New Features For Our Rankers and Charts

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Tim Higgins

Ranker Changes

Anyone who has used our product rankers has run into the problem of trying to figure out product rank when filters are applied. The screenshot below of the old NAS Ranker filtered to show only two-bay products illustrates the problem.

New NAS Ranker - Filtered- 2 drives

New NAS Ranker – Filtered- 2 drives

So we have made two improvements to all rankers. First, products are renumbered when filters are applied. This eliminates the need to use fingers and toes to keep track of filtered ranking.

Second, we have added test version filters to all rankers. Applying a filter—which is coded with the same color used on the main Chart view—limits ranking to products tested with the same test process version. This provides the most accurate comparison of product performance because it eliminates ranking error due to differences in test method.

The screenshot below shows ranking of NASes with dual-core Atom processors tested with the latest (black coded) test process. Note that ranking has been again renumbered to reflect both filters applied.

New NAS Ranker - Filtered- dual-core Atom processor and black-coded test version

New NAS Ranker – Filtered- dual-core Atom processor and black-coded test version

Other Changes

A few months back, we added the ability to rankers to limit a benchmark value before it is evaluated. We also added the ability to set a ranking tolerance for each benchmark, so that a range of values is used when comparing benchmark values during ranking.

We described how we used those changes in the NAS Ranker. We have also used these new ranking features to change other rankers as follows:

Router Ranker:
• The ranking tolerance for all benchmarks used for ranking is now 5%. This means that benchmark results must differ more than 5% for them to be ranked differently.
• The Maximum Simultaneous Connections test value is capped at 30,000. This reflects the limit of our current test method and ensures that routers that happen to end up with higher values won’t be favored in rankings.

Wireless, Wireless Extender, Wireless Bridge / Adapter and Powerline Rankers:
• The ranking tolerance for all benchmarks used for ranking is now 5%.

If a benchmark has a limit applied for ranking, you’ll see the capped value in the Ranker Performance summary. You won’t see any difference in the Ranker Performance Summary for benchmarks with tolerances applied, since the measured values are not changed for the ranking calculation.

Online Help Update

We’ve updated the information revealed by clicking the Help Me Use This button in each of the tools to make it clearer and to properly reflect current features and functions.. The Benchmark Information button has been renamed Test Information, to make its function clearer and to tie it into the renaming of the Bar checkboxes to Test version. We hope this guides more people to click the Test Information button to reveal what the bar colors mean in the Charts.

Use these buttons for help!

Use these buttons for help!

Shopping Partner Change

The last change you may notice is that we have added NewEgg as a shopping affiliate partner. You’ll see "Check NewEgg" links in product Finders and Rankers and in the "buy boxes" found on review pages. Please patronize our partners! They help make it possible for us to bring SmallNetBuilder to you.

We hope you find that these changes enhance our product selection tools. Be sure to let us know what you think either way via the Forums or just by dropping us a line.

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