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(The question in question)

I believe this question should be reopened now that the user has edited it per the initial reason for putting it on hold. I'm bringing it to attention here because there has been some discussion to the effect that this question still doesn't meet the standards, which was news to me. I'm seeking clarification and possibly also rectification of the situation.

The main issues with this are, as I was given to understand by a moderator, that the question remains "too broad" and includes "technical support" aspects which are not in-scope. However, I am unsure about that.

The question is mainly asking for a recommendation between two motherboard models specifically stated, with specific vendors implicated. The criteria for our recommendation has been parsed to this:

My question is, in order to exploit the full potential of the graphic card at as low price as possible,which motherboard should I choose: this one with Intel H110 chipset or this one with H170?

The problematic section highlighted by the moderator is this:

Some comments

  1. I'm a little confused about the information provided by Intel, on the official site in the Expansion Options section, it says the H110 chipset supports PCIe revision 2.0 with max number of 6 lanes. Does that mean a H110 motherboard will only run a graphic card at PCIe 2.0?
  2. I'm concerned if a graphic card is able to run at its maximum on a H110 motherboard which provides PCIe 3.0 slot, without any data transfer restriction. I don't care how many USB 3.0 ports there are (but surely DDR4 support is essential).

The issue he sees with this section is that it appears to be questions about tech support. I can see where he is coming from - at least one of them is definitively a question - but is it really a tech support question, or is it a question which is offering readers some background on the reason for the user's recommendation question? It seems to me that it obviously is the latter; this question is dealing directly with the issue of PCI-E lanes on the chipsets in question and whether or not they will properly support a GTX 950 GPU - and the user wants to know which board to choose based on which one will do that. While it is a question about the technical capabilities of the board (and therefore easily construed as only a tech support question), it also offers some very useful information about why the user is asking for the recommendation they are.

On a bit of a side note, I offered to remove the offending section in an edit so that the user would have a question that was undoubtedly in-scope, but was told that any such edit would be rejected out of hand by the moderating staff:

You can't just put words in someone's mouth, because then you're changing what they're asking for to something they might not want.

I don't see how removing the supposedly unrelated and useless (in the moderator's own opinion) "tech support" questions in any way redefines the fundamental, irreducible recommendation the user was asking for.

What makes all of this more concerning is that the question was in fact easily dealt with by another user in some commentary later on (they couldn't provide an answer because the question was on hold):

@shintaroid The short answer is that while the chipset itself supports 6 PCIe 2.0, there are also 16 lanes of PCIe 3.0 coming off the CPU. H110 chipset motherboards therefore do support the operation of a dedicated GPU, however, you should probably check with the specific motherboard manufacturer to be certain. If you are on a low budget, you might want to consider waiting for AMD to release Zen based consumer CPUs. Is there any specific reason you want DDR4 support? – Alpha3031

Once you know that the cheaper chipset is going to do what you want, you have an answer. So not only do I see this question as easily answerable, but apparently so did Alpha3031. @Alpha3031, I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Can we reopen this question? Can we edit this question? Why or why not?

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  • To be honest, I'm sitting on the fence here. While I'd agree that the question asked by shintaroid is easily answerable, and is, I suppose, a Hardware Recommendation question, originally requesting a chipset recommendation, then a motherboard recommendation. However it isn't quite specific enough to be a motherboard recommendation question. I'd like to ask for more requirements from OP before voting to reopen the question.
    – timuzhti
    Aug 12 '16 at 8:58
  • I want you to do something - name specifically what requirements are missing. I think you will find that nothing else matters - all the information the asker cares about is already present.
    – Adam Wykes
    Aug 12 '16 at 12:17
  • How long is this motherboard expected to last (durability) and will it be recycled for future builds (hopefully not) are some examples. General opinion seems to be more specific the question is, the better.
    – timuzhti
    Aug 12 '16 at 13:26
  • But has the user indicated that those particulars are important to them? If not, I would duly suggest that their absence from his question is a reason to add commentary about how he might want to consider those issues, but it is definitely not a reason to put the question on hold. I share the opinion that the more specific a question is, the better, but let's not make perfection be the enemy of the good, eh?
    – Adam Wykes
    Aug 12 '16 at 13:29
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Specific recommendations...

...need specific specification to be specific enough to answer specifically. Or, in other words, to get good recommendations tailored to your needs, you need to provide enough detailed requirements of your desired hardware for the answerers to filter the massive product space down with.

That's an immutable fact that we've learned both in the going-on-year of this site's existence, and in the existence of the other recommendations site in the network, Software Recommendations.

My question is, in order to exploit the full potential of the graphic card at as low price as possible, which motherboard should I choose: this one with Intel H110 chipset or this one with H170?

That, in my eyes, is not specific enough. The requirements aren't quantified - remind me which graphics card we're dealing with, and what its full potential is, again - and what's a low price? Where at all possible, quantified requirements are miles better than vague, "about-this-much"-type requirements.

Accepting that, then we can come to look at the number of requirements. We've got precisely two requirements to work with here:

  • use the full potential of the graphics card (wait, which one was that again? This could certainly be worded better)
  • as low a price as possible

Those requirements aren't enough to narrow down the number of possible motherboards that fit this scenario.

