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How can I identify different hardware components (hard drive, cpu, gpu, etc). Based on it's manufacturer.

For example, Nvidia Geforce GTX 580, several manufacturers, all differently priced, some may be a bit differently from other cards.

How can I know that product A is not product B. The reason is of course that I am going to link to hardware components from different sources. So how can I know that something is the exact same product?

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" The reason is of course that I am going to link to hardware components from different sources" Can you shed a little more light on this? Are you saying that you are giving other people links to certain pieces of hardware for sale online? Your questions isnt very clear sadly. My first thought is the most obvious, which would be serial number. My second thought is it sounds like you want to learn the naming convention for specific brands so that you can identify a device with just a quick glance? – francisswest Aug 6 '12 at 16:19
Well I want to make a computer builder, but I am not going to be selling the hardware itself. So yeah a Serial number came to mind, that would be the most logical. – user858045 Aug 6 '12 at 16:21
You want to make a "computer builder"? Are you thinking of something like, a form where people choose the hardware they want, and then you link them to places they can purchase the exact parts? – francisswest Aug 6 '12 at 16:25
Yes, something like that, I also want to add product compatibility; so I need to know the exact products. In order to know it's parameters. – user858045 Aug 6 '12 at 16:27
Will you look at that, that could be pretty much what i'm trying to make yes. But I always say. Don't care about what others are doing, as long as you can do it better :) By the way, Am I correct to assume that this website has the Model Number of all hardware on there? – user858045 Aug 6 '12 at 17:05
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Knowing the generic names of components will lead to disaster. There are DIMMs of varying capacity that run at vaious speeds. But the part decription will always list it by the storage capacity of the DIMM and not the speed it operates at. Always classify based on the OEM ID and OEM part number.

If you are on Linux, you could use lshw to check the hardware info read by the OS for the corresponding hardware such as OEM part numbers, OEm IDs etc. If you want to build a database of serial IDs for the various devices, either find computers which already have these installed and run the above command or specifically remove the parts you want to test and save the various configuration info obtained from the above tool.

A safer way would be to read data directly off from the BIOS level if you are comfortable with it.

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Thank you, that is great explanation. How does OEM part numbers / OEM ID's differ from the exact model numbers? – user858045 Aug 6 '12 at 18:05
Different OEMs/vendors may use the same serial number to identify their components. If all your components are from the same vendor, using just the serial number might serve you well. But in a multi-vendor environment, one OEM's serial number for a NIC may be someone else's serial number for a storage. Hence its better to go with a OEM partname/ part number as well as vendor ID. – Arpith Aug 6 '12 at 18:10
This seems like the most logical answer, even If I don't use Linux, this is the way to obtain the hardware information. OEM IDs or Model Numbers. The reason why I say that is because it's easier to find the model numbers on the website of the vendors and to prefix them to make sure it's unique. Problem solved, thanks! – user858045 Aug 6 '12 at 18:39

When I want to know such things, I often use Piriform's free Speccy program. It's from the same folks that make the popular CCleaner utility. Below's a screenshot of the info it initially displays. You can select any of the categories shown for more detailed information about it.

screenshot of the Speccy's program initial display of information

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