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Arrow How graphics cards categories are determined or what makes for a new category

Graphics cards entries in the HWBOT database are created based on identifiability:

- When the graphics card can be identified/distinguished in the screenshot (GPU-Z), they are separated.
- When two “different” graphics cards cannot be distinguished (Example: Radeon HD 7970 and R9 280X), they fall in the same entry (they are not separated).
- Graphics cards with the exact same specifications but with a different name (8800GTS (G92), 9800 GTX, GTS 250, GTS 150) are separated.

If every other specification is identical but the following, a new entry is created:

- GPU amount
- GPU core
- Core configuration (ROPs/TMUs, Shaders) (Exception: When they are unlocked (link to unlocked guideline))
- Bus width
- Memory type
- Desktop/Integrated/Mobile
- Bus interface

If every other specification is identical but the following, no new entry is created:

- Manufacturing process/Die size/Transistors
- Revision/Release date
- Device ID
- Memory size
- Frequencies

List of exceptions:
ASUS Mars Dual GTX285 => GeForce GTX 295
[...]


No changes
Riva series:
Riva TNT IGP
Riva TNT PCI
Riva TNT2 M64 PCI
Riva TNT2 PCI
Riva TNT2 Ultra
Vanta PCI
GF1:
GeForce 256 DDR
GeForce 256 SDR


Changes
Riva series:
Memory:
Riva TNT, Riva TNT 8Mb => Merged
Riva TNT2, Riva TNT2 16MB => Merged
Riva TNT2 M64, Riva TNT2 M64 16MB, Riva TNT2 M64 8MB => Merged
Vanta LT (8Mb), Vanta LT (16Mb) => Merge
Riva 128 AGP, Riva 128 ZX => Merged
Unidentifiable:
Riva TNT2, Riva TNT2 Pro => Merged
Vanta, Vanta LT => Merge
Not in DB:
Riva 128 PCI - Added

Last edited by Christian Ney; 05-08-2017 at 08:09.
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Default Re: How graphics cards categories are determined or what makes for a new category

Old post:

Up until now there was/is not real guideline on what really counts.

There are different criteria:
Name - Name of the card (usually the name given by the GPU manufacturer that is displayed by the driver and GPU-Z, while it is reliable on recent graphics cards (except for AMD cards), it is not for old cards (especially AMD cards again)
GPU core - Different core name usually means different architecture.
GPU amount – 1x, 2x, 3x,
Mfc process (nm) - Sometimes the same GPU is being released with a different manufacturing process (65nm, 55nm).
Die Size - linked to manufacturing process
Revision
Release date
Transistors – linked to manufacturing process
BIOS Version
Subvendor
Device ID – While one would think that this is the way to go, unfortunately it is not reliable as “different graphics cards” (while most of the time the “difference” is the name of the card (rebranding), sometimes the cards have different specs) have the same device ID (I can't think of an nVidia example but there are many AMD examples). Also, remember RivaTuner where you could easily change the DeviceID?
ROPs/TMUs – Different amount
Shaders – Different amount
DirectX Version
Bus Interface – PCIe, AGP, PCI, IGP, Integrated
Desktop vs Mobile
Memory Type – DDR, SDR, DDR3, GDDR5….
Bus Width – 64, 128, 256, 512….
Memory Size
GPU Clock
Memory Clock
Identifiability - can you tell what is what with GPUZ information

Why do we need such a guideline? Because right now if you look at the database, there are some cards with different specs ranked in the same category, cards with same specs ranked in different categories. And there probably are some categories that do not exist left from riva tuner days.

Code:
Name - 
GPU core - 
GPU amount - 
Mfc process (nm) - 
Die Size - 
Revision - 
Release date - 
Transistors - 
BIOS Version - 
Subvendor - 
Device ID - 
ROPs/TMUs - 
Shaders - 
DirectX Version - 
Bus Interface - 
Desktop vs Mobile - 
Memory Type - 
Bus Width - 
Memory Size - 
GPU Clock - 
Memory Clock - 
Identifiability -
Three main cases we have:
We narrow it down to the GPU itself (fewer categories).
We consider them like CPUs (every single specification counts (except for clocks), many many many categories).
We find a compromise.

Whatever is chosen, we need a guideline and stick to it.

In my opinion:

What should matter (aka if everything else is the same but the following, I would make a new category)
GPU amount -
ROPs/TMUs -
Shaders -
Bus Width -



What should not matter (aka if everything else is the same but the following, I would not make a new category)
Mfc process (nm) -
Die Size -
Revision -
Release date -
Transistors -
BIOS Version -
Subvendor -
Device ID -
DirectX Version -

Memory Size - You could argue that it is like using a different memory amount for processors.
Bus Interface - You could argue that it is like using a different motherboard for processors.
Memory Type - You could argue that it is like using a different memory type for processors.
GPU Clock -
Memory Clock -



Depends
GPU core - If there really is a change in the architecture, then a different category should be made.
Name - If the cards are always correctly identified in GPU-Z => Different category. If you cannot tell the difference looking at GPUZ information (when the name displayed changes from a driver to another or the same name is displayed for different graphics cards) => same category. Thanks rebranding.
Desktop vs Mobile - If the cards are always correctly identified in GPU-Z => Different category. If you cannot tell the difference looking at GPUZ information (when the name displayed changes from a driver to another or the same name is displayed for different graphics cards) => same category.

