8.1 64bit, or Microsoft Windows 10 64 bit.
        5. The system under test must have at least 8GB of system RAM

    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.

  2. The SPECwpc v2.1 Project Group Benchmark-Specific Rules and Procedures

    1. Optimizations for viewsets used in this benchmark must adhere to the same standards as outlined in the SPECgpc® (Graphics Performance Characterization) Project Group Rules, Version 2.13, Section 3.
    2. Optimizations for the workloads used in this benchmark cannot modify the executable or the dataset used in the test.
    3. The number of threads spawned for multi-threaded workloads may be modified for a given benchmark run by changing the values in the advanced tab of the GUI. The test harness will calculate the number of threads that are evenly divisible by the number of logical cores in the system and adjust the actual number of threads spawned by each process.
    4. Caching of files in a high performance storage device is allowed as long as the mechanism for populating the cache is generally applicable to a wide range of applications run on the device under test.
    5. The SPECwpc project group benchmark is only supported on systems running Microsoft Windows 7 64bit, Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 bit, and Microsoft Windows 10 64 bit.
    6. PowerShell scripting must be enabled on the system where the scoring utility is run.
    7. The display resolution must be at least 1920x1080 pixels unless the system has an integrated display which cannot achieve this resolution (example: a notebook), in which case the system's maximum possible resolution must be used.
    8. The benchmark must be run with Windows User Account Control (UAC) and firewall disabled, or with administrator privileges and the appropriate firewall settings to allow the benchmark to complete without interruption.
    9. The benchmark can be installed and run on any storage device connected to the system. The type of storage device must selected at the time the benchmark is run. The choices are:
      1. HDD for all rotating media
      2. SSD/NVMe for all solid state media
    10. The scoring utility must be used to generate valid results.
    11. Virtualized configurations, defined as any operating system configuration running on a Hyper Visor or virtualization layer of any kind, must include the word "virtualized" in the comment field of the config.txt file. This information must be populated before the execution of the benchmark to ensure the results reflect this attribute.
    12. Virtualized configurations as defined in rule 10 must also include a declaration of the transport layer name and version used by the virtualization software in parenthesis after the graphics accelerator listed in the Graphics Accelerator field of the Graphics Hardware Configuration section of the result file.
    13. Virtualized configurations as defined above must manually modify the Model field on the submission form to include a three line link on the summary page that includes:
      1. Physical server supplier and model number
      2. Hypervisor supplier and version
      3. VDI supplier and version
    14. The submission must contain the SPECwpc/Results_xxxx directory structure for the run.
    15. The directory structure of the submission must be as follows:
      1. .../company-name/system_1/SPECwpc/Results_xxxx directory structure
      2. .../company-name/system_1/SPECwpc/Results_xxxx/SPECwpcResults.xls
    16. The submission file must be named where company is the member company or organization name in lower case and vN is the file version (e.g. The initial submission is v0. Resubmitted files must have the version number incremented.
    17. Partial submissions can be made for individual sub-sections of the benchmark. Subsections are defined as Media and Entertainment, Product Development, Life Sciences, Financial Services, Energy, and General Operations.