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Jun 23 2017

SPEC Releases New CPU Benchmark

The Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC) has responded to vendor and user requests for a benchmark that allows for "comparisons of system and compute performance to be made between platforms with different instruction sets and operating systems" based on current hardware and applications.

Dubbed SPEC CPU2017, the new release replaces its 11-year-old predecessor, which served as a basis for over 43,000 tests since its first run in 2006. According to Jeff Reilly, head of the subcommittee entrusted with developing processor benchmarks, the latest suite aims to reflect the increase in "raw computing capabilities," in particular those stemming from higher core, thread and socket counts. To this end, SPEC CPU2017 utilizes a total of 43 distinct benchmarks that are organized in four groups ("suites"), namely SPECspeed 2017 Integer, SPECspeed 2017 Floating Point, SPECrate 2017 Integer, and SPECrate 2017 Floating Point. Speed metrics measure the time it takes to complete each of the benchmarks in a given suite, whereas rate metrics measure throughput, i. e. the rate at which a system can complete a set of defined tasks. All in all, the entire standard relies on test methods derived from so-called real-world applications written in C, C++ or FORTRAN that normally run on company servers, such as compilers, interpreters or various simulations.

SPEC CPU2017 is compatible with a broad selection of 32- and 64-bit CPU architectures (AMD64, ARMv8 AArch64, Intel IA32, Power ISA, SPARC, etc.) and various operating systems, including UNIX and Windows. For more information, please check out the detailed overview provided on the SPEC website.

The SPEC CPU2017 test suite is available for download immediately; prices vary according to customer status: first-timers have to pay up US-$1,000, organizations upgrading from SPEC CPU2006 need to spend $500, and qualified educational institutions get away with $250. All prices are net excluding VAT.


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