This exchange's official stance from the help center is:

We cannot help with technical issues with existing hardware.

As the goal of this exchange is to recommend hardware for a task. However, it seems the consensus I'm getting from reading past answers on the meta, such as this one, is that you can ask about hardware for a job and hope to see your's listed? Doesn't this just lead to more broad questions in the end?

I've been looking at this because of the first post to pique my interest here: What non-recommended video cards can be used for VR?. This question was originally just about whether the user's overclocked Nvidia GTX 770 would run VR but my accepted edits eventually altered it to the point where it's now asking what video cards that aren't officially listed could be used for VR headsets. The edits were accepted, but there's still a hold on it.

From what I'm seeing the best way to get an answer to this is to ask "What video cards can I use to play VR games on an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift that are cheaper than a GTX 970? (Including models that aren't officially supported)". This seems like it now fits what is permitted, but the answers will be incredibly broad and will be outdated whenever a new card capable of VR releases or market prices change.


2 Answers 2


This site is Hardware Recommendations. It deals with recommending new hardware to people who have specific requirements for the hardware they're looking for.

There's another site on the network called Super User. It deals with, in some aspects, technical support for computing issues.

Adding technical support to our scope here on Hardware Recommendations would result in scope duplication - where more than one site on the network accepts questions about a particular topic.

Often, scope duplication isn't a problem. In our case, it is - HR was launched to be a recommendations site, which is in itself a bit of an anomaly for the network (the software that the sites are built on is not designed to handle recommendations). Instead of taking issues that are already dealt with on other sites, we opted to make sure we handle recommendations well first.

As for the question you talked about, your first edit to it was good. It brought it almost on-topic (it was still too broad, in my judgement, but it was no longer tech support). Your most recent edit (revision #3) has made the question off-topic again - instead of asking for a recommendation of new hardware, it's now asking if a predefined piece of hardware will perform a specific task, which falls under technical support.

  • asking if a predefined piece of hardware will perform a specific task I don't see how this is technical support when the piece of hardware is not yet purchased. Won't that make it a pre-purchase recommendation? but just a little narrower (which should reduce subjectivity btw). From what I see, it's asking if the community would recommend a specific piece of hardware for a specific task, I really find it tough to see how this is not asking for recommendation.
    – TDsouza
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 9:29
  • @TDsouza asking "will X do Y task" - I don't see how that isn't tech support. It's asking us to provide support on a technical level for a piece of hardware.
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 10:31
  • Aren't technically aspects one of the attributes we consider before making a purchase. It is a pre-purchase recommendation but with a narrower scope from what I see. Basically "I'm thinking of purchasing X so I can have Y done, but need more info on how well X handles Y" or "would you recommend I go ahead with this purchase with the intend of having Y done" how is this not a request for pre-purchase recommendation.
    – TDsouza
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 10:54
  • @TDsouza If this is about your recent question, that was definitely tech support - you asked "is this card better than the other". In general, pre purchase questions should be pretty similar to recommendation requests - here are my requirements, this is the device I've come up with, what are my options? It's important not to focus too much on a single device - if you've got an idea, great, but ask if it suits your requirements or if there's anything else.
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 10:58
  • here are my requirements, this is the device I've come up with, what are my options? that's pretty much what my question is. I may have not explicitly asked for more options but I never said I'm not open to them. I you read it carefully I'm not asking "is this card better than the other", I'm saying I already own one and am planning to upgrade to the other with a specific set of intentions in mind. This is the research done so far, and here's what I'm confused about. Does it make sense to go ahead and purchase the card.
    – TDsouza
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 11:21
  • Also if someone were to purchase a new card, has done his primary research, narrowed down to two and then comes here and asks "which one of these two is better" how is it NOT a pre purchase recommendation.
    – TDsouza
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 11:27
  • @TDsouza I've given you my opinion. If you think I was wrong, I suggest you create your own meta post about it.
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 17:13

Technical support introduces the dreaded "AND" to our scope. Instead of being a site about just Hardware Recommendations or just Hardware Support, we become "Hardware Recommendations and Support". Or, worse, just "Hardware".

The problem with "AND" is that it goes against the naming standards Stack Exchange has established. "And" gerrymanders the scope of a site in weird ways.

The counter argument is to just make us "Hardware", which doesn't solve anything either. That implies an even broader scope than "Hardware Recommendations" does.

Straight technical support is rarely something that can be provided with a simple question. First, we'd have to eliminate software issues. If it is a software issue, do we close the post for being off topic? Next, we'd have to determine a variety of things about the user's environment: OS, Drivers, exact model (are you using an nVidia card from Gigabyte, Asus, etc), what have you done recently (installed software, lost power, reinstalled, deleted something, etc).

The way Stack Exchange works, doesn't lend itself to these types of information gatherings. Comments are restricted to requiring permissions (so, new users can't engage a questioner), extended comments are moved to chat, and all of this information really would belong in the question itself, so someone needs to be editing the OP to make sure the information is preserved.

  • It doesn't answer the last paragraph, which is a question I'm always asking to myself:"if the question was rephrased, it would be considerated as in scope".
    – comicurus
    Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 10:36

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