Hardware companies like to throw down model numbers as their product names like you're supposed to know what any of this stuff means. I mean, why is there a GeForce GTX 1080 when there was a GeForce 9800 GTX? Doesn't the higher number mean it's better? Nevermind the GTX swapped places!
Fortunately though, there is a method to their madness. Most of the time. This guide is to lay out what each major hardware manufacturer's numbering schema means for parts such as the processor, the motherboard, and the video card. I'll also try to go over some other pieces of hardware, like storage drives and monitors, but beyond that, a model name and number usually doesn't mean anything.
Please note: This only covers products made from about 2010 and after, and thus, is by no means a comprehensive guide.
A note about model numbers. I will be repeatedly use the term GPX format to describe model numbers. Most companies have a standard way of assigning a model number and for the hardware being described, the manufacturers are good at using this. The GPX format are numbers in the model number that describe the following:
G stands for generation of the model series.
P stands for the performance or feature tier in the model series of that generation.
X are SKU numbers. While they usually mean a sub tier for performance and/or features, other manufacturers use them just because.
Note that there can be any number of G, P, or X numbers in a model number. For example, a GPXX format model number means there's two SKU numbers at the end.
Processors from Intel
Processors from AMD
Video cards and GPUs
GPUs from Intel
GPUs from AMD
GPUs from NVIDIA
What Each "Series" Manufacturers Use Mean
Chipsets from Intel
Chipsets from AMD
Other Model Name Trickery