CISL High Performance Computing Benchmarks


NCAR benchmarking applications

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.

The 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.

Instructions for all benchmarks are available via Google Docs or direct download at this link:

Application Benchmark Instructions

These are the instructions for each of the application benchmarks in the table below.


Application Benchmarks Description File Size (Bytes) MD5 Checksum
HOMME HOMME benchmark and HOMME_COMM communication kernel HOMME_v1.tar.gz 2728264 b35d135f52b488d0bf9c1a07f2d02a93
HPCG High Performance Conjugate Gradient Solver hpcg-2.4_v1.tar.gz  69974 fef8b6614ddaf3c45b8dd1b8fb867df7
LES Large Eddy Simulation benchmark LES_v1.tar.gz 73200 f9017e36b1ea0f02a2169770b37fad54
MG2 Morrison Gettelman cloud microphysics kernel MG2kernel_v1.tar.gz 282822 53befeb7e418c074c80f6a5ad025144c
MPAS-A MPAS Atmosphere benchmark MPAS_3.2_v1.tar.gz 2259609261 e9736920454952afb7e13c2e4f859457
POPperf POP Ocean model benchmark POPperf_v1.tar.gz 66480926 0fd078478dc6b5f326701ac09713fa49
WRF Weather Research and Forecasting model WRFV3_BENCH_v1.tar.gz 13260795166 4d5a7c02656dca8042cebe1e656c793b
CESM Community Earth System Model Used in numerical correctness and system acceptance testing.    


I/O and Microbenchmarks Description File Size (Bytes) MD5 Checksum
STREAM Node level memory benchmark STREAM_v1.tar.gz 10268 ee520d700a1fef3f746b9a8117952635
SHOC Scalable HeterOgeneous Computing (GPU benchmark) shoc_v1.tar.gz 10418387 f3a4146180cb720a04104ee40bd161ea
OSU-MPI MPI communication benchmarks osu-micro-benchmarks-4.4.1_v1.tar.gz  151586 4bae164fc0aecd955adae1e9a9dc48d9
IOR I/O bandwidth and latency test ncar_ior_v1.tgz 144,608 dc91a37af717005c87ec1752524ef67b
pyReshaper Application I/O kernel pyResBench_v1.tgz 1,938,268,372 67c9231e8bacb644d1a952b8793dc609
mdtest Metadata performance test ncar_mdtest_v1.tgz 93,074 c9f69c6cdc335409f96ebce7764babad

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 Under Products select Globus Connect and then Get Globus Connect Personal. Versions are available for Mac OS X, Linux and Windows.

Step 3: Use Globus to download benchmarks

  1. Log in at with your Globus account
  2. Select Transfer Files
  3. In the left-hand window, enter NCAR HPC Benchmarks as the endpoint
  4. In the right-hand window, enter an endpoint at your own site or the endpoint that you established with Globus Connect
  5. Select the benchmark files you wish to download and click the right-hand arrow

Your download will be submitted through the Globus Transfer service. You will receive an email when your transfer has completed or you can monitor from the Transfer window by selecting refresh list in the right-hand window.