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Build Guide

Budget Home/Office Build

by manirelli

27
105 Comments

Revision History

NOTE: A more recent version of this guide is available here.

Description

CPU

Our CPU of choice for this home/office machine is the Intel i5-6400. This processor has four cores and is aptly suited for all software in the Microsoft Office suite or the comparable open source offerings. The i5-6400 includes a stock cooler, so 3rd-party cooler is not necessary.

Motherboard

We're using a sparse selection of motherboards, which will display which is the cheapest of the four. All four motherboards feature the h110 chipset and an LGA 1151 socket for compatibility with the i5-6400. They include 2 DIMM slots for up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM. They're also capable of using the CPU's integrated HD Graphics 530 which is important for our office build as we will not be adding a dedicated graphics card.

Memory

A parametric filter is being applied to choose the best priced 1x8GB kit of memory within Intel's recommended specifications. With this selection, we have space on the motherboards for an additional stick of RAM, leaving room for future expansion.

Storage

We're also using parametric filters to select the best priced 480GB or larger SSD available. For a simple office machine you likely don't need a lot of space but ideally it is as fast as possible without breaking the bank which is why is machine only has a single SSD and no mechanical drive. Everyone's needs are different, so feel free to change out capacities to fit yours. For example, if 480GB feels cramped to you, I recommend picking up a mechanical hard drive for another 1 or 2TB or storage space.

Case

The Thermaltake Versa H15 is a budget friendly, quiet case that can fit all of our components. It offers decent cable management, which can sometimes be a problem at our budget, and there's room to expand with hard drives or a solid state drive. It also has 2 front panel USB 3.0 ports and a 5.25" bay for our optical drive. Cases tend to be highly personal choices, so make sure you browse our listed cases to see what suits you.

PSU

For the PSU, we're using a parametric selection of a few well-reviewed non-modular units, which are all rated for good power efficiency and can provide plenty of power for this build.

Part List Customize This Part List

Compatibility Check: No issues/incompatibilities found.

Estimated Wattage: 140W
Component Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where
CPU £159.90 £5.90 £165.80 Alza Buy
Motherboard £47.99 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime £47.99 Amazon UK Buy
Memory
From parametric filter
  • Type: 288-pin DIMM
  • Size: 8GB (1x8GB)
£49.79 £49.79 Aria PC Buy
Storage
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 480GB - 10TB
  • Type: SSD
£96.51 FREE £96.51 CCL Computers Buy
Case £32.32 £32.32 Novatech Buy
Power Supply £41.90 £5.90 £47.80 Alza Buy
Optical Drive
From parametric filter
  • Capability: DVD Writer
£12.99 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime £12.99 Amazon UK Buy
Base Total: £441.40
Shipping: £11.80
Total: £453.20
* Using your selected merchants and only including nearby in-store pickup prices)
* Some physical dimension restrictions cannot (yet) be automatically checked, such as cpu cooler / RAM clearance with modules using tall heat spreaders.

Comments Sorted by:

MightyDirtKing 10 points 5 months ago

Now a HTPC pls.

grizzlyman 2 Builds 2 points 5 months ago

I agree, I have a good friend wanting to throw together a cheap Pi htpc, but I keep telling him that something more substantial would be worth it. Maybe I'm wrong. I just hate slow stuff.

whallfalc 3 points 5 months ago

Looking to do a similar build for a friend who works from home. What is the reason to go with the i5-6400 over an i3-6100?

emailhacker 1 point 5 months ago

Better IGP, much more cores if he does a lot of multi-tasking, like rendering stuff, photoshop, 40+ tabs on chrome and etc, if he loads excels with thousands of tables.

80-wattHamster 1 Build 3 points 5 months ago

Workload is always a factor. But for something like this, the 6100 looks really good with that extra full GHz of base clock. The 6400 only hits 3.3 in turbo.

LemonComputers 2 points 5 months ago

Keep in mind that clock speed is not the only defining performance factor.

80-wattHamster 1 Build 4 points 5 months ago

It's not, but the words that stick out to me are ”budget” and ”home/office”. More cores won't show much benefit in typical browsing or office software, and Hyperthreading goes a long way in bridging the gap outside of creative, compression and rendering software. Granted, under typical use, a 6400 will probably spend a decent amount of time at its 3.3 GHz turbo speed, so the effective 400 MHz deficit isn't likely to hurt much. The ~$60 difference in cost, though, speaks much louder. But if the physical cores are truly beneficial, one may as well pony up the extra $20 for a 6500.

LemonComputers 3 points 5 months ago

More cores won't show much benefit in typical browsing or office software, and Hyperthreading goes a long way in bridging the gap outside of creative, compression and rendering software.

Generally speaking, having more physical cores provides a greater performance increase than hyperthreaded logical cores.

