Before going into the 'Advanced Search' possibilities, let's have a look at what happens when you use the 'Filter' button on the toolbar in the upper left hand corner.

Note that not all icons and buttons may appear on your screen, because some are directly linked to your registered status on this site. Registered, Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum users have different access rights. When you press the 'Filter' button you will see a toggable 'Search' field appear like this:

Now you can enter your search string and press 'GO' to get the results. Like when entering 'BillG SB' into this search box will result in:

OK, that works nicely. But what about the 'Advanced Search' possibilities?

Let's give an example of how this filtering and advanced search can help you quickly find what you are looking for. In this hypothetical case, let's assume someone is not much into building himself, he wants a standard machine, but is doubting whether to go for a laptop or a desktop. His doubts are about the performance hit he may suffer when choosing a laptop instead of a desktop. Anyway he also wants to know what penalty he will suffer in comparison to a custom built but economical model.

The first step is to establish the baseline, so go to the 'Binocular' button:

Typical custom builds, which are well balanced and tuned, and economical, are of course Bill Gehrke's machines. So let's add that in the Advanced Search box.

We want to compare either Dell or HP systems so we add the OR statements where PC Brand is either equal to Dell or contains HP. Note  that the EQUALS condition is case sensitive and searches for the complete string entered, so sometimes it is better to use CONTAINS or BEGINS WITH for a less restrictive search. This was done intentionally to show you can use different conditions to achieve the same results. But we also want Laptops in the comparison, so we add a next OR statement where PC Type equals Laptop. The brand of laptops is not relevant here, we just want to see them all, but we do want to restrict the query to systems with more than 8 GB RAM,  so we add the AND filter to limit the search to only systems, including laptops, that have more than 8 GB RAM. Finally we want to compare these results with all of BillG's Sandy Bridge results, so that is the last filter. Then we press the 'Apply' button.

This results in the following query data:

At least with the current results. Also notice that the number of displayed results have been changed from the default 10 to 15 to fit the query results in a single page.

The conclusion is pretty obvious, there is a severe performance penalty in going for an off-the-shelf system and laptops are even worse. Both laptops are among the slowest 10% of observations, and even the fastest desktop from HP, despite its costly CPU (hardly economical), barely meets Median results.

The next thing to notice is that all the Computer ID rows have links. If you click on one link, it will show all the details about that system, like this:

Keep in mind that to revert to the complete overview of all results, you have to clear the search filters by using the Clear Filter button:

Not all buttons shown here may appear on your display, since the options are related to your registration level.