SPEC cooking up workstation power-performance test

Now that it has completed work on its SPECpower_ssj2008 benchmark, the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC) is looking to quantify power-performance on different types of systems. SPECpower_ssj2008 is aimed specifically at servers, emulating the workloads of sever-side Java business applications, but SPEC says it has initiated an effort to develop a power-performance benchmark for professional workstations.

SPEC’s Graphics and Workstation Performance Group hasn't yet mentioned a name for the upcoming benchmark, but it says the test will be available this summer. The benchmark will mix workloads from the SPECviewperf 3D graphics benchmark with processor tests involving rendering, financial modeling, computational fluid dynamics, scientific computing, and video encoding. These applications will all be scalable, open-source, and portable across "all major workstation computing platforms," SPEC says.

Participating with the SPEC/GWPG working group in the development of the new benchmark are the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the SPECpower committee that developed the aforementioned server power-performance benchmark, and several big industry firms, including AMD, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, HP, Intel, Nvidia, and Sun Microsystems. SPEC says it plans to submit the completed version of the benchmark to the EPA to be used as part of the workstation Energy Star v5.0 qualification process.

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