Questions are questions are questions are questions are...

You're here to ask a question. Great. Now, in the course of posting your question, if you write a sentence that reads like a question, has a question mark at the end, and is not clearly rhetorical, someone will answer it.

That's my concern with the "comments" section of that post:

Some comments

  1. I'm a little confused about the information provided by Intel, on the official site in the Expansion Options section, it says the H110 chipset supports PCIe revision 2.0 with max number of 6 lanes. Does that mean a H110 motherboard will only run a graphic card at PCIe 2.0?
  2. I'm concerned if a graphic card is able to run at its maximum on a H110 motherboard which provides PCIe 3.0 slot, without any data transfer restriction. I don't care how many USB 3.0 ports there are (but surely DDR4 support is essential).

The questions that are being asked here - "will this motherboard run this graphics card" - are most definitely technical support. Given that if you ask it, they will answer, that's not something we want to remain in a post. That's something to take to a tech support community: try Super User, or reddit's /r/techsupport. Something, somewhere, but we don't do it.

Did I say that?

So, finally, you've asked your question. But, being unfamiliar with the rules of this site, maybe you've left a couple of comments that are actually tech support questions in it, and maybe even you did that deliberately in the hopes of getting them answered.

This site's a little bit slow - it's relatively new, it's a beta, not many people have found it yet. That's understandable, and you, being a reasonable person, accept that it might take a day or two to get your question answered. So you go to bed, while other people work on answering your question.

In the morning, you come back to look at answers to your question. It becomes apparent that while you've been sleeping, someone has come along and edited half your question out! And those were the bits you wanted answered, too!

How does that feel?

That's why you can't just go around editing people's questions and taking sections out (or even adding them in) without their consent. The editing system is there to make posts better, not to change their meaning entirely - grammar, spelling, formatting are all valid things to fix in an edit, but unless you've discussed it with the author, it's not okay to change their meaning entirely. We've got a network-wide rejection reason specifically designed edits that do this, because it's not something we want to happen.

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  • 1
    oh my goodness gracious. We don't HAVE to winnow the entire cadre of 1151 boards down, though. The user has restricted us to just two.
    – Adam Wykes
    Aug 9 '16 at 20:13
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    @AdamWykes but we do. We're not recommending things solely based on two boards they've already identified - there might be better boards out there, which they'd thank us for finding. So we're still searching the lot.
    – ArtOfCode Mod
    Aug 9 '16 at 20:14
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    you might forget, from up where you are, that when a lowly Adam Wykes edits a question, his edits don't go through immediately; they don't even appear until the question asker reviews them.
    – Adam Wykes
    Aug 9 '16 at 20:14
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    @AdamWykes the question asker... or a moderator, or any other user with enough rep (1000, on this site). And we don't know what the OP wants, so we just make it a rule that you've gotta discuss it. And even then, it's best to let the asker make the edit, so that reviewers don't miss the fact that you did discuss it.
    – ArtOfCode Mod
    Aug 9 '16 at 20:15
  • And that's all fine and dandy. At least that's a proper representation of the process. I'll let you do the edit to your answer.
    – Adam Wykes
    Aug 9 '16 at 20:16
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    I am extremely interested to see whether others also believe that we should disregard specifications for recommendations put forward by the asker simply because we think we know better.
    – Adam Wykes
    Aug 9 '16 at 20:18
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    @AdamWykes We don't disregard them; we take those into consideration too. But we don't put the blindfold and blinkers on ourselves just because there are a couple of options in front of us; there might be better options.
    – ArtOfCode Mod
    Aug 9 '16 at 20:18
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    Here's the thing; you're putting the question on hold because you think that the specifications are wrong - not because they are too broad as stated. Far be it from you to decide that; for all we know, he lives in a remote area and his only two 1151 options are those two boards.
    – Adam Wykes
    Aug 9 '16 at 20:19
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    The problem here isn't the lack of requirements, but the lack of evaluation criteria. The requirements are sufficient to make the question sufficiently focused, but the evaluation criteria are too vague to decide. Evaluation criteria should lead to being able to say “this one is better for your purpose”. Here, there's no basis for saying that one is better than the other: if A is more powerful and more expensive than B, should we recommend A because it's more powerful or B because it's cheaper? Aug 9 '16 at 20:36
  • @Gilles, I definitely see what you're saying, but here the user has very explicitly stated that they want the criterion to be only whether the GPU is properly fed by the PCI-E lane configuration of the board, and after that, which one is cheaper. There is no room for disagreement such as the (very common) issue you illuminated here; that's one thing I have seen abundantly in questions which actually went unclosed for whatever reason.
    – Adam Wykes
    Aug 9 '16 at 20:55
  • Another note about that, too, is that it would be better to make a comment about all of these misgivings than put the question on hold. Making assumptions beyond the strict language of a question that, if interpreted directly, is perfectly valid, is no basis for judging a question insufficient.
    – Adam Wykes
    Aug 9 '16 at 20:56

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