The Best $500 Home Office PC Build – June 2021
Looking to build the best possible home office PC for $500? No problem! This guide lists all the parts you’ll need to put together a balanced computer that has the power to handle any office task. And luckily, while the gaming PC market has been turned upside down due to the lack of video cards at retail, this office PC’s built-in video means you can get your system up and running today, no waiting around!
For June 2021, the $500 Home Office PC Build features Intel’s Core i3-10100 quad-core, eight-thread processor. It more than matches AMD’s best, and more importantly, it has built-in graphics, which saves you a whole lot of money and hassle if you’re just using this system for home office use. Also on board are 16GB of RAM (which we now recommend as a minimum for any PC) and a 256GB PCIe-based solid-state drive, which is lightyears ahead of the hard drives you’ll find in most off-the-shelf office PCs. The $500 Home Office PC Build is housed in an ultra-compact case and powered by a cost-effective power supply. No matter what you use this system for, it will provide years of top-notch performance, along with plenty of opportunity for upgrades down the line.
Need to accessorize your new Home Office PC Build? Just scroll down to the end of this guide for our top picks! This includes a wireless networking card, a 24″ monitor, a professional-grade webcam, and other great accessories to round out your build. We also recommend a pre-built PC for readers who want to get a fantastic system in the $500 price range and don’t have a strong interest in building their own PC. As it turns out, at this pricepoint, you actually don’t save money building your own, believe it or not!
Note that this guide provides direct links to Amazon, B&H, or Newegg in the US, and our Amazon links will auto-convert for readers in the UK, Canada, and the EU. with automated substitutions where required. If you decide to purchase any of the products we list, please use the links provided, which helps support continued development of these guides.
The Pre-Built Option
The Home Office Desktop –
Acer Aspire TC-895-UA92$550Wow, just wow! A budget desktop has finally hit the market with a super-fast solid-state drive instead of a super-slow hard drive. This is a revelation! Yes, indeed, for around $500, the latest Acer Aspire will no doubt be a PC you can use for years to come. It’s equipped with the Intel Core i5-10400 six-core CPU that boosts up to 4.3GHz, a sizeable 12GB of DDR4, that aforementioned 512GB SSD, an 8X DVD, 802.11ac WiFi, and even a cutting-edge USB 3.1 Type-C port.
This is one seriously-good deal. While it's around the same price as the DIY build we recommend below, it's also more powerful, thanks to 50% more cores, double the SSD capacity, and built-in WiFi, making it a better buy overall unless you really want to build your own!
The DIY Option
Intel Core i3-10100$153 The Guru’s Tip
Please don't mistakenly purchase the Core i3-10100F, as it is definitely not the same thing. It doesn't have built-in graphics and will not work in this system!
Gigabyte B460M DS3H v2$95 The Guru’s Tip
This system uses the micro ATX form factor, also known as mATX, which is what this motherboard conforms to.
Oloy 2x8GB DDR4 2666 Grey$75 The Guru’s Tip
We want to be clear about something - we no longer think 8GB of RAM is enough for typical users, which is why we recently updated this build to 16GB.
Solid-State Drive –
Silicon Power 256GB NVMe$43 The Guru’s Tip
Feel free to choose a larger SSD if you know you need more capacity.
Rosewill FBM-X2-400 w/ Power Supply$58 The Guru’s Tip
Nearly all low-priced cases have sold out over the past few months, making this case's bargain price all the more amazing. Grab it while you can!
Operating System –
Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive$130 The Guru’s Tip
The USB version of Windows 10 sells out often. You can actually save about $10 by going with the downloadable version from Amazon as long as you have an 8GB or larger flash drive available.
Wireless Card –
TP-Link Archer T5E AC1200/Bluetooth 4.2$35 The Guru’s Tip
This card even has built-in Bluetooth, perfect for use with Bluetooth-enabled headsets and other devices!
The 24-inch Small Office Monitor –
HP 24mh IPS Monitor$125 The Guru’s Tip
To use this model's built-in speakers, connect it via an HDMI cable.
Hard Drive –
Seagate BarraCuda 2TB$55 The Guru’s Tip
Using an SSD for the operating system and main applications, along with a hard drive for data, provides an incredibly-responsive user experience along with plenty of storage capacity.
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 to connect both peripherals!
Logitech C925-e Webcam$81 The Guru’s Tip
We strongly advise you not to buy any of the no-name webcams that have flooded the market since the start of the pandemic, and we also advise you not to buy any Logitech webcams from third-party sellers. They are likely to be used or counterfeit.
The Basic PC Speakers –
Creative Pebble 2.0$20 The Guru’s Tip
To connect them, you'll use a 3.5mm cable for audio and USB for power, both to your PC. No connection to the wall required!
Total Cost: $525
The DIY Option
- Wireless Card – TP-Link Archer T5E AC1200/Bluetooth 4.2 ($35)
- The 24-inch Small Office Monitor – HP 24mh IPS Monitor ($125)
- Hard Drive – Seagate BarraCuda 2TB ($55)
- The Basic Wireless Keyboard/Mouse Combo – Logitech MK270 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo ($25)
- Webcam – Logitech C925-e Webcam ($81)
- The Basic PC Speakers – Creative Pebble 2.0 ($20)