The Best $500 Home Office PC Build – February 2024

By Ari Altman | Published December 9, 2023 | Updated December 9, 2023

Cooler Master Q300LMaximum Office Productivity for the Minimum Price!

Looking to build the best possible home office PC for around $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 low-cost video cards are nearly extinct, this office PC’s built-in video means you can get your system up and running without wasting a dime!

This Month’s Build, Powered by AMD

For February 2024, the $500 Home Office PC Build features AMD’s budget-friendly Ryzen 5 5600G six-core, 12-thread processor. It offers tremendous value versus Intel’s similarly-priced CPUs, because Intel doesn’t offer six-cores with built-in graphics at anywhere near this pricepoint.

With regard to other components, you’re getting top-shelf gear. This includes 16GB of RAM and a 512GB 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 a compact micro-ATX case and powered by a 500W power supply.

Perhaps the best thing about this build is that it offers plenty of opportunity for upgrades down the line thanks to the roomy interior, industry-standard components, and capable power supply. We’ve listed some of our top recommendations for accessories and upgrades, including a gaming-grade video card, later in this guide!

The DIY vs. Pre-Built Question

In addition to the DIY PC build we profile in this guide, you may wish to consider the pre-built PC we list as an alternative, even if you are committed to building your own PC. Why? Well, the answer is simple: OEMs get great pricing on components and Windows software, translating to excellent overall value for the home or small office PC user, especially if you don’t have extra time to spare to build a PC.

Parting Thoughts

Need to accessorize your new Home Office PC? Just scroll down to the end of this guide for our top picks, or check out our dedicated Monitor Buyer’s Guide, Speaker/Headset Buyer’s Guide, and Wireless Networking Buyer’s Guide!

Note that this guide provides direct links to Amazon 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 Budget Home Office PC

    MSI PRO DP21 12100

    $470
    Wow, just wow! Thanks to great specs at an amazing price, this desktop from MSI will no doubt be a PC you can use for years to come. It’s equipped with the Intel Core i3-12100 quad-core, 8-thread CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 250GB SSD, and WiFi 6 networking. Plus, it has Microsoft Windows 11 pre-installed. The one very inexpensive but significant upgrade we would suggest is to add a second 8GB SO-DIMM memory module to boost not only capacity but speed as well.

    The Guru’s Tip

    With this pre-built PC, you are truly ready to go right out of the box, as both a mouse and keyboard are included. While not as expandable as the DIY build we profile below, the price is right!

The DIY Option

  • CPU

    AMD Ryzen 5 5600G w/ Vega Graphics

    $124
    AMD’s Ryzen 5 5600G combines the best of all worlds, with its speedy 6-core/12-thread CPU powered by AMD’s Zen 3 architecture, along with the incredibly-fast integrated graphics powered by AMD’s Vega design.  It’s the ideal one-stop-shop if you want great CPU performance and don’t want or need a separate video card!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This CPU comes with a capable cooler in the box.

  • Motherboard

    Gigabyte B550M DS3H AC

    $100
    This micro-ATX motherboard offers a lot in a compact package. There expansion slots, dual M.2 slots, eight USB ports, four RAM slots, and built-in 802.11ac wireless networking.

    The Guru’s Tip

    The motherboard's video HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4 ports can both run 4K monitors, meaning you can hook up two huge monitors simultaneously!

  • Memory

    Silicon Power 2x8GB DDR4-3200

    $35
    You can now squeeze a whole lot of performance and capacity into your system by going with this budget-priced 16GB DDR4-3200 kit. It will help you make the most of your snazzy new system!

    The Guru’s Tip

    The speed of this kit will accelerate not just the CPU, but the built-in GPU as well.

  • Solid-State Drive

    Teamgroup MP33 512GB NVMe

    $39
    You simply can’t do better for the price than this value-packed SSD, which uses the speedy PCIe 3.0 interface and TLC NAND to vastly outperform all the SATA drives that sell for around the same amount! Note that to install this drive, you’ll affix it in an M.2 slot on your motherboard using a jeweler’s-type screwdriver.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This drives comes in a number of sizes. 512GB is what we consider the minimum, but if you need more space, go for the 1TB or 2TB drives, which are even better deals!

  • Case

    Cooler Master Q300L

    $47
    Offering loads of style and performance for the price, the Q300L is by far the best buy in its price class. It features a mesh front panel, a 120mm rear fan, and slick magnetic dust filters on both the top and front. For style, it has a transparent side panel, providing a great look inside the chassis.

    The Guru’s Tip

    Small, inexpensive cases like this one sell out constantly, so grab it if you can!

  • Power Supply

    Thermaltake Smart 500W 80+

    $40
    With 500W of power on tap, 80% efficiency at load, and a 5-year warranty, this power supply offers exceptional value and plenty of headroom for this system!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This is an exceptional deal coming from a major, trusted manufacturer!

  • Operating System

    Windows 11 Home (USB) @Newegg

    $139
    Windows 11 built on everything people loved about Windows 10, and then took it to 11! It adds significant under-the-hood changes to make it faster and more secure, and of course, the interface is sleek too! Note that we’re linking to Newegg, because Amazon long ago stopped selling this physical USB version of Windows, which is the most convenient one to use.

    The Guru’s Tip

    Windows 11 is the OS you want on your new system!

Optional Products

  • Video Card

    PowerColor Radeon RX 6600 Fighter 8GB

    $190
    Jump into serious PC gaming today with the Radeon RX 6600 8GB. It has plenty of power to tackle any modern game, easily beating any Nvidia GeForce GPU anywhere near its pricepoint. And this model offers a compact yet effective cooler at a great price.

    The Guru’s Tip

    Equip your office system to game with this compact yet powerful graphics card - it will fit perfectly in this system!

  • The Basic Wireless Keyboard/Mouse Combo

    Logitech MK270 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo

    $23
    While you may have an old keyboard and mouse sitting in your desk, treat yourself to a new wireless setup from Logitech, the MK270!

    The Guru’s Tip

    This combo uses a single tiny USB receiver to connect both peripherals!

  • The 24-inch Small Office Monitor

    Sceptre E249W-19203R

    $97
    This monitor offers a 24″ 1920 x 1080 panel, a 75Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling, blue light shift to reduce eye strain, a slim bezel for sleek looks, as well as dual HDMI inputs and a VGA input. It even has built-in speakers!

    The Guru’s Tip

    To use the built-in speakers, connect the monitor to your PC with an HDMI cable - it will carry both video and audio!

  • The Basic PC Speakers

    Creative Pebble 2.0

    $19
    Because desktop PCs, unlike laptops, don’t have internal speakers, we recommend you pick up Creative’s Pebble kit. Whether it’s music, You Tube videos, TV, or movies, Pebble will sound great.

    The Guru’s Tip

    To connect these, you'll use a 3.5mm cable for audio and USB for power, both to your PC. No connection to the wall required!

  • Webcam

    Logitech C920x Pro HD Webcam

    $70
    Need to use your PC for video conferencing? No problem! Just add this high-quality 1080p webcam from Logitech, which includes a built-in microphone. Just remember that if your monitor doesn’t have built-in speakers, you’ll also need stand-alone speakers for web conferencing to work. We’re amazed at the number of people who use headphones for video conferencing when it’s so much more professional to use gear attached to your PC, rather than your head!

    The Guru’s Tip

    We advise you not to buy any Logitech webcams from third-party sellers. They are likely to be used or counterfeit.

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