My question is somewhat similar to this question, but not the same. I want to know if it is reasonable to ask things like "is motherboard X compatible with video card Y and hard drive Z?" I do not know much about hardware, and it would be a nice thing to have someone point out something like "Well, video card Y will not physically fit into motherboard X." In the event that such a thing actually happens.

I think it would be very beneficial so long as such advice is not extremely time intensive given that the person asking the question provides detailed links to information about hardware X, Y, and Z.

The main reason I ask is that I have noticed there are less issues with machines that are not scrapped together, for example commercial laptops seem to work fine running linux operating systems, but not a single desktop that I have used has been able to install and run linux. The resulting hypothesis is that building custom PC's happens to be a much finer art than I could have ever anticipated.

  • Best place for this sort of thing would be chat, ideally when one of the resident hardware geeks is around.
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Jan 6, 2013 at 9:57

1 Answer 1


The better way to ask a question like this, to make it more accessible and useful for everyone, would be to ask "how do I figure out if a given harddrive will work with a particular motherboard", etc. This way, it's not localized to just that specific piece of hardware, meaning that a) in the future you'll know what to do yourself, instead of having to make a new question for each new combination of hard drive and motherboard, and b) anybody else who has a similar question can benefit from the answers yours gets, instead of having to also create their own.

In the case of a question like this, less specific can actually be beneficial, because it helps you and future visitors learn better. So a question about video cards and motherboards might have answers that instead of just saying "yep" or "nope" will instead say "here are the 3 common types of video card interfaces. here's what they look like and how you can tell if it will be compatible. here are the connectors that your motherboard may need," which ends up being much more useful long term.

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