I have a hardware-related question. I want to know whether and how Thunderbolt 3 connectivity can be added to my PC setup.

This answer says that questions regarding computer hardware can be asked on SuperUser.com

I've posted my question here (twice, first one perhaps had off-topic phrasing) but it keeps getting closed as off-topic. The private message says "Instead of asking what to buy, try asking how to find out what suits your needs." - but I'm not asking what to buy!

Flagging for moderator intervention and asking for explanation didn't help - flag got removed in seconds without further explanation.

I do know that questions asking for hardware recommendations are off-topic, but so are questions for software product recommendations. Yet I see questions such as this one not being flagged as off topic, even though the only answers it got are product recommendations (and since it's not standard Windows 10 functionality, no other type of answer is possible).

I think my question about hardware is relevant to more users (basically everyone who bought an MSI X99S SLI Plus and is interested in adding TB3 connectivity), so is there a specific reason why the rules for hardware recommendations are stricter than for software?

  • A quick google reveals you can get expansion cards for thunderbolt, the downsides are you lose a PCI Express slot. Personally I would have kept your question open but it is borderline.
    – Burgi
    Feb 14, 2020 at 12:51
  • 1
    You ask how you can add Thunderbolt 3 functionality to your system but your question makes it clear you already know what PCIe add-on cards exist in the market place. You then ask what are the downsides, which is a extremely subjective question, but it’s sort of like asking what’s the difference between built-in USB 3.2 functionality and adding a PCIe card. I suspect you got caught up in the red hearing of resubmitting a question instead of editing your existing question and getting that reopened. There isn’t a difference between built-in TB3 and a PCIe card since the TB3 bus would be PCIe
    – Ramhound
    Feb 14, 2020 at 13:01
  • @Burgi on the original question I, before it got closed, I got a comment saying it's not possible with this motherboard since it doesn't have a TB3 connector for connecting the expansion card. Something "a quick google" didn't reveal to me. To this moment I still don't know which, if any, PCI cards will actually work.
    – herman
    Feb 14, 2020 at 13:02
  • @Ramhound I do know PCIe add-ons exist but I don't know if they'll work on my MB and I don't know if they're the only options.
    – herman
    Feb 14, 2020 at 13:03
  • @herman - Check the manual. TB3 PCIe products typically require a Thunderbolt 3 header. My comparison was a exact comparison since USB doesn’t do audio and video but TB3 is designed to do so. Even if you were to ask specifically if product A worked with your motherboard that would bring it into scope. You were told before you submitted the same question not to submit the same question after you said you were going to submit the same question after you revised it.
    – Ramhound
    Feb 14, 2020 at 13:08
  • @Ramhound so you expect me to check all manuals of all TB3 PCIe products, only to find out that maybe none exist that don't require a TB3 header? What's wrong with asking if/how this can be done at all? And why is it OK for SW recommendations? See meta.superuser.com/questions/6880/… : for software it's apparently enough to rephrase the question as a "how-to" when looking for a product recommendation.
    – herman
    Feb 14, 2020 at 13:13
  • @herman - Somebody has to do the research. Who is expected to do the research in order to indicate if your hardware does or does not support a PCIe Thunderbolt 3 card? We don't even know which Thunderbolt 3 PCIe card you are looking for. Keep in mind we don't do hardware recommendations.
    – Ramhound
    Feb 14, 2020 at 17:05


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