The Best $600 Home Office Mini-ITX PC Build – December 2021
Build It Small!
If you want to build the best ultra-compact small office or work-from-home PC possible for just $600, this is the guide for you! Based on the mini-ITX form factor, it packs in everything you need, and nothing you don’t. This ensures that your new PC Build can be tucked away anywhere or put on display as a conversation starter!
This Month’s Build
For December 2021, the $600 Home Office Mini-ITX PC Build features Intel’s budget-friendly Core i3-10105, a quad-core CPU that runs at up to 4.4GHz. Despite its low price, it also has built-in graphics, which means you don’t need a separate video card, saving you a lot of money!
To ensure that you have a flawless computing experience, this system features 16GB of DDR4 RAM, rather than the 8GB used in most larger pre-built systems, which means you’ll never run out of memory. The build also features a 500GB PCIe-based solid-state drive. This drive uses the M.2 form factor, which slips right into the motherboard, minimizing cable clutter and providing tremendous responsiveness. The system is housed in the ultra-stylish and compact InWin Chopin case, which includes a 200W power supply. It can even fit dual 2TB hard drives, listed in the optional upgrades section at the end of this guide.
To set up a complete home office system, don’t miss our recommendations for a keyboard, mouse, monitor and other accessories at the end of this guide. Throughout our guides, we provide Amazon and Newegg links for our US readers, and our Amazon links will auto-convert for our readers in Canada, the UK, and parts of the EU. As always, please keep in mind that your use of the links we provide below helps support further development of these guides.
Intel Core i3-10105$126While AMD ruled the budget sector for a while, Intel now owns it with the Core i3-10105, which is simply unbeatable for the price, thanks to its 4 cores, 8 threads, and high clock speed. It doesn’t hurt that it has built-in graphics, unlike most of AMD’s offerings!
This CPU comes with a cooler, which will fit perfectly in this build!
MSI H510I PRO WiFi$130
This low-cost mini-ITX board offers all the features you need for a compact build. That includes an M.2 SSD slot, dual RAM slots, six USB ports, and next-gen WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. Note that this is a socket LGA 1200 motherboard, so if it’s out of stock, make sure that you don’t pick an alternative model with a different CPU socket!The Guru’s Tip
The HDMI and Displayport outputs on this board will work hand-in-hand with the built-in video on the CPU we recommend.
Silicon Power 2x8GB DDR4 2666 Grey$53This cost-effective 16GB RAM kit will give you plenty of capacity to use your PC to its fullest! While 8GB is passable, there’s a good chance that modern apps will use the entire amount, leaving nothing for your OS and slowing the system down to a crawl.
Given that many apps today require at least 8GB, and the built-in graphics chip will reserve some of the RAM for its own use, we cannot recommend a cheaper 2x4GB setup for this system.
Solid-State Drive –
WD Blue SN550 500GB NVMe$43
Experience blazing-fast drive performance at a bargain price with WD’s Blue SN550 500GB solid-state drive. Utilizing the PCIe-interface and the NVMe protocol, it can achieve sequential speeds of up to 2,400MB/s, making it nearly five times faster than any SATA-based SSD, and orders of magnitude faster than a hard drive! To install this drive, affix it in the motherboard’s M.2 slot using a jeweler’s-type screwdriver.The Guru’s Tip
We feel that 500GB is more than enough capacity for any PC intended for basic home office tasks.
IN WIN Chopin Pro$120
This is our all-time favorite low-cost mini-ITX case, and the Pro model has been upgraded from the original model’s 150W built-in power supply to an impressive 200W power supply, all the better for a high-end, compact system. It also has space for dual 2.5″ drives and a CPU cooler up to 47mm tall. Topping it all off is the aluminum exterior, which gives this case a seriously-premium look!The Guru’s Tip
The 200W power supply allows you to upgrade over time to higher-powered CPUs.
Operating System –
Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive @Newegg$130Windows 10 is the most popular operating system in the world, and Microsoft continues to support users not only with regular security updates, but with major content releases every year. This USB version installs in under 5 minutes, meaning you can get right into using your system!
Windows 11 has been released, and will be provided as a free downloadable update to all owners of Win10.
Hard Drive –
WD Blue 2TB 2.5″$71 The Guru’s Tip
You can of course also use this system's 2.5" bays for SSDs, but we figure that most people adding storage to this system will need it for photos, music, and data, rather than for apps, and hard drives are still far cheaper than SSDs.
The Basic Wireless Keyboard/Mouse Combo –
Logitech MK270 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo$25 The Guru’s Tip
This combo uses a single tiny USB receiver, ensuring you'll still have plenty of USB ports left over for other devices.
The 24-inch Small Office Monitor –
Sceptre E248W-19203R$140 The Guru’s Tip
We recommend connecting this monitor to your PC with an HDMI cable, which will provide both display and sound.
Logitech C925-e Webcam$71 The Guru’s Tip
You'll also need speakers for video conferencing, so if you don't have a monitor with built-in speakers (like the one above), make sure to add the speakers below.
The Basic PC Speakers –
Creative Pebble 2.0$20 The Guru’s Tip
Despite the name, these are far larger than a pebble!