DrDad 1 Build 1 point 5 months ago

Same number of threads, though.

whallfalc 3 points 5 months ago

Was thinking the same thing. It seems like saving ~$60 on the CPU would let this build be completed under $500 including the OS and meet all of the demands of an office computer.

WirelessCables 1 Build 1 point 5 months ago

Agreed, you really don't need 4 physical cores (4 threads should be fine) for office stuff, and the extra 1.0 GHz clock on the i3 improves performance a bit.

Unless of course, you do graphic design or CAD work. But then, you should probably be getting an i7 anyways.

LemonComputers 2 points 5 months ago

The EVGA 430B and CX430 are both mediocre PSUs and the S12II is group regulated. The newer Corsair CX450M is better quality than any of those three.

manirellis_fridge 3 points 5 months ago

I have a CX430 and it holds up fine with an i3 and 960.

Maxxoz 4 points 4 months ago

He's trying to say that an extra $10-20 is really going to hold your PC up for a few more years. (The PSU at least). And the CXM (gray labelled) also is modular. It isn't much.

LemonComputers 1 point 5 months ago

Sure, some old CX's are still holding up fine to this date, but they're mediocre PSUs that should be replaced with new CXM's instead. Some people have Logisys PSUs that are still holding up to this date, to put it one way.

LemonComputers 2 points 4 months ago

Some people have Logisys PSUs that are still holding up to this date, to put it one way.

BTW I wasn't saying that old CX PSUs are just as bad as Logisys, because they aren't.

GeoDashZorra 1 Build 1 point 5 months ago

But what if the CX is cheaper then the CXM for some people?

LemonComputers 4 points 4 months ago

You still should not skimp on your PSU.

Maxxoz 2 points 4 months ago

And now, it's only $25. Really the best deal for a PSU I've seen in a long time.

SuperGojira2001 3 Builds 1 point 5 months ago

It's fine for this build.

LemonComputers 1 point 5 months ago

They're still mediocre PSUs. Why not just get a new CXM?

SuperGojira2001 3 Builds 4 points 5 months ago

Aren't the new CXM's more expensive?

LemonComputers 4 points 5 months ago

Not much. Even if they are a bit more expensive, it's still worth it.

SuperGojira2001 3 Builds 2 points 5 months ago

True.

KokoTheTalkingApe 1 point 4 months ago

Hi, newbie here. What is the advantage of the CXM's? Is it the removable (modular) cords?

LemonComputers 2 points 4 months ago

They're newer, modular, and higher quality.

austinp 1 point 3 months ago

An EVGA 450B is not going to catch fire without a dGPU in a system. It's perfect for a build like this.

LemonComputers 1 point 3 months ago

Why would it not catch fire without a dGPU but catch fire with a dGPU?

austinp 1 point 3 months ago

Because a dGPU provides heat and requires more power draw and there's no reason a PSU that's built well enough to just pass every standard of electrical performance measurement couldn't handle a no dedicated GPU system.

Trav_X 2 points 5 months ago

Another good case option would be the Corsair 100R silent edition, since it is a home office I'd assume you would possibly want to cut down on the noise while working. The Versa H15 is a good case, but something like the 100R or even a Define S if you can spend another 10-20 dollars

:) great build tho Manirelli, this would be a good build to throw in a 1050 or 1050Ti if someone wanted a cheap gaming rig!

WirelessCables 1 Build 1 point 5 months ago

That case doesn't have a fan, though. I would suggest adding a 120mm fan to the parts list.

Shakaron 3 Builds 1 point 5 months ago

That case doesn't have a fan

Why would you say that?

If you look at the specification, you can see there is a 120 x 120 x 25 mm Turbo fan (1000rpm, 16dBA) mounted at the rear.

WirelessCables 1 Build 1 point 5 months ago

I meant in the front. Sorry

Shakaron 3 Builds 1 point 5 months ago

That's true, only a rear exhaust fan, no intake fan.

WirelessCables 1 Build 1 point 5 months ago

Yeah, my fault for not mentioning that. Oh well. =/

On another note, there's a 120mm Fractal Design fan for about $5.

Grey__X 1 point 5 months ago

What about a graphics card?

manirelli staff submitter 7 Builds 3 points 5 months ago

The iGPU on the CPU is more than enough for a home/office machine.

LemonComputers 3 points 5 months ago

At this budget and use, the Intel integrated graphics should be sufficient for most people.

eliasmqz 1 point 4 months ago

Can this build support using two monitors, this would be perfect for my wife and me to have since we work from home sometimes.

manirelli staff submitter 7 Builds 1 point 4 months ago

Yep. This motherboard has DVI and HDMI outputs.

eliasmqz 1 point 4 months ago

thank you

maxman1830 1 point 4 months ago

This is a little over done for just a budget home/office build

LemonComputers 1 point 4 months ago

Except the PSU.

maxman1830 1 point 4 months ago

Yeah but almost everywhere else is mostly a bit much

Brax10 1 point 4 months ago

How would this do as a programming computer with 2-3 monitors?

