If I have a question about computer hardware, on which SE site should I ask it? It will involve asking for opinions.

For example,

"I need to purchase a computer for a conference room that will sit under the main conference table and be connected to a Control4 and a projector (for a monitor). The box needs to small in size. It needs an HDMI port, and should be fast. What would be a good solution?"

or something along those lines.

I like SE because there are a lot of experienced users out there who are willing to help.

So, can I ask this on any of the SE sites, or must I go elsewhere?

3 Answers 3


So, can I ask this on any of the SE sites, or must I go elsewhere?

You can't ask this question anywhere on the Stack Exchange network, as it's a shopping recommendation and even explicitly disallowed per our FAQ.

Reasons for not allowing shopping recommendation questions like this are outlined here: Q&A is Hard, Let’s Go Shopping! « Blog – Stack Exchange

However, feel free to drop by Root Access, our main chat room, where the local geeks will surely help you pick the best hardware for your needs.

Note that you can ask a question about how to choose hardware for various needs, as long as you don't ask for specific buying recommendations, but what to look for in hardware instead. Take a look at this (very broad) example: What do I need to consider when buying hardware to meet my needs?

  • That is a sound, straight forward answer. Thank you very much. I'll try the chat room, and perhaps a question structured as you have proposed. Excellent. (when my 4 minutes are over, I'll mark this thread solved).
    – bgmCoder
    Commented Jan 14, 2013 at 17:39
  • I began in the Root Access chatroom as you suggested, and a nice fellow named allquixotic is kindly helping me. Just what I wanted!
    – bgmCoder
    Commented Jan 14, 2013 at 19:41
  • I was expecting something like that to happen :) Glad you got the help you needed.
    – slhck
    Commented Jan 14, 2013 at 19:54
  • 1
    @BGM here is another example of a question seeking technological knowledge based on a shopping need: Laptop Battery Technology Commented Jan 15, 2013 at 14:50
  • 1
    I can strongly suggest reddit.com/r/buildapc as an alternative :)
    – kluka
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 13:06
  • Well, if anyone follows up here, let me encourage you to use the Root Access chat room here on SuperUser, as @slhck has suggested. I have received some truly expert advice there, and have solved quite a few of my issues. The "regulars" there are helpful and friendly, and quick to answer.
    – bgmCoder
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 16:35

Hardware Recommendations is a new site that has recently entered public beta. The community there is more than willing to answer and recommend hardware products that meet specific criteria.

Questions of the format:

I am looking for a computer with a, b, c, and that costs less than $500.

Once specific enough where we know what you would like, and that you are clear and to the point, the community will answer. It would be helpful for you to read What is required for a question to be high quality? before you get started asking a question.

Have fun asking!

  • Thanks! I'll check that out.
    – bgmCoder
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 1:20
  • 1
    @BGM My god... That was really fast! :D
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 1:20
  • haha - I'd have been 20 seconds faster if I didn't have to log into the meta site! I was on another page on stack exchange at the time and I saw the comment light up - I was hoping for a comment somewhere else though. :)
    – bgmCoder
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 1:21
  • 1
    @BGM Oh lol, that's too funny. I was on a site too, and noticed that inbox, and was wondering, who's yelling at me this time lol
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 1:22

I would recommend SuperUser

  • No, sorry, but as I already mentioned: Per our FAQ we explicitly disallow shopping recommendation questions. Those are off topic.
    – slhck
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 16:12
  • What are shopping recommendations? Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 16:24
  • Asking for specific recommendations on hardware or software that should fulfill a certain purpose. Please read this blog article for more: blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/11/qa-is-hard-lets-go-shopping
    – slhck
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 16:28

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