GPUs are like CPUs, its damn near impossible to compare them and judge relative performance based on specs alone, if you are comparing them ignore the detailed specs and just find benchmarks for games like what you want to play and see how the various cards performed.
There is no guide as to what each one means, but wikipedia can tell you what most of them are so its a good place to start.
What I "want" was to know if any one had a guide or information on the different Graphics card threads that break down what the are and how they would apply to picking a good GPU. However, the consensus seems to be to ignore the specs and go off benchmarks to find the right card.
Was just trying to learn more about the specs of graphics cards. That way I would know what, lets say for example, the shader clock does exactly.
Problem is what the different parts do changes between generations and archtectures. nVidia and ATI have two different takes on what a stream processor is, you will notice that comparable cards have massively different number of cores, a 5870 has 1600 and a GTX 480 has 480. ATI cards only have a core clock and a memory clock while nVidia cards have a shader clock too so its very difficult to define what all of their specs mean in a generalized manner, you would have to do it for each card/family individually.