Quantifying the quality and worthiness of a product can be a difficult business and with no set industry standard on how products should be ranked and reviewed, it can be as difficult for readers to understand what they read as it can be for critics to place a numerical value on the quality of a product.
For that reason, we’ve put together this guide as to how every product that goes through the bit-tech and bit-gamer gauntlet is scored.
We review a lot of different products in bit-tech and bit-gamer, ranging from CPUs to graphics cards, motherboards to monitors and from computer cases to computer games. Every product is given an overall score using the same criteria and, although most of our hardware reviews will break down the score further, the overall score is a calculation that takes into account the weighting of each of the breakdown scores.
For example, speed is a very important attribute for CPUs and graphics cards, so that gets a greater weighting when we're calculating the overall score for these. Meanwhile motherboards require a good selection of features as well as speed and overclockability.
Scores are dynamic and take the whole market into account. For example, the release of a premium graphics card will have an impact on the performance scores of other cards.
Rather than hiding these calculations and weightings, our scoring system brings them out into the open as a core part of the score box at the end of every hardware review. If you want to know more about the product being reviewed you can easily see these breakdown scores, and as they all add up to 100, how they influenced the overall score.
The only time you won’t see any breakdown scores is in game reviews on bit-gamer. It’s not helpful rating the graphics or gameplay of a game as separate aspects - what really matters is the overall experience.
Hardware that scores 80 per cent or above typically provides an excellent blend of performance, features and/or value for money. Games that score greater than 80 per cent provide a highly enjoyable experience, so are well worth buying.
An overall score of 50 per cent means that the hardware or game being reviewed is as mediocre as they come. Unless one of the breakdown scores is particularly high we wouldn't recommend buying anything that scores 50 per cent or less.
An overall score of 30 per cent means that the hardware or game is fundamentally flawed in some way. For example, it may be an item of hardware that is significantly slower or more expensive than competing products; alternatively it may be a game that is so poorly scripted it gives you a migraine rather than a smile.
Not all hardware is created equal, so for those special products that stand out from the masses, we also bestow on them one of the following awards.
Some hardware is gloriously over the top. These items of excellent overkill earn our Extreme Ultra award.
Premium Grade hardware is utterly desirable - we'd eat nothing but beans until we could afford them.
Products worthy of the Professional award make you and your business appear even more awesome.
Approved products are those that do a great job for the money; they're the canny purchase for a great PC.
Not every game is created equal, so for those special games that stand out from the masses, we also bestow one of the following awards.
Premium Grade games are those that provide a highly enjoyable and memorable experience - we'd book some holiday just to play them.
Approved games are those that are worth playing, but not must-have purchases. Perhaps they don't have quite the polish of a Premium Grade game, or are only recommended for fans of the genre.