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12.20.2013 - SPECviewperf 12: The New Industry Standard

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AMD is pleased to recognize SPECviewperf® 12 as a new benchmarking tool to measure professional graphics performance. The new synthetic benchmark replaces SPECviewperf® 11, which was introduced in June 2010. Released by the SPEC® Graphics Performance Characterization (SPECgpc) project group, the new software includes fully updated viewsets based on traces from professional applications.

 AMD FirePro™ graphics engineering teams have spent years optimizing hardware and driver code to improve real-world application performance, visual quality, and advanced feature support. We have been recommending the use of real-world applications benchmarks like SPECapc® for almost half a decade, in order to properly evaluate graphics performance and visual quality. Most professional users only run a few key applications for their day-to-day workflows and it is critical to benchmark their actual applications, right down to the specific versions being used, so that they can purchase the best professional graphics card to meet their specific needs.


So why is AMD supporting this synthetic benchmark? SPEC’s previous version, SPECviewperf 11, could not take advantage of the latest GPU APIs such as OpenGL 4 and DirectX®. As a result, it couldn’t accurately replicate the real-world experience of using AMD FirePro graphics. The new viewsets included in SPECviewperf 12, in our view, have changed this, doing a much better job of recreating the experience our professional cards deliver on professional applications.


AMD fully supports the updates made to SPECviewperf 12. Taking into account new APIs and GPU acceleration, our lab testing with SPECviewperf 12 concluded that AMD FirePro graphics outperforms the competition in many areas[1] confirming AMD as an industry leader in professional graphics quality and performance.


SPECviewperf 12 benchmark details are available on the SPEC website.


With the release of the new SPECviewperf 12, this synthetic benchmark is once again a valuable tool for more general benchmarking as all of the test applications have been updated to use modern APIs for optimal GPU graphics rendering and CPU compute offloading. AMD has maintained that professional graphics should be benchmarked with real-world applications. However SPECviewperf 12 can be used now as a reliable indicator of expected application performance. Users can now gain a more realistic understanding of how well their applications will perform on a particular GPU and they can make a more informed purchase decision.


Our view is that benchmarks should mirror customer use cases, so AMD maintains that improvements to driver performance should have a direct correlation to end user application benefits. AMD is committed to using modern tools to get a true view of how professional graphics cards compare using APIs, such as OpenGL and DirectX® that are used by professional graphics applications. 


To see the true value of the AMD FirePro graphics long-standing commitment to optimizing hardware and software for real-world professional workflows, I invite you to test some of the newer benchmarks. Remember, no single benchmark will likely be an accurate representation of end user performance as individual workflows and datasets can vary greatly. SPECviewperf 12 can be a valuable tool for evaluating GPU performance. When used in conjunction with application benchmarks and end-user testing, SPECviewperf 12 can be a valuable tool in the GPU performance analyzer’s toolkit.



Allen Bourgoyne is the director of software engineering, Professional Graphics at AMD.
His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.


[1] AMD FirePro™ W5000 outperforms NVIDIA Quadro K2000 for all subtests in SPECviewperf® 12 and in additional SPECapc® application benchmarks including Autodesk Maya 2012, Siemens PLM NX8.5, PTC Creo 2.0, and Dassault Systèmes’ SolidWorks 2013 SP1. AMD lab test system: System Configuration: Intel E5-1660 3.30GHz, 16GB RAM, Windows 7 64-bit SP1, AMD Nvidia 331.82.

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