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New SPECviewperf Benchmark Measures Graphics Performance for Virtualized Workstations
The SPEC Graphics Performance Characterization Group (SPECgpc) has released a new version of its SPECviewperf benchmark that extends performance measurement from physical to virtualized workstation configurations.

SPECviewperf software measures the 3D graphics performance of systems running under the OpenGL and Direct X application programming interfaces. The benchmark’s workloads, called viewsets, represent graphics content and behavior extracted from actual applications.

Commitment to accurate measurement

“Virtualization is an incredibly impactful development in the workstation world,” says Alex Shows, SPECgpc chair. “The latest version of SPECviewperf software reflects a commitment to the accurate measurement and reporting of interactive, GPU-intensive performance for virtualized configurations.”

The SPECviewperf 12.0.2 benchmark supports various hypervisors for creating and running virtual machines. Viewsets within the benchmark cover applications in what Jon Peddie Research predicts will be among the largest growth markets for workstation virtualization: computer-aided design (CAD), digital content creation (DCC), medical and energy.

The latest version of the benchmark also includes graphical user interface (GUI) improvements and new automation for results reporting. Reports generated by the SPECviewperf 12.0.2 benchmark enumerate all available GPUs visible to the operating system, including virtual devices and configurations with multiple GPUs installed, and document various memory types with greater accuracy.

The SPECviewperf 12.0.2 benchmark runs under the 64-bit version of Microsoft Windows 7 SP1. Results in V12.0.2 remain comparable to those from V12.0.1, as viewsets are unchanged.

SPECgpc members at the time of SPECviewperf 12.0.2 benchmark development include AMD, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Intel, Lenovo, Micron and NVIDIA.

Meeting a growing need

The ability to measure graphics performance for virtualized workstations comes at a time when the market is in its early growing stages.

“Professionals in a wide range of companies are beginning to take advantage of virtualization techniques for specialized tasks such as engineering, design, analysis and rendering,” says Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research.

"Our conservative estimates project workstation-capable virtual desktop installations increasing from essentially zero two years ago to nearly 350,000 clients by 2018. The newest version of the SPECviewperf benchmark gives users and vendors making the move to the virtualized workstation environment a proven tool to evaluate performance based on leading graphics-intensive applications."

Free downloads for non-commercial users

The SPECviewperf 12.0.2 benchmark is available for immediate download under a two-tiered pricing structure: free for non-commercial users and $2,500 for commercial entities. Commercial entities are defined as organizations using the benchmark for the purpose of marketing, developing, testing, consulting for and/or selling computers, computer services, graphics devices, drivers or other systems in the computer marketplace.

Published Wednesday, February 25, 2015 4:33 PM by David Marshall
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