The machine is the heart of a carputer system. Based on budget, enthusiasts can easily incorporate and install essentially any computer. Back in 1999 - when hardware prices were still pretty high and laptops were thousands of dollars, the first carputer systems were based on hardware such as 233 MHz desktops. Prices have come down so much on small form motherboards that even those on a budget can build a small machine for little money. There is a growing market of used carputer hardware for sale - which helps the beginner afford a system and learn the ropes.

In 2007, many carputers run at CPU speeds in excess of 2 GHz. Typical memory varies from 512MB to 1GB. As always, performance and flexibility will be a function of the available processor and memory resources.

The machine can run on any platform including, Apple / Macintosh, Windows XP, Linux, or even DOS.

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