CISL High-Performance Computing (HPC) Benchmarks

Benchmarks released

Please note that the NWSC-3 HPC Benchmarks are currently available ahead of an anticipated release of the NWSC-3 Request for Proposal (RFP) in Q3 of 2019. NCAR does not plan to make any additional changes to the HPC Benchmarks unless there are issues with the ones provided here.  

Benchmark Q&As

For questions and answers regarding the NWSC-3 HPC Benchmarks, refer to the NWSC-3 Benchmarks Q&As document.  

Should you have any questions or concerns/issues with the benchmarks, do not hesitate to contact Irfan Elahi and/or Karla LeFevre


NCAR benchmarking applications - 2019 release

Release Date: July 19, 2019
Last Updated: September 9, 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 table 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.


  Name Description File     Size (Bytes) MD5 Checksum
MG2 Physics Kernel MG2_2019-05-20.tar.gz 85366943 25ebc145a374d3ccd1d410f9d495261a
WACCM Physics Kernel WACCM_2019-05-19.tar.gz 18289529 b31c36c58f5ecbbb613caaa39b663b32
CLUBB Physics Kernel CLUBB_2019-05-19.tar.gz 184931304 626d0c5108f76c662d8e722fa64cfe82
DART_WRF Model Kernel DART_WRF_2019-05-20.tar.gz 258607013 a388e961fce0960d096417cd45e1f00f
GOES ML Benchmark GOES16_2019-07-19.tar.gz 3578602934 a08ea700cc996b291871a90bb5abc0be
MPAS-A* GPU-capable Atmospheric Model MPAS_2019-06-26.pdf 274813 cf523aa8e3a9d889d11817d0d07edca9
OSU MPI MPI Communications Benchmark osu-micro-benchmarks-5.5.tar.gz 765369 bcb970d5a1f3424e2c7302ff60611008
Stream Memory Bandwidth Stream_2019-05-22.tar.gz 20743 23d9d58f8d709553c7e409ab1b1e44cc
WRF Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model WRF_2019-09-06.tar.gz  9778202346 bec5bf5cc682b14ebb30a2da51d381ab

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.

* Note: Access to the MPAS-A benchmark code is restricted. To obtain access, follow the instructions below.  

Instructions for obtaining NWSC-3 MPAS-A benchmark source code

Code releases for the MPAS-A GPU project will occur through the open-source GitHub site. However, before you may access the site, you are required to sign the MPAS-A Confidentiality Agreement. To obtain access to the MPAS-A GPU GitHub site, send both your signed MPAS-A Confidentiality Agreement and your GitHub account/login to Irfan Elahi.

Note that all materials (including source code, products derived from source code, and documents) related to NWSC-3 MPAS should not be distributed, either formally or informally, in any form. Publishing any kind of results obtained from the NWSC-3 MPAS-A source code requires written consent from UCAR.