I've just closed this question because it asks us what type of hardware would be a better solution to the problem the OP is having.

I've been doing the same with similar questions that ask us to identify the type of hardware to get for a while - closing them under the reasoning that general advice is off-topic, and not knowing what type of hardware you need doesn't qualify as narrow enough for a hardware recommendation.

Is this right, or do questions that ask us to identify a type of hardware too actually count as pre-purchase questions?

2 Answers 2


I wouldn't consider this on-topic.

Pre-purchase questions are meant to gain an extra bit of knowledge on a known type of hardware before asking for a specific recommendation or making a purchase directly. It's simply too broad to result in anything useful.

However, recommending a type of hardware is still technically recommending hardware, so if I loosen up my point of view I can completely understand how this could be on-topic.

Dan's answer is an excellent example of how this could work if these questions were allowed. Specificity would be very strictly enforced because these questions become broad far easier than anything else.

One problem we might have is the increased count of closed questions which is already a problem at the moment. This would probably make it worse.


I've wondered about this myself, and I think it might be worthwhile to accept questions of this type, as long as they are specific enough about what the hardware will be used for.

"Which brand of CPU is better: Intel or AMD?" is certainly too broad, but "I'm building a PC that I will be using to develop a new gaming physics engine that I will be writing in C++. Which brand of CPU will compile my code faster?" might be ok.

Note: I don't actually know whether compile speed is a statistic that can be meaningfully compared between cpu manufacturers; I'm just trying to illustrate the degree of specificity that might be found in a "type" question that we would likely accept.

  • 1
    Specificity is certainly a huge factor and probably the biggest one here. I agree that it could work if specificity is kept as a very strict requirement for these questions.
    – Adam
    May 27, 2016 at 8:59

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