Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Graphic Card Name Dechipering

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
August 15, 2006 12:44:22 AM

TI & Nvidia Graphics card name dechipering.

Lets say you are looking at a selection of graphic cards in a retail store and you may notice that about only 50% of the manufacuters don't put a lot of detailed specifications about the rendering power of the graphics card on the box. Here is how to make sense of all of those weird numbers and codes that will confuse the heck out of the common consumer.

I have noticed that a lot of people would think that an ATI Radeon X1600 Pro would give better performance than an ATI Radeon X800 XL because they look at the 1600 being larger than 800.. thus it MUST give better performance.. right?

...WRONG! Lets start by breaking the names apart.

----
ATI:
----

ATI Radeon X800 XL

becomes...

ATI.. Radeon... X... 800... XL...
------------------------------------------
ATI = Manufacutrer
Radeon = Series
X = 10 = Version of Series (Rendering features based on chipset. Series 10 seemed to be using the R420 chipset which supported Shader Model 2.0b features.)
800 = Performance class of series (In series 10, the classes were 300, 550, 600, 700, 800, 850)
XL = Splitting hairs really. This area usually reflects the speed of the chipset, if it's a high end or the low end. The order is SE<plain<GT<GTO<PRO<XL<XT<XTX (So this card being a XLo it would probably give about above midrange performance.)



ATI Radeon X1600 Pro

becomes...

ATI... Radeon... X1... 600... Pro...
------------------------------------------
ATI = Manufacutrer
Radeon = Series
X1 = X+1 = 11 = Version of series (Rendering features based on chipset. Series 11 seemed to be using the R520 chipset which supported Shader Model 3.0 features.)
600 = Performance class of series. (In series 11, the classes were 300, 400, 600, 800, 900, 950)
Pro = Splitting hairs really. This area usually reflects the speed of the chipset, if it's a high end or the low end. The order is SE<plain<GT<GTO<PRO<XL<XT<XTX (So this card being a Pro it would probably give about midrange performance.

Now that is is broken down like this it should say something like....

ATI Radeon X800 XL = High Performing, Shader Model 2.0b graphics card
ATI Radeon X1600 Pro = Midrange/Low End, Shader Model 3.0 graphics card

It sounds to me that the X1600 pro has the features, but doesn't exactly have the horsepower in the engine to run all of those features very well.. and this is based on the name of the card alone, without even looking at the specifications of the card.

Now if I were to take a look at the specifications of these cards, they would prove that I am indeed correct.


You should be able to use this same method on the Nvidia cards.

-------
Nvidia:
-------
Nvidia GeForce 7950 GTX

becomes...

Nvidia... GeForce... 7... 950... GTX...

Nvidia = Manufacutrer
GeForce = Series
7 = Version of series (Version 7 supports Shader Model 3.0)
950 = Performance class of series (In series 7, the classes were 300, 600, 800, 900, 950)
GTX = Splits hairs of the series indicating if it is an Underclocked or Overclocked from regular timings. (I think that the proper order from underclocked to overclocked names change with each series chipset introduced. I would imagine the order for this series is GS, GT, GTX, GX2 in order from underclocked to overclocked.)

Let me know what you think of this guide and feel free to correct me on anything. I am trying to make this guide as accurate as I can make it.

Thank TheGreatGrapeApe on the TGFourmz for corrections to my post
a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2006 1:18:51 AM

Wow, this looks.... Very familiar. :mrgreen:
August 15, 2006 1:53:15 AM

Nah, its better.

Sticky?
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2006 2:34:31 AM

Quote:
Nah, its better.


Not when it has a bunch of mistakes in it. :roll:

Quote:
Sticky?


Only has a chance if it's cleaned up, if anything it should be added to the other stickies.

First thing thing to clean-up;

Pro = Splits hairs of the series indicating if it is an Underclocked or Overclocked from regular timings. (I think that the proper order from underclocked to overclocked names change with each series chipset introduced. I am still trying to decipher the proper order for this Series of chipset)

A Pro is not overclocked or underclocked, it's set at it's reference clock. However the nomenclature is given to the card based on where along the suffix foodchain it finds itself, which has nothing to do with overclocking or underclocking, as an X1600Pro and X1600XT both are at STOCK speeds.

'usual' order of things: SE<plain<GT<GTO<PRO<XL<XT<XTX (the LE being the odd man out finding itself all over above plain, below plain, above and below SE).

PS, it's also not 'timings' but speed.
August 15, 2006 2:54:01 AM

And not necessarily GT<GTO....

Which would you perfer, a 6800GT or 6800GTO? *I think you get my point*

What about GS and GT? A stock 6800GS (PCI-E) performs right on par with a stock 6800GT....

The suffix game has become increasingly confusing, especially now that manufactorers (Nv) are clocking cards to high hell, and ATI partners are starting that game too.

Just makes my eyes 8O
August 15, 2006 3:03:30 AM

Thank you for the correction. So.. what exactly should I change this line to?
a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2006 3:06:57 AM

Quote:
And not necessarily GT<GTO....

Which would you perfer, a 6800GT or 6800GTO? *I think you get my point*


Yes, but you miss mine. :tongue:
ATi in this case (the nV list was pretty well laid out towards the end of his post [although misses the other confusion point the XT]). Suffixes only tend to work within a group, because like the XT in the nV line is low, it's high in the ATi line. Anywhoo, I was only refering to the ATi range for that example.

