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Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation

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SPECapc® project group

The SPECapc® (Application Performance Characterization) project group, founded in 1997, is part of the SPEC Graphics and Workstation Performance Group (SPEC/GWPG).

The project group benchmarks provide clear methods for evaluating and comparing the performance of computers across vendor platforms and configurations. They are application-based, representative of end-user needs, and measure total system performance. The benchmarks run on top of the application being tested, and require a specific license for the application.

The SPECapc project group has defined the following goals in support of its benchmarking efforts:

  • Develop standardized performance evaluation tools that are unambiguous, vendor-neutral measures for product evaluation and comparison.
  • Provide mechanisms that enable vendors, customers and others to perform their own performance measurement and evaluations.
  • Provide software releases to the public based on current graphics and workstation applications.
  • Contribute to the coherence of the field of graphics and workstation performance evaluation so that vendors will be better able to present well-defined measures, and customers will be better able to compare and evaluate vendors' products and environments.


The SPECapc project group evaluates professional needs, market data, member company knowledge and ISV input to determine relative market segments and important applications in those segments.

Like the applications they represent, the SPECapc project group benchmarks are targeted at a specific level of hardware, such as PCs or high-end workstations. Because of this, the benchmarks are not required to run on all platforms.

The SPECapc project group members sponsor applications and work with end-users, user groups, publications and/or ISVs to select and refine workloads, which consist of data sets and benchmark script files. These workloads will evolve over time in conjunction with end-users' needs, new features within applications, and the increasing functionality of PCs and workstations.

Structure and Membership

The SPECapc project group is a non-profit group whose general costs are paid primarily by SPEC/GWPG membership fees or dues. Any company, individual, institution or other group can become a sustaining member at any point in the development phase by remitting these dues. An appeals process has been established through which any interested or affected party may register and have heard a complaint concerning committee action or inaction. The principles of due process and antitrust compliance are adhered to by the SPECapc project group at all times.

To find out more about SPEC/GWPG membership or other forms of participation in the SPECapc project group, contact the SPEC office at