What is SPEC Code? (Explained)

What is SPEC Code?

The SPEC code typically refers to the five characters, which consist of integers and letters that help in identifying the processor.

Usually, this code is printed on the computer processors and is also available on their packaging labels.


  • The SPEC code is the identification of a computer processor.
  • It consists of both numbers and letters.
  • The code is usually printed on the CPU unit, and it is also printed on the packaging label. It is also available on the website of the manufacturer.
  • The SPEC code can be used further to find other technical information about the CPU.

Understanding SPEC Code

What is SPEC Code

The SPEC code, in simple terms, is the ID of the computer processor. It is a code that usually contains five characters, which consist of both letters and numbers.

Apart from the basic information, the SPEC code can be used to get other information regarding the processor, which includes the following:

  • The technical aspects of the CPU
  • The performance
  • Its compatibility
  • The country where it was manufactured and more

The SPEC code can be seen in different places as well such as:

  • It is printed on the CPU casing itself
  • It is printed on the packaging label
  • It may be printed on the surface of the Integrated Heat Spreader or IHS
  • It is available on the official website of the manufacturer of the processor
  • It can also be obtained through an online search.

However, for the last two methods, you will first need to know the model number of your processor to find the other details about it.

Remember, if you want to check it from the label on the processor, you will have to remove and attach the fan or heatsink, and you should be very careful for that matter. Skip this process if you are not very confident about it.

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The SPECint:

There is another specific code called the SPECint, which is a bit different from the basic SPEC code of a processor and therefore should not be mixed.

This particular code is basically the computer benchmark specification that indicates the integer processing power of the processor.

In simple words, SPECint is the testing element of the SPEC test suite for integer performance.

This particular code is maintained by SPEC or the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation.

This SPEC test suite was first announced in 1992 and was called CPU92. This was followed by:

  • CPU95
  • CPU2000
  • CPU2006
  • SPEC CPU 2017

The last version consists of SPECrate and SPECspeed and the CPU2006 refers to the specific type of tests designed to measure the performance of the CPUs used in modern server computer systems, especially for floating point testing.

Based on specific benchmarks, this is divided into two particular components such as:

  • CINT2006
  • CFP2006

There are twelve specific benchmark programs that define the base runtime with the help of SPEC code. This can range anywhere between 1000 and 3000 seconds for SPECint2006.

The process followed for this involves the following:

  • Running the timed test on the system
  • Comparing the time of the test system with the reference time and
  • Computing the ratio.

This ratio is basically the SPECint score for that particular test on the system. This number is different from the rating in SPECINT2000, where the ratio is multiplied by 100.

As an illustration of SPECint2006, take a processor that can run 400. perlbench in 2000 seconds and the time taken to run the benchmark by the reference machine is 9770 seconds. In this case, the ratio will be 4.885.

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After computing each ratio, the geometric mean of those ratios is calculated. This gives the overall value.

The SPECint tests are performed on a wide variety of hardware and the results are usually available for the complete range of implementations at the system level by using the latest processors.

Typically, a SPECint2006 test can be performed on all types of processors such as:

The unique aspect of the SPECint benchmark is that the tests are conducted on only one single CPU, even if there are multiple CPUs in the computer system.

Similarly, if a single CPU has several cores in it, the benchmark is run by using only one particular core. At this point of time, the hyper threading feature is also disabled.

This range of capabilities determined in this process, specifically in the case of multiple CPUs, is a more complete benchmark on a system level.

The measurements for all the CPUs and cores are then taken together to represent the SPECint_rate2006, which is also referred to as the CINT2006 Rate.

What is SPEC Code

Checking SPEC Code:

Here are some useful ways to check the SPEC code of a processor.

Method 1:

If your computer system is operating on Linux or if you can boot from a Live CD, then you can try the following command:

cat /proc/cpuinfo

Once the window opens, you can read the flags from the list and especially look for the vmx flag.

Method 2:

If your computer system is running on Windows, then you can use the Intel Processor Identification utility for checking the SPEC code of the processor.

Method 3:

Sometimes, you can even turn CPUID strings into the SPEC code by using the output of the command cat /proc/cpuinfo as well.

For example, assume that the output of the command is something as follows:

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Processor: 0

Vendor_id: Genuine Intel

CPU family: 15

Model: 4

Model name: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.20GHz

Stepping: 1

CPU MHz: 3200.000

In this case, you will need to consider the CPU family represented in the two digit hex, stepping and model then create a string by taking all of these together. Therefore, it will look something like 0F41, where the family, model, and stepping are taken into account.

Once you have found this code, you can then go to the website of Intel and look for the ID code and match it to a spec code.

There is one point that you should keep in mind here, which is that there may be quite a few IDs that may be used for multiple SPEC codes.

Method 4:

You can even use some third-party sites and tools, such as CPU-Z, to check the SPEC code of your processor. Sometimes these tools do provide the SPEC code along with other information regarding the CPU.


The SPEC code of the processor is quite an important metric for those users who are concerned about the technicalities of the hardware.

The five characters not only tell about the processor family but also much more than that through some other additional checks made online or through software utilities.

About Taylor Swift

Taylor SwiftTaylor Swift, a UOPEOPLE graduate is a freelance technology writer with in-depth knowledge about computers. She has an understanding of hardware and technology gained through over 10 years of experience. Follow Her at Linkedin

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