Ok, I saw another one of these questions come through SU today:


Valid questions, but they really become out of date and kind of useless for any future reference. Should we have a specific tag like "hardware-rec" to label any question like this? There are countless other hardware recommendation questions, but the new computer build ones are the most common. I don't find this to be much of an issue, but I figure I would ask to see if we might want to organize better.

  • 4
    I think 'hardware-rec' is the right tag.
    – Lance Roberts
    Commented Oct 20, 2009 at 16:20

5 Answers 5


Throw down with a vote to close of this option:

Why should this question be closed?

too localized

Because in the end, those questions are just the same thing over and over again, just with more memory, a better graphics card and debates over what's essential to a new build.

It's comparable to a question asking about where to buy a new motherboard on the Isle of Man. It's very localised to that one person and their particular habits and wants from a computer system.

Not at all like a question about configuring a program which would benefit others.

Now that SU has a first page and overspill of users over 3k, it's time to start cracking down on these type of questions.

  • Yah, that is what I was tempted to "vote to close" it with, but we have let so many others slide. I would like to hear Diago the Lovable's (Steven Seagal is back!) opinion on this. ;)
    – Troggy
    Commented Oct 20, 2009 at 16:06

Sometimes the individual pieces of the question are valid but they either don't give enough criteria to answer them or they're just taking a shotgun approach to "build my system."

Maybe we need another useful reason to close:

[Closed - Too general. Question needs to be more specific.]

This would cover all questions in the trilogy like:

  • What language should I write my next project in?
  • What is the best hardware to buy.
  • How can I speed up my system. Do I need to upgrade, etc, etc.
  • And the question quoted above: New Computer Build Questions

I usually use "not a real question" but it doesn't quite fit. "Too general" says, "Your question isn't bad. You just need to break it down a bit or give more details about your situation."


They should be closed, either as subjective and argumentative or too localised. I would use the first if the answers are already becoming argumentative, the later if the question has no answers yet.

These questions open up a can of worms. It can quickly accelerate into a which is better flame-war, and as already been proven on SU, we do have the die hard Windows or Linux only crowd running around. It is not impossible to have a question like this have pure and honest answers, however it is a rarity.

I do however like the samples given by Ivo. A very specific question around what is needed to build a new computer and what to look for is definitely a good option. However a list of what specific hardware to get if not controlled can quickly get out of hand and will very quickly become outdated.

I will admit that this particular question seems to have remained civil, and I am therefore not going to close it myself. I will leave that decision up to the community, or if required, intervene if it does get out of hand and get flagged for moderator attention.

  • If we close every question that are about hardware recommendations we should close every question about software recommendations. There will always be better software, there will always be better hardware, there will always be people who live and die by x and y. Let's try making them CW and see where it goes from there. If they turn into flame wars, it's not hard to close.
    – alex
    Commented Oct 21, 2009 at 6:19
  • @Alex. I am not saying every question must be closed, they should just be more specific. Yes there will always be better hardware, but complete computer recommendation is a very hard one, since different combinations work differently. If the question was about a graphics card or a sound card for example I would have no issue with keeping it open. As I said. I am not closing this one, I am leaving that to the community as a whole.
    – Diago
    Commented Oct 21, 2009 at 7:12

If we want these questions to be useful people have to learn something from it. So I think we just need one question, something like:

What should I pay attention too when building a new computer?


What determines the performance of my computer?

Then the answer would describe all important parts that make up performance, price or what not. This way others will learn where to look for next time they want to upgrade their computer instead having to ask it over and over again.

If anything relevant changes (new paradigms and such) the post could be edited and everyone is happy!

And else put something like that in the SuperUser FAQ, since it's bound to be asked countless times.

Sidenote to the other answers: I don't think we shouldn't have a question like this, it just should be a better question.


These kinds of "build my system" questions could be made community wiki, so that they can be continually updated with recommendations for the latest and greatest hardware as it comes out. There's no need to keep asking new questions when an existing question can be recycled and continually updated.

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