Clarification regarding unreleased technology and HWBoints.

Clarification regarding unreleased technology and HWBoints.

A few months ago, HWBOT introduced a new rule which stated that unreleased technology would not be awarded any points. Very recently, we became aware that this new rule is confusing a lot of HWBOT members. Therefor, we want to set elaborate, explain and set some things straight in this newspost.

Let’s start by explicitly stating that the key argument for giving a product or technology the tag “unreleased” is NOT “retail availability”, but merely the answer to the question “is this under NDA?“.


When trying to improve the competition, a lot of rules and regulations can be set in place to award less points for having either the financial possibilities or the right contacts. Although it sounds as a fairly solid concept, retail availability can not serve as valid criterium for any HWBoints restriction for the simple reason that the availability highly depends on local markets.

Some products are not available in certain countries, but that does not mean those products should not be awarded any points. Two simple examples are the Intel Pentium 6500K, which was only available in China, and the Gigabyte GA-P55-UD6-C, which is not available in Europe, but is available in Russia. In the recent past, we have also seen that Zotac had released a special GTX260 OC card, but again only in China. Next to this, there’s also the problem with users who customise their hardware for higher performance. Someone who modifies the bios of their graphics card is using a bios that is not available in retail. Someone who modifies their graphics card by updating the existing PWM (example: Hipro5’s GTX260 or Tin’s 8800GTX) is using a product that is not available for retail either.

So, what criterium can be used to determine if the hardware is unreleased or not? What we look at is if there’s some kind of NDA on the product or on any of the technologies the product is using. If both questions are negative, then there’s no problem to receive points. Two examples:

The Rampage III Extreme is a new product from Asus which is using the X58 chipset of Intel. At the moment it’s not yet for retail, but neither Asus (board) or Intel (chipset) has set any NDA related to this product. Therefor, points are not a problem.
The Evga W555 2xLGA1366 is a new product from Evga which is using the X58 chipset of Intel. The product is not yet available for retail, but neither Intel (chipset) or Evga (board) is using any form of NDA for this product. Therefor, points are not a problem.


United Kingdom bazx says:

example: Hipro5’s GTX260 or Tin’s 8800GTX are these under nda?

United Kingdom Evocarlos says:

there still retail cards :) hardlly worth the mention

but to one point evga x58 classy mobos have volttera controller

i still cant d/l the datasheet :)

Belgium Massman says:

Both are in terms of technical specifications. In both cases, performance results (this is what this site is about?) can be published in public.

Greece hipro5 says:

Maybe some hardware are NOT under NDA or the NDA has been lifted for them...
Is it fair to upload resaults and get points if there's no NDA BUT NONE ELSE has it?... :)

Greece hipro5 says:

I mean that the PROBLEM is the "NDA" OR that NONE has the SAME hardware to compete with you because it's NOT RETAIL YET?....

Taiwan AndreYang says:

hey hipro5, it's double standard. You know that. You can submit all non-NDA products and got points. Who care about this product is available or not?

Belgium Massman says:

Hipro5, it's an attempt to create even playing field without making a rule that has giant loopholes in it. We had two options: either go with "nda present" or "retail availability". The first one is pretty clear for everyone: when the manufacturer has no problem with releasing performance numbers, usually a date known to everyone, you can submit result. If we have to start defining "retail availability", there's no end. When is a product available in retail? In a webshop? On a retail shelve? In what country? What quantity? In the end, there's no way we can work with the "retail availability" as criterium. NDA is a criterium we can actually work with, because it's defined by the manufacturer.

United Kingdom borandi says:

If there's an NDA on it, no points. Got ya.

Greece hipro5 says:

OK.... So ONLY NDA - got you... :)

K404 says:

What about products that were never released, but sampled and tested? I know that sides towards the "availability" side of the argument, but im interpreting the mention of NDA as being NDA in advance of something that will eventually be available in retail, somewhere:)

Norway knopflerbruce says:

K404 said: What about products that were never released, but sampled and tested? I know that sides towards the "availability" side of the argument, but im interpreting the mention of NDA as being NDA in advance of something that will eventually be available in retail, somewhere:)

Allowed, but only after it's clear that they will never be released. That's my opinion at least.

Finland Sampsa says:

Next step, only retail CPUs would be allowed for points :)

Chile Blost says:

I think it creates inequality between those who have the hw access and those without

Taiwan SCHUMACHER says:

Without making or selling actual products, I'm afraid this will lead to prototype war among manufacturers.

Belgium Massman says:

@ Blost: Some hardware is available in large quantities in Germany, but not in (for instance) Belgium. Is it correct to state that this hardware should not be allowed on HWBOT because there's an inequality between German overclockers and Belgian overclockers in terms of availability of hardware? I don't think so. Again, using 'retail availability' as criterium is not an option because the retail availability depends more on local markets than you think.

Norway knopflerbruce says: it's possible to order from abroad if you really want the board/CPU/whatever. In fact, when a product is available online, it's available anywhere if you just put some effort into getting your hands on it;)

United Kingdom Bustah says:

ES sample cpus are not available to everyone, but still alowed?

Belgium Massman says:

The technology is available to everyone at a certain point and in the end, most (if not all) ES scores can be beaten by retail.

Malaysia verdict-fx says:

agree! reatail FTW~

Brazil Rbuass says:

A question... Everybody know there are 980X cherry to OC (like Q3FE, Q3QP and some Retails and Q4EG)... Q3FE and Q3QP never be released.... Why 990X is not allowed if is the same technology...and will be 980X many better than 980X... Is the same technology and the same... you have to be lucky to get one "cherry"... I bought a 990X cause i found to a same price than 980X....and is only a "normal" CPU (you can find lots and lots 980X many better than my 990X)... Why its not allowed...and...does anybody know when it will be released??

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