CISL High-Performance Computing (HPC) Benchmarks

Benchmark updates in progress
Please note that the NCAR HPC Benchmarks are currently being revised ahead of an anticipated release in Q3 of 2019. This page will be updated regularly with additional information, documentation, and early release versions of the benchmarks as they become available.


NCAR benchmarking applications - 2019 release

Release Date: TBD
Last Updated: February 28, 2019
Previous Releases

Ensuring that real applications perform well on NCAR computing platforms is critical for getting the best value out of complex and costly high-performance computing and storage resources. Climate and weather applications are large, often with millions of lines of code, and are generally difficult to configure in a way that permits ease of use for things such as system deployments, upgrades, and procurements.

Thus, NCAR has developed a suite of application kernels, micro-benchmarks, and full applications with moderate input cases that can be used as proxies for the full applications and still provide meaningful information and insights into system performance. A few of these are well-known benchmarks that are commonly used in HPC for characterizing system performance.

NCAR's benchmarking applications are listed in the tables below, along with file names, sizes, and checksums. These packages include source files, build scripts, and input data sets required to compile and run the applications. In cases where the benchmarks depend on applications and libraries that are not part of the package distributions, you will find version number and download details in the README files.

Documentation and benchmark download packages are available through the Globus-based NCAR Data Sharing Service. Instructions are given below for obtaining a Globus account, installing the required Globus software, and downloading the benchmark packages via the NCAR HPC Benchmarks endpoint. See the Globus instructions below for more information.


Application Benchmark
Description File Size (Bytes) MD5 Checksum
MG2 Physics Kernel MG2_v0.tar.gz 85358818 3e25e6f67cc13dcd08e951b81865d2cb
WACCM Physics Kernel WACCM_v0.tar.gz 18284569 34e634172c33d03421f26b016191d96f
CLUBB Physics Kernel CLUBB_v0.tar.gz 184933421 b9c3242cbbdaa89d512b5526a79b1db2
DART_WRF Model Kernel DART_WRF_v0.tar.gz 258606917 c4ad42575c110d0e65b58fd52a825cc8
MPAS GPU-capable Atmospheric Model TBD TBD TBD
OSU MPI MPI Communications Benchmark TBD TBD TBD
Stream Memory Bandwidth Stream_v0.tar.gz 8143 6b595ba17cec48f3b4d0a314336dfa51
WRF Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model TBD TBD TBD
CESM Community Earth System Model (CESM) TBD TBD TBD
IO-500 IO-Benchmark TBD TBD TBD


Globus instructions

Step 1: Obtain a Globus account

Go to and click the Sign Up button in the upper-right corner.

Step 2: Install Globus Connect Personal

Go to and install the version of Globus Connect Personal appropriate for your computer. Versions are available for Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows.

Step 3: Use Globus to download benchmarks

  1. Access the NCAR HPC Benchmarks folder on Globus (you will need to log in to Globus with the account created in Step 1).
  2. Select the files you wish to download and click Transfer or Sync to in the right-hand pane.
  3. Select the endpoint you wish to transfer files to. This can be the computer where you installed Globus Connect Personal in Step 2, or another Globus endpoint to which you have access.
  4. Click on the Start button below the file manager to initiate the transfer.

Your download will be submitted through the Globus Transfer service. You will receive an email when your transfer has completed. You can monitor the transfer by clicking Activity in the left-hand menu to bring up the Globus Activity view.