I stumbled upon this: 250 GB SSD for programming cheaper than ~£100?

The question really narrows to "should I buy this or this", in which the answer is really a "yes" or a "no". That makes for a subjective question. Since answers won't really be recommending a product, or a feature of a product, what do we do? I voted to close for the following reason:

I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is more of a poll, in that answers are really going to be a "yes" or a "no". This question is very opinion based and subjective, which is not reflective of the sites quality standards.

Should we allow these sorts of questions?


2 Answers 2


I say yes for the general case, but no for the specific case (as it stands).

If I ask, "Is Product A better than Product B?", I may have a great question. I'm still asking for a recommendation; all I've done is narrowed down my choices from potential hundreds to just two.

However, for this to be good question, I need to talk about what I want in such a product. In the example question given, a bunch of facts are given for each product. The thing is, not all of them are equally important. You see this "ranking" of important requirements a lot in most questions, such as (just an example I made up)

I'm flexible with Requirements D, E, and F, but Requirements A, B, and especially C must be met.

This shows that three requirements are important, one of which is extremely important, while three are less important. This means that anyone answering the question knows which to focus on.

In this case, no information is given as to what the asker wants from the devices in question. I still don't quite know what s/he wants. For that reason, I think that this question might be opinion-based (although I'm not sure yet). The phrase "Is it worth [it]" is also extraordinarily subjective.

Could this question be fixed by emphasizing which requirements are most important? Yes. Should questions like it be on-topic? Absolutely. Is it good at the moment? I don't think so.


These are classic X vs Y problems.

  • "I know the solution to a problem I'm not going to explain/ask, is my solution good?"

The reason they are bad is almost always about a solution, not a problem. Note that reading through the linked question it is not clear what the actual question/problem is. We don't know why the person wants this, what their rationale is for limiting to those two options is (perhaps if there is reasonable justification it can be an ok XY question).

That lack of criteria/explanation makes it less, "recommend me hardware based on X, Y, and Z" and more "I've already decided X, justify/critique my decision."

As it is now? It's not a good question for Stack Exchange in general - here being no exception.

A good XY question here in my opinion looks more like:

  • "At work, I have the option of either A or B. My goal is X, Y, and Z - will A or B fit this better?"

Not, as it seems should be the case here:

  • "I just want to arbitrarily limit my options to two harddrives. Which is better?"

The best answer to that person's actual problem very well could be a different option than either of the two in the question.

  • "At work, I have the option of either A or B. My goal is X, Y, and Z - will A or B fit this better?" Is my question really so different? I clarified expectations (mainly programming). I am just not sure about the choice according to my specification. Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 19:54
  • @belford but the thing is, why is it limited to that? What are you trying to do with this? You could edit out most of your question and give just "need drive for compiling/working on multiple video files simultaneously" and it won't lose ANY meaningful information. That is why it's a bad question, it's a bunch of... fluff that doesn't add to what your core question is.
    – enderland
    Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 19:58
  • XY questions are great for a discussion board. But really bad for a Q/A site..
    – enderland
    Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 19:58

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