Last edited by Christian Ney; 04-13-2017 at 09:16.
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Default Re: How graphics cards categories are determined or what makes for a new category

I agree all above, except Mfc Process & Die Size, this is can make huge different in OC, like you mixing 6700K with 7700K (In GPU you can mixing HD 4870 & 4890) btw my english is not so well so maybe i make mistake ^_^
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Default Re: How graphics cards categories are determined or what makes for a new category

Bus Interface
Memory Type

Should AGP and PCI-E compete directly? PCI and AGP?

Memory type: DDR2 and DDR3 should be separated, IMO. I believe that DDR3, sDDR3 and GDDR3 perform almost identically that the difference can be put down to vendor BIOS tuning. I am vaguely working on a comparison that will show the differences. I might be wrong, but I am confident that I am not.

Also, GDDR3 and GDDR5 should be separate.

Etc

Memory size.... can probably be ignored. If a benchmark uses more vRAM than a card has, buy the version of the card that has more. Makes binning easier

Device ID.... that can go either way. I know that some late G92 cards get a bit messy....

Core revision: THIS... is interesting. If this disappears, then possibly one of the most submitted-to GPU categories in HWB history... and one of the cards that make HWBot popular.....disappears .....but the silicon spin has a new marketing name....

As for the rest.... I am still to think.
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Default Re: How graphics cards categories are determined or what makes for a new category

Agree bar bus interface, I know there are very few cases where this would become an issue, but comparing a 3850AGP to a 3850 PCI-E is very hard, unlike different memory types for example, its almost impossible to ever have a fair comparison here considering CPU is such a massive part of the benchmark, QX9650 vs 7700K is not exactly comparable :P
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Default Re: How graphics cards categories are determined or what makes for a new category

Quote:
Originally Posted by ObscureParadox View Post
Agree bar bus interface, I know there are very few cases where this would become an issue, but comparing a 3850AGP to a 3850 PCI-E is very hard, unlike different memory types for example, its almost impossible to ever have a fair comparison here considering CPU is such a massive part of the benchmark, QX9650 vs 7700K is not exactly comparable :P
Does the fact that you can not use 7700k for benching an agp card normally change the core, the rops, shaders, memory of the 3850 agp or is it the same core? This is where the problems start, we cannot make differences on same gpu core and mem used bc of agp for example being eol for modern boards. No one ever said it is fair, but nowadays a pci-Express crd gives you the advantage of system you can use, it doesn´t give you faster gpu core... Nothing against AGP/PCIX seperation, but it is an excellent example for circumstances not to take in normally
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Default Re: How graphics cards categories are determined or what makes for a new category

Quote:
Originally Posted by speed.fastest View Post
I agree all above, except Mfc Process & Die Size, this is can make huge different in OC, like you mixing 6700K with 7700K (In GPU you can mixing HD 4870 & 4890) btw my english is not so well so maybe i make mistake ^_^
Between 6700K and 7700K, the manufacturing process is not the only thing that changed.

Last edited by Christian Ney; 03-28-2017 at 17:22.
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Default Re: How graphics cards categories are determined or what makes for a new category

There MUST have been comparisons done at the time to compare e.g. AGP and PCI-E performance, keeping all other variables the same (or as many as possible)

We also have to think about what will happen in the future. Any changes made MUST also expect to deal with "whatever comes next"
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Default Re: How graphics cards categories are determined or what makes for a new category

AGP/PCI-E should be kept separated (as it is now), otherwise many VGAs would become completely pointless. Some models (for example 6600 GT) are even running different clock for AGP and PCI-E... 1 vs 1.1 GHz GDDR3 IIRC. The same applies for AGP/PCI, AGP/AGP Pro, PCI/PCI-X. Yes, the videocard might be the same, but because of different interface and platform, benchmarking it is a completely different game. I guess many people here own tweaked Phenom II / Core2 Extreme AGP rig just to run things like X1950 Pro, HD 3850 AGP, etc. If these were to get merged with pci-e, all effort is lost.

Memory type should also make a separate category. For example GF 6800 DDR1 vs GDDR3, the former one will never catch GDDR3 version. Sure, you can argument - just get the GDDR3 one and bench it... but where is the variety and fun in that? It is the same like merging all C2D E8xxx series into one, where E8600 would rule.... and the rest, well became pointless.

Memory size... well thats a tough one. It was discussed many times over the years. And the conclusion was "we don't do more categories based on memory size anymore". In some benchmarks and with right HW, there is a performance gain with more MB. But on the other hand more memory = usually lower clocks and loss of power in other benches. I understand that separating categories based on memory size would mean a lot of new ones... On the other hand merging for example 8800 GTS 320 and 640, well that doesn't look good.

Btw - 6700k and 7700k are completely the same thing architecture wise, just a different process, clocks and (code)name.
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Default Re: How graphics cards categories are determined or what makes for a new category

You need to be able to separate cards through a screenshot. Apart from that, it comes down to differences in performance at stock speeds (factory OCs aside). Memory amount rarely matters, but in those rare cases it does, make another category. Shader count, bus width etc are differences that in nearly all cases translate into different performance at the same clock speeds, and will nearly always require new categories to be made because of those differences. Some of those differences often result in different names from the manufacturer, but that's just a name - which is not important.
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