Quote:
The suffix game has become increasingly confusing, especially now that manufactorers (Nv) are clocking cards to high hell, and ATI partners are starting that game too.


Yeah Board partners' activites do confuse things, especially when they have cards like the 'Pro vantage/advantage' or Pro-Lite that Sapphire has which are both lower than a regular Pro. BFG, eVGA and Gainward have their OC'ed cards which kinda confuses things a bit too, but really the general lineups work OK, but no guideline is exception proof, Heck we haven't even mentioned the 3 different plain GF6800s, 3 R9800Pros (DDR - DDRII and the not really a pro 128bit model), 2 different FX5600Ultras (Rev1 Rev2), R9800SE 128bit/256bit, GTX/GTX-512, etc.
August 15, 2006 3:18:03 AM

Quote:
And not necessarily GT<GTO....

Which would you perfer, a 6800GT or 6800GTO? *I think you get my point*


Yes, but you miss mine. :tongue:
ATi in this case (the nV list was pretty well laid out towards the end of his post [although misses the other confusion point the XT]). Suffixes only tend to work within a group, because like the XT in the nV line is low, it's high in the ATi line. Anywhoo, I was only refering to the ATi range for that example.

Quote:
The suffix game has become increasingly confusing, especially now that manufactorers (Nv) are clocking cards to high hell, and ATI partners are starting that game too.


Yeah Board partners' activites do confuse things, especially when they have cards like the 'Pro vantage/advantage' or Pro-Lite that Sapphire has which are both lower than a regular Pro. BFG, eVGA and Gainward have their OC'ed cards which kinda confuses things a bit too, but really the general lineups work OK, but no guideline is exception proof, Heck we haven't even mentioned the 3 different plain GF6800s, 3 R9800Pros (DDR - DDRII and the not really a pro 128bit model), 2 different FX5600Ultras (Rev1 Rev2), R9800SE 128bit/256bit, GTX/GTX-512, etc.

Where does the XT stand on the nVLine?
a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2006 3:34:14 AM

Quote:
Thank you for the correction. So.. what exactly should I change this line to?


Well for what you're describing I'd put something along the lines of;

XL = Suffix - This designates where along the model line this card appears, usually based on core/memory speed differences, but sometimes based upon deactivation of subcomponents (shader units/memory bitwidth).

Then you could go on to list the suffix in order. You nV order is good, but I'd add LE and XT/SE to it at the bottom (XT/SE is the very bottom for nV), you could also add Ultra in there too as a nod to the recent past since there are a few GF6800Us out there on eBay, etc.

I'd also change your section of Series to Family of chips/cards, and the X1K as the generation, also for both IHVs you could add Mobility Radeon and GeforceGo for the mobility side of the equation (they are the other parts of the families), and even All-In-Wonder Radeon if you want some more (mention it's a multimedia equipped card). It would be easier if it were the GO Geforce (used to have GO as a suffix) because then you could have Family, followed by subset, then series, etc. But depends on how you look at it. And if you want mention the Quadro/FireGL series and that those cards are a whole other kettle of fish, best left for talking to someone who knows for sure. Just complicates things for the most part and anyone reading this is unlikely to be buying a Quadro/FireGL based on some list alone. I'd ope no one would, but after reading posts here long enough nothing like that surprises me anymore.

Then I'd change X=10 Version of Series to Generation of Card. (ie R7xxx, R8xxx, R9xxx, RX(10)xxx , RX1(11)xxx ;

(nV not as clean earlier on [whereas ATi not as clean NOW]) GF4ti 4xxx, FX5xxx, GF6xxx, GF7xxx , etc.

Also I'd say change 'Performance Class of Series' to just Series. Adding performance adds the already establish 'performance cards' aspect to it, and the 3 series is definitely not a performance line. Then show them the splits;

0,1,2,3,4 - 5,6,7 - 8,9 (Low - Med -High), this only applies within a generation/

You could even mention the XX50/1xx50 as being a refresh.

And even ad board pertners final suffix like the GF7600GT CO / X1800XT TOP. Of course sometimes people like Sapphire screw this up with the 'Toxic X1900XT'

Therefore;

IHV/Mfr .... Family ... Generation .... Series .... Refresh ... Suffix ... additional OEM Partner Suffix

Never gonna find a hard and fast rule, but that about covers it. And that's based on the naming schemes pretty much used across the net.
August 15, 2006 4:54:07 AM

Just quickly answering the question of the XT in Nv's lineup.

It was originally started in the FX line. Nv saw that ATI's XT as the suffix for their flagship card was a good selling point. So in order to devalue ATI's line and promote their own....the XT was added at the end. However with a slight difference. The XT for Nv is usually a cut down GPU and not the higher end or flagship when compared to ATI, excellent play on words and marketing tatic if I say so myself.
a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2006 5:04:24 AM

Yeah it's funny because XT for nV came at a time when they had far too many variations out there: LX, LE, EPV, EL, etc.

The XT matched the current SE lines of many mfrs and so what was universally the $hitty Edition cards for both companies, now they were taking a dig at the opposition.
August 15, 2006 5:09:53 AM

Worked too, because 5900XT sales shot up pretty quick if I remember correctly.
August 15, 2006 7:59:23 AM

Shows the complete stupidity of ATi and NVidia naming conventions.
Unless you know all the expections and the detailed specifications of each technology, the actual names just confuse the issue more.

I mean try explaining all this to a layman. I hate to be a saleman trying to explain all this. Just a simple question like why is GT better than GS will get you tongue tied, especially if you try to avoid the details.
!