Motherboards of computers requiring refurbishment come in a number of shapes and sizes:
|ATX||Standard desktop, mini-tower and full-tower systems|
|Micro-ATX||Lower cost desktop or mini-tower systems|
|Flex-ATX||Least expensive small desktop or mini-tower systems|
|NLX||Corporate desktop or mini-tower systems, integrated 10/100 Ethernet|
|WTX||High performance workstations, midrange servers|
The capability and type of motherboard available tend to define obsolescence with computer hardware, and ideally would be easy and cheap to update. There is a requirement to run the latest versions of software, if a computer is connected to the Internet or a local network of computers. For example Internet browsers need to be upgraded so as to close security loopholes. Older computers therefore may need upgrading to run at higher speeds through the addition of memory chips (RAM). CPUs and chipsets need to be compatible with the motherboard installed in the computer casing. Technical manuals provided by the manufacturer should provide some assistance.
Upgrades of Open Source operating systems may runs in to "hardware" problems, which are difficult to diagnose. This is a problem with running Open Source software, although proprietary software similarly runs better on newer software.