VenumWolf 1 point 3 months ago

The CPU/RAM should be plenty, for a development workload, though it all depends on what you're needs are. And it should be able to do 2 monitors just fine, though check the outputs on the mobo.

andplug3 3 Builds 1 point 4 months ago

This is ok, but like us all, I would go a different route. I made a build guide of my own since I thought this one was a little lacking in certain areas and too much in others (CPU). http://pcpartpicker.com/guide/9Yqqqs/500-budget-homeoffice-computer

DouglasMoran 1 point 4 months ago

para mi opinión seria mejor un almacenamiento híbrido ya que te brinda como un disco mecánico y un disco duro solido

LemonComputers 1 point 4 months ago

Hybrid drives aren't very good choices as they only have a tiny little bit of flash based SSD storage and therefore an SSD + HDD combination would be better.

duros híbridos no son muy buenas opciones, ya que sólo tienen una pequeña poco de flash basado almacenamiento SSD y por lo tanto una combinación de SSD + HDD sería mejor.

enderkevin13 1 point 4 months ago

What modern games can this run and at what settings? Looking for 60fps on medium-high just. I dunno about 1080p

190n 2 Builds 1 point 4 months ago

Nothing intensive. It doesn't have a graphics card so you'll be stuck with the CPU's integrated graphics. Think Minecraft, CS:GO, Rocket League. Not even maxed out on those.

enderkevin13 1 point 4 months ago

Well ****. I didn't notice that at first.

Slurth 1 Build 1 point 3 months ago

You could add a 1050 ti and have some respectable frame rates from this PC.

skewball97 1 point 4 months ago

soo how well would this run minecraft?

C.notex 1 point 4 months ago

Can this do gaming and live streaming?

manirelli staff submitter 7 Builds 1 point 4 months ago

Not really. It isn't intended for either use.

xXSniperBuildxX 1 point 4 months ago

If you're using this computer for home use, I think 8GB of RAM is a bit overkill. At least 6GB or 4GB. IMO.

WirelessCables 1 Build 1 point 3 months ago

8GB is pretty much the minimum for any PC now. You'll be filling up 4GB of RAM fast in ~3-4 years or so. And it saves money, since you spend the money on 1 8GB kit, instead of a 4GB kit and then a 8GB kit.

FIREBLAZE66 1 point 4 months ago

This build look a lot like the one i set up for my kid (10Yo boy) I took some old stuff ling around and i bought what was missing; case (versa h15), motherboard, power supply(evga 400W), ssd The CPu is i5 4460(stock fan). 240G avexir ssd. motherboard MSI B85A. 2X4G G.skill memory. The computer is very quiet. It was not intended for hard core gaming but with the Intel integrated GPU my son enjoy online gaming, small free steam game, minecraft, etc. Picture quality is not a factor but playability is. hope this help... enjoy.

UrnMo 1 point 4 months ago

Pardon the n00b q, but could one feasibly add a dedicated GPU to this build down the line to add gaming chops, or would other elements be deficient/preclude this?

manirelli staff submitter 7 Builds 2 points 4 months ago

absolutely!

UrnMo 1 point 4 months ago

Thanks!

Jeremy9000 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

Should have included the price of the OS

dallior 1 point 3 months ago

I'd put in an HDD, or at least a heftier SSD. If this is a homeoffice build, personal data and the like would take up all of those 480GBs in a heartbeat.

garrett_adams 1 point 3 months ago

You can easily make this into a gaming rig any putting a gtx 1050/1050 ti, or a gtx 1060

okcomputer89 1 point 3 months ago

Hi All, newbie here, I was looking at purchasing the thermaltak tower but I noticed it comes with a litepower 450w PSU, would it be ok to stick with this one, I don't know much about the brand etc to know if I should just purchase another power supply of stick with the one that comes with the case.

themcmahonimal 1 Build 1 point 3 months ago

There's no graphics card on this build, I was wondering how you kept the price down, then I realized how.

manirelli staff submitter 7 Builds 1 point 3 months ago

There is no need for a separate GPU in a standard home or office build. The integrated graphics on the cpu are more than enough.

themcmahonimal 1 Build 1 point 3 months ago

Oh! I see! you learn something new every day! Thanks!

aether_tech 3 Builds 1 point 3 months ago

An i5-6400 seems like overkill here. A i3-6100 or Pentium G4400 would be the best option here. No gaming (no gpu card....) So why overkill it absurdly with the i5?

Also, for home use - people like to store photos and videos. I'd suggest changing the SSD (nice and fast, I know) for a 2TB HD. Or go with the ADATA SU800 256GB that's on sale for like $55 with a rebate; and then a 1TB HD for $40-50.

manirelli staff submitter 7 Builds 1 point 3 months ago

Having used an i3 for moderate excel usage and many other office programs the decision to upgrade from the i3 to the i5 was a no brainer. Obviously usage varies from person to person