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Visualization Team Develops Benchmark for Scientific Graphics Software

September 1, 2008

The NERSC Analytics Team has developed a benchmark for the high performance graphics industry standard OpenGL, called svPerfGL. This benchmark focuses on measuring OpenGL rendering performance in the presence of extremely heavy graphics payload with relatively few OpenGL state changes, which is a typical of a workload incurred by scientific visualization applications.

In contrast, industry standard benchmarks like SPECviewperf generate workloads typical of CAD and gaming applications, which do not always apply to science visualization. svPerfGL is written in a combination of C and C++ and uses calls consistent with the OpenGL 1.2 specification. Therefore, it is very conservative in its use of the OpenGL API and should run on any modern platform that supports OpenGL. It has undergone formal LBNL technology review and release and is currently available under an open source license. For more information and a link to download, please visit

About NERSC and Berkeley Lab
The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility that serves as the primary high-performance computing center for scientific research sponsored by the Office of Science. Located at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the NERSC Center serves more than 7,000 scientists at national laboratories and universities researching a wide range of problems in combustion, climate modeling, fusion energy, materials science, physics, chemistry, computational biology, and other disciplines. Berkeley Lab is a DOE national laboratory located in Berkeley, California. It conducts unclassified scientific research and is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy. »Learn more about computing sciences at Berkeley Lab.