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I want to build my own desktop computer, but I am not sure what parts to use; for example, I don't know what graphics card, motherboard, or processor to get. Where do I ask this kind of question?

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3 Answers 3

The whole family of Stack Exchange site prefer questions that have a definite answer rather than something that is subjective or too open, such as what parts to choose to build a computer. That said, if you have more specific questions, like "should I get a HDD with a high RPM" or something along those lines, Super User would probably be the place for that.

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Basing on the description given in their FAQ, Super User seems the right site.

Super User is for computer enthusiasts and power users. If you have a question about …

  • computer hardware
  • computer software

and it is not about …

  • videogames or consoles
  • websites or web services like Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress
  • electronic devices, media players, cell phones or smart phones, except insofar as they interface with your computer
  • a shopping or buying recommendation

… then you’re in the right place to ask your question!

To notice that buying recommendations are off-topic on Super User, and generally on other SE sites. If your question is about how to resolve a problem you had when building your own computer, the question is probably fine; if you are going to ask what graphic card is better, the question is off-topic on Super User, as that is a buying recommendation.

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Read the last bullet point ... SU does not take shopping questions. –  Matthew Read Nov 17 '11 at 19:30
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@MatthewRead Perhaps not, but they might be able to point OP in the right direction. I.e. how to make decisions for himself, and what he needs to know to accomplish his goal effectively. –  corsiKa Nov 17 '11 at 19:32
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@MatthewRead Right, but the OP could have a problem with assembling his own computer; in that case, the question would not be a buying recommendation. Shopping recommendations are off-topic on any SE site, not just Super User; for example, questions about which web hosting provider to use for a Drupal site are off-topic, on Drupal Answers. –  kiamlaluno Nov 17 '11 at 19:36
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@glowcoder They'll just close it if he asks the question he wants to ask. There are already many questions on how to evaluate things. SU might be the right place to search, or to ask a good question, but it's not the right place to ask anything similar to "What parts should I use?". kiamlaluno, he didn't say he had a problem with assembly, he said he doesn't know what parts to use. –  Matthew Read Nov 17 '11 at 19:39
    
@MatthewRead I read it as he is reporting his knowledge about building a computer. If I say that I have no knowledge of how to write a Drupal module, it doesn't mean I am going to ask questions about which programmer you recommend me to get the module I want. –  kiamlaluno Nov 17 '11 at 19:49
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You should check out this question on Super User's meta. It discusses the issues involved here. In sum:

  • Super User is the place for computer hardware and software questions
  • Super User does not accept shopping recommendations, such as "What parts should I use?"
  • Super User accepts questions such as "How do I know what hardware to buy to meet my needs?", the answers to which can enable you to answer "What parts should I use?" on your own
  • Super User already has many of those questions, so you should search rather than posting. In fact you don't even need to search, since the post linked above gathers several of them together!

I see you found this out already for the most part, since that Meta post was about your question, but this answer should help future visitors.

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