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Did you guys hear?! nVidia has a new card! It's Pascal based! It'll be the greatest thing since this generation of nVidia cards! You should totally get it...but you can't yet. HA! So, sit back and wait a while.


In the past couple weeks I've been seeing comments and answers recommending that people wait for the next generation nVidia card.

Some examples:


This type of comment goes obsolete very quickly. If it's embedded in an answer, it feels like the post isn't really trying to answer the user's question. As an example, taking the first "Answer" from above:

  1. From Nvidia: You really only have one option right now. Note if your going for Nvidia I highly recommend waiting for the new Pascal based GPUs.

    • The GTX 960. Although the link is to a Gigabyte card you are free to choose from any manufacturer.

When I read the above, I see an answer that is saying "You should get this, but since it's not available, I'm going to toss another recommendation in instead". It's a consolation recommendation.

Worse, as a soon as this new card is available, the answer is incomplete. It recommends we wait for the card but then doesn't give a recommendation as to what card.


We've had a similar discussion before. We'll have the same thing next release cycle for many major components.

The question is, should we be recommending that people wait for the next generation or providing recommendations for what is available now? Related to that question, should we begin flagging such comments as obsolete once the hardware is released?

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I think that, provided you can still make it a good quality answer, "wait for x" shouldn't necessarily be a prohibited answer. It's sort of like "quit this job" answers on Workplace - it's usually well outside the scope of what the OP was considering when they asked the question, but for some questions, it's definitely one option that should be given serious consideration.

Similarly, I think that there exists some subset of the possible questions that can be asked here, for which a high-quality answer can include, or even consist wholly of, a "wait" recommendation. I'd propose the following standards for evaluating any such answers (and invite everyone to offer additions to this list):

  • Specific - "Wait for the next generation of xyz" is not helpful, but even if the next generation's model numbers aren't yet known, you can still provide details to narrow it down, like: "wait for the Slipsloop line that's coming out at the end of summer, and make sure to get a model that ends in ZZ; that means it supports the new dual-zeta algorithm."
  • Rationalized - The answer should clearly explain why waiting is a better decision than getting anything that's available now: "The only current card that can render as many real-time, simultaneous lens flares as you want, and still maintain 240fps at 8k resolution, is the Watt-eater 9000, which costs $4,000 and requires a liquid nitrogen cooling system, but the upcoming Eye Candy Explosion series has a dedicated lens flare chip on all models, and they're expected to range from $200-450 at launch."
  • Timely - A question asked in July by a student preparing for the fall semester should not receive a recommendation to wait for something coming out in October.
  • Maintained - If you answer a question with "wait", commit to coming back to your answer after the whatever-it-is is released and edit your answer with whatever details weren't available before, such as a specific model number, additional tech specs, post-release links, price info, etc. (If you don't do this, then don't be surprised when the answer starts getting downvotes at that time.)
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As long as the answer provides a single, separately valid recommendation, I don't think there's any harm in allowing people to suggest waiting for the next generation of hardware.

Put it this way: if you can make a recommendation, do so. That recommendation must adhere to all the normal guidelines and requirements - one or two good recommendations, with explanations where possible. If you've got all that, then the answer is valid. If you then want to additionally say that "X hardware is not out right now, but it looks like it would be a good choice for this application", then that's probably good.

Let's not lose sight of the fact that although we do need to enforce quality requirements, answers are also at the end of the day meant to be helpful to the OP - and an answer that both recommends something currently available and provides advice on future hardware is probably exactly that.

Such recommendations on their own are useless; they don't provide actionable recommendations. They're not quite so bad as comments (though comments are ephemeral and much more subject to deletion), but they should be nuked as answers.

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I'm pretty sure I've posted something similar before, though I thought about it very very hard.

A few things I'd consider.

Firstly "you might want to wait for a while" is better as a comment.

If there was a groundbreakingly big release of hardware coming up or a good reason to wait - I kinda like the pattern I used here.

Start with a current recommendation - I opened up with why that specific suggestion and what it does well. Then suggest that a future model might be better and why. That said, I don't like "you might want to wait cause $corporation is promising their new model will wipe the floor with the new ones" as an answer. Its an antirecommendation in a sense, based on speculation at this point of time. I'd rather have "wait a bit" answers be based on at least some data, which isn't really there in the specific case of the next gen Nvidia and AMD/Radeon cards

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