SPECviewperf benchmark extended to measure 3D graphics performance for virtualised workstations

Published 26 February 2015

Posted by Greg Corke

Article tagged with: virtualisation, opengl, benchmarking, directx, 3d graphics

SPECviewperf 12’s Catia viewset

The latest 12.0.2 release of the SPECviewperf benchmark extends performance measurement from physical to virtualised workstation configurations.

“Virtualisation is an incredibly impactful development in the workstation world,” says Alex Shows, chair of the SPEC Graphics Performance Characterization Group (SPECgpc), that develops the benchmark.

“The latest version of SPECviewperf software reflects a commitment to the accurate measurement and reporting of interactive, GPU-intensive performance for virtualised 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 virtualsation: 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.

The ability to measure graphics performance for virtualised 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 virtualisation techniques for specialised 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.” 

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.

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 organisations 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.

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

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