This is one of the reasons a lot of people get discouraged on Mikrotik. Knowing what server hardware will run RouterOS perfectly is sometimes a challenge. I have had people call me up, cussing me out, cause Mikrotik RouterOS keeps stopping on their core server. I start to ask about the server, and he told me the specs. I then asked him where he got the machine from, and he told me "Well, I used it until Windows 98 started to run slow on it, so then I made it into a Mikrotik" !!!!!!!!!!!
So, the machine was several years old to begin with, and then even though it was running routerOS fine for the most part, the complained the RouterOS was not reliable cause his power supplies would go out all the time, course, he also replaced it with the cheapest, biggest POS power supply he could get, sometimes even used ones!
As you said, its ALL about the hardware. That's why we created the PowerRouters. You don't have to worry about the hardware, just like RouterBoards, you know they will run RouterOS just fine, no worries. Same difference, just bigger badder, faster etc.
, MCTCE, MTCNA, MCTCTE, MTCWE, MTCNIE, A+, N+, MCP, MTCSE Mikrotik Certified Consultant / Trainer
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-- Author of "Learn RouterOS: Second Edition"