The Best $500 Home Office PC Build – September 2022
Maximum 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 Intel
For September 2022, the $500 Home Office PC Build features Intel’s Core i3-10100 quad-core, 8-thread processor with clockspeeds up to 4.3GHz. It offers tremendous value, particularly because it has built-in graphics, which saves you a whole lot of money if you’re just using this system for home office use.
Also on board are 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 430W power supply, which provides plenty of headroom for big upgrades. We’re even able to include built-in wireless networking, thanks to a great price on a great motherboard with integrated WiFi.
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 upgrades, including a hard drive and 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, we recommend you 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. At this point, you get about the same amount of performance per dollar building your own versus buying a pre-built office PC, so if you don’t have extra time to spare, buying a pre-built PC is a sensible choice.
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 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 Budget Home Office PC –
HP M01-F1120 Desktop (AMD 4300G)$440Wow, just wow! Thanks to great specs, the latest HP Desktop will no doubt be a PC you can use for years to come. It’s equipped with the AMD Ryzen 3 4300G quad-core, 8-thread CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, an 8X DVD burner, 802.11ac WiFi, and even an SD card reader. Plus, it has Microsoft Windows 11 pre-installed.
For around the same price as the DIY builds we spec out below, this one comes ready to go, out of the box. The performance is comparable, with the main benefit of the DIY build being double the RAM, while the pre-built PC offers built-in WiFi plus a keyboard and mouse.
The DIY Option
Intel Core i3-10100$103 The Guru’s Tip
This cooler includes a cooler, so there's no need to purchase one. And take note: do not buy the 10100F, which sounds similar, but has no built-in graphics and won't work in this build!
ASUS Prime B560M-A AC$100 The Guru’s Tip
Another awesome feature of this board is its DisplayPort and HDMI ports, which will allow you to use the built-in graphics on the Intel chip we recommend.
Oloy 2x8GB DDR4-2666 C19$49 The Guru’s Tip
Given that 16GB doesn't cost much more than 8GB, it's a clear winner in terms of future-proofing!
Solid-State Drive –
Silicon Power 512GB NVMe$36 The Guru’s Tip
Given that most 250GB drives cost the same or more than this one, it's an easy choice!
Thermaltake H17$52 The Guru’s Tip
Low-cost cases sell out quickly as manufacturers prefer to focus on higher-priced models. So grab this if you can!
Power Supply –
Thermaltake Smart 430W 80+$30 The Guru’s Tip
This is an exceptional deal coming from a major, trusted manufacturer!
Operating System –
Windows 11 Home USB$139 The Guru’s Tip
Windows 11 took a while to arrive at retail after launching as an update for existing users, but now that it's here, it's what you want on your new system!
Hard Drive –
Seagate BarraCuda 2TB$48 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.
Video Card –
EVGA GeForce GTX 1650 Super 4GB SC Ultra$200 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$28 The Guru’s Tip
This combo uses a single tiny USB receiver to connect both peripherals!
The 24-inch Small Office Monitor –
Sceptre E248W-19203R$111 The Guru’s Tip
To use the built-in speakers, connect the monitor to your PC with an HDMI cable, or alternatively a VGA cable plus an analog 3.5mm cable.
The Basic PC Speakers –
Creative Pebble 2.0$19 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!
Logitech C920x Pro HD Webcam$70 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.
Total Cost: $509
The DIY Option
- Hard Drive – Seagate BarraCuda 2TB ($48)
- Video Card – EVGA GeForce GTX 1650 Super 4GB SC Ultra ($200)
- The Basic Wireless Keyboard/Mouse Combo – Logitech MK270 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo ($28)
- The 24-inch Small Office Monitor – Sceptre E248W-19203R ($111)
- The Basic PC Speakers – Creative Pebble 2.0 ($19)
- Webcam – Logitech C920x Pro HD Webcam ($70)