Current and Future Plans for CPU Grade

Progression over the Past Year

Over the past year, there has been significant progress in the development of the website. The majority of this progression has been on the back-end and out of view from visitors. However, ultimately, this will lead to consistent updates on the front-end. Such updates include new microprocessor additions to the database, and the introduction of new sections of the website, which will be discussed in more detail below.

An Updated Theme

In July 2017, the website was revamped with a brand-new theme, reverting back to a full-width adaptive design. The website will now make full use of any additional screen real estate, and can comfortably adapt to display resolutions with pixel widths between (and including) 240 and 5,120 pixels. Complete support for 8K resolutions (7,680 pixels in width) is planned for the future.

Supported web browsers include Google Chrome 4+, Mozilla Firefox 4+, Opera 11.5+, Microsoft Edge 12+, Microsoft Internet Explorer 9+ and Apple Safari 5.1+. Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 is supported with most of the website functionality, however, due to lack of media query support, the theme associated with smaller display resolutions will be served.

ARIA support is now present, and the website now partially conforms to the WebAIM Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 at Level AAA.

Architecture Indexing

Desktop, embedded and laptop microprocessor models for twenty-seven high-performance architectures have been indexed on the back-end. Additionally, five low-power architectures have also been indexed, but these are of lower priority. The former represents a huge milestone in the development of the database as the model indexing was necessary before the database could grow further.

The next step is to obtain baselines for each and every single core configuration within each of these architectures. Upon completion, the reworked grading system can finally be implemented. This system will be discussed in more detail below.

A Reworked Grading System

The current implementation of the grading system is reasonably accurate, however there's always room for improvement. Over the past year, it has been reworked vigorously and will coincide with the debut of new database material once the prerequisite back-end work has been completed.

Among the changes, overall grades will be retired in favor of adding more emphasis to each of the individual performance metrics. This will allow users to focus more on the specific metrics that they are looking for, and will also eliminate the discrepancies in overall grades caused by the presence (or lack thereof) of integrated graphics.

Another welcome change will be the splitting of the performance and raw compute metrics into separate single-threaded and multi-threaded metrics.

The Database Going Forward

The plan going ahead will be to introduce the newest microprocessors to the database as soon as possible. Over time, the database will slowly grow with entries from older architectures, and eventually will house specifications and performance metrics for approximately 4,000 individual microprocessor models, between two vendors (AMD and Intel), and five platforms (desktop, embedded, laptop, low-power server and workstation). Server microprocessors will be added upon completion of the higher-priority platforms.

For the foreseeable future, attention will be focused primarily on x86-based microprocessors, however the goal is to also incorporate ARM-based microprocessors in the far future as well.

As soon as the prerequisite microprocessor indexing has been finalized, all current entries in the database will be reinstalled to coincide with several improvements to how the specifications are displayed on-site.

Performance Metric Graphs

Alongside the revamped grade system, will debut performance metric graphs. Graphs will be present for each of the ten performance metrics that all microprocessors in the database are graded against. You'll therefore effectively be able to compare metrics such as single-threaded and multi-threaded performance, thermal dissipation, voltage requirements and integrated graphics performance, across an entire microprocessor family (from within a specific platform).

As they offer the ability to compare an entire microprocessor family-platform combination, you'll find the links to these graphs on all of the microprocessor family series selection pages, below the listed series themselves.

Initially utilizing the same color bands as the performance metrics found underneath microprocessor specifications, the graphs can be adjusted to use the colors of the vendors, or a high-contrast mode for visually impaired users. It's highly likely that these graphs will receive further updates in the future to add more functionality.

There are also plans to develop more expansive graphs with possible user-adjustable filter options. Such graphs would most likely have the ability to compare multiple families, and even the entire database.

Microprocessor Tags

Also being introduced alongside the new grading system, will be a new section added to each of the microprocessor entries in the database. Working in a similar way to blog post tags, the microprocessor tags will afford you the ability to perform basic searches. You can either click on a tag within a database entry to be taken directly to that tag's page, or you can browse the tags freely from the tag portal. Tags are listed alphabetically.

On a tag's page, you'll find a list of every single microprocessor in our database that includes the tag in its entry. Microprocessor models are listed alphabetically, and divided by platform. Clicking on a model will take you directly to its database entry, complete with specifications and performance metrics.

For many of the tags used, pagination will be necessary in order to maintain the best performance for all types of devices.

The intent for this feature is to provide a simpler alternative to the planned advanced search functionality which will take a while to develop. Both features can coexist, with the choice ultimately left to the user.

Future Plans: Advanced Search; Compare; Export

Several future plans for CPU Grade are listed below.

  • An extremely advanced and powerful search feature, which is currently in the early development stages and is projected to provide around 120 filters. For in-depth searches, this will be the preferred method over tags (and will coexist alongside them).
  • Methods to compare any two microprocessors from the database against each other, showing detailed specifications and absolute performance metric figures.
  • Options to export specifications in both HTML and BBCode formats, which can then be used in auction sale listings, and in forum posts.

The website isn't going anywhere and will be continuously developed for years to come. The goal of the entire project is to ultimately succeed where all competitors have failed — a modern, optimized, visually appealing theme that is accessible on as many devices as possible (with further tools for visually impaired users); accurate and complete information; and lastly, the largest database on the Internet.

Thank You for the Continued Support

Lastly, we would like to thank every single one of our visitors for the continued support that you've shown over the past couple of years. From here on out, CPU Grade and the project as a whole is looking up with a bright future ahead in 2018 and beyond.