There may be value in limiting the breadth of questions asked. For example, if I was to ask the question What components should I use to build a quality workstation for under $3000?, there are lots of components and hence individual part recommendations that need to be made. An answer to such a question could easily have the contents of many previously well thought-out answers that go in depth as to what factors need to be taken into account for each component.

How are we going to handle questions like this? I think the following points will need to be addressed in the future:

  • How do we mitigate lots of these questions being asked(questions where many components are involved)? A wiki of some sort?
  • If a wiki isn't used, as each question may require a unique set of components (database server, gaming machine etc.), do we list all of the components they should look at, or refer them to previously asked questions (best graphics card for gaming under $500 etc.)?
  • If we allow these broader questions, are they going to have the same level of detail for each component when compared with a question that is specifically asking about one component, and one use-case?

Having a few standard wiki/new-user pages may be useful in future for directing new users to questions that will inevitably be asked numerous times (What parts do I need to make the best gaming/workstation/server computer? etc.)

Would be interesting to know what you all think about this.


I recently came across this question. It seems as though people are not too fond of it. Is this because it is too broad, or because the OP does not specify why they need the 80 tabs and 20 VMs (in other words, not enough information).

2 Answers 2


Questions should (on Stack Exchange in general) be answerable in two-three paragraphs. If you need to write a book for the answer, it's out.

That means, straight away, the example question is out: there are hundreds if not thousands of choices when making yourself a PC, and we can't answer all of those in one go. As Gilles says, they should be separate questions.

In terms of recommendation questions such as we have here, they need to set out specific requirements so that we can answer them effectively in the aforementioned few paragraphs. They should ask about one bit of hardware, and set out exactly what the OP wants from it, plus any additional nice-to-haves.

General advice questions are different, and should follow the general Stack Exchange model of questions since they fit into it: if we allow them here, that's fine, but they still have to conform to the same standards that any other question on Stack Exchange would have to conform to.


On Software Recommendations, we've found that it was best for questions to be focused, and we made precise requirements a strong requirement.

HR is already shaping up to be a little different from SR, but from what I've seen so far, the same quality control should apply: questions must formulate precise use cases. That means “quality workstation for under $3000” is right out. A question should specify what kind of use the workstation will be put to (software development? number crunching? graphic design? …)

As for the different components of a PC, they should typically be asked in different questions. There's not much that links the choice of a motherboard to the choice of a monitor, other than having compatible connectors out of a realistic choice of two or three.

Wikis are the exception. They aren't a viable strategy for a general class of questions on Stack Exchange. If there's some general advice about a particular type of component, it can go into the corresponding tag wiki.

This question is pretty much only about sizing the RAM, none of the other components would have any dependency on the requirements stated in the question.

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