It's distressing to see the number of questions misdirected to HardwareRecs and closed.

I consider myself reasonably familiar with the Stack Exchange ecosystem, but even I'm not sure what other stacks are available and appropriate for many of the questions that land here.

For example, according to this most computer support questions might be on-topic at Super User. But one might also be wise to consider:

So: What stacks are available for questions about hardware, and what decision tree might a user follow to determine where to post a particular question?

Once we have enumerated this, then we could work on pushing this guidance out to users, e.g., Can/should we have a question interstitial for extra guidance?

1 Answer 1


If its a hardware recommendation it belongs here. So pretty much, step 0 is "I don't have this"

A good starting point would be you have specific needs that are not met by current hardware which you need suggestions for. Quite literally the sort of post that Jeff Atwood mentioned as being unwanted in the "Q&A is hard, lets go shopping" post.

In fact, take his ideal answer, flip it into a question, and that's what a great hardware recommendations question should look like.

"I need a turbo enfrobulator with the following features

  • a USB D input, though I'd settle for USB C
  • RS143 outputs (at least one, but I'd love 4)
  • the ability to turn it up to 11

And a great answer would suggest a product, with some personal experience (ideally!) to the question

"Intercontinental Tesla's model 4000PX would probably serve your needs. Its a little more expensive than the chinese equivilent, but its got nice, solid knobs, a pair of switchable USB D inputs, 2 RS 143 inputs. There's a few reports that that its sometimes a bit unstable if you turn it up to 11 without adding a filter to the output, though unlike the older 3000PX, its not been reported to rip holes in spacetime if you overdrive it"

If its a piece of hardware that's not functioning, at what I term the end user level, and you want to troubleshoot it, in many cases superuser might be the right place.

So, if your 4000PX turns on, but isn't detected, or you can't get it to work, another site might be a better choice.

I don't think EE does repairing devices (check!) and I'm not familiar with reverse engineering, so I'd leave that to someone who knows these sites better,

If its apple hardware you already own - it belongs on apple.

If you're trying to get an existing piece of hardware working with an OS, SU would be the general place, though you may choose to ask at U&L, AskUbuntu or Apple.se, depending on what it runs on.


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