<benchmark, body> Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation.
A non-profit corporation registered in California formed to "establish, maintain and endorse a standardized set of relevant benchmarks that can be applied to the newest generation of high-performance computers" (from SPEC's bylaws). The founders believe that the user community will benefit greatly from an objective series of applications-oriented tests, which can serve as common reference points and be considered during the evaluation process.
SPEC develops suites of benchmarks intended to measure computer performance. These are available to the public for a fee covering development and administration costs.
The current (14 Nov 94) SPEC benchmark suites are: CINT92 (CPU intensive integer benchmarks); CFP92 (CPU intensive floating-point benchmarks); SDM (UNIX Software Development Workloads); SFS (System level file server (NFS) workload).
SPEC also publishes a quarterly report of SPEC news and results, The SPEC Newsletter. Some issues are here.
There is a FAQ about SPEC here.
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