SPEC defines a base runtime for each of the 12 benchmark programs. For SPECint2006, that number ranges from 1000–3000 seconds. The timed test is run on the system, and the time of the test system is compared to the reference time, and a ratio is computed. That ratio becomes the SPECint score for that test. (This differs from the rating in SPECINT2000, which multiplies the ratio by 100.)
As an example for SPECint2006, consider a processor which can run 400.perlbench in 2000 seconds. The time it takes the reference machine to run the benchmark is 9770 seconds. Thus the ratio is 4.885. Each ratio is computed, and then the geometric mean of those ratios is computed to produce an overall value.
Two metrics are reported for a particular benchmark, "base" and "peak". The difference between the numbers arises based on compilation options. As the SPEC benchmarks are distributed as source code, it is up to the party performing the test to compile this code. There is agreement that the benchmarks should be compiled in the same way as a user would compile a program, but there is no consistent method for user compilation, it varies system by system. SPEC, in this case, defines two reference points, "base" and "peak". Base has a more strict set of compilation rules than peak. Less optimization can be done, the compiler flags must be the same for each benchmark, in the same order, and there must be a limited number of flags. Base, then, is closest to how a user would compile a program with standard flags. The 'peak' metric can be performed with maximum compiler optimization, even to the extent of different optimizations for each benchmark. This number represents maximum system performance, achieved by full compiler optimization.
SPECint tests are carried out on a wide range of hardware, with results typically published for the full range of system-level implementations employing the latest CPUs. for SPECint2006, the CPUs include Intel and AMD x86 & x86-64 processors, Sun SPARC CPUs, IBM POWER CPUs, and IA-64 CPUs. This range of capabilities, specifically in this case the number of CPUs, means that the SPECint benchmark is usually run on only a single CPU, even if the system has many CPUs. If a single CPU has dual-cores, only a single core is used; hyper-threading is also typically disabled,
A more complete system-level benchmark that allows all CPUs to be used is known as SPECint_rate2006, also called "CINT2006 Rate".
The benchmarks are:
|456.hmmer||C||Search Gene Sequence|
|462.libquantum||C||Physics / Quantum Computing|
|471.omnetpp||C++||Discrete Event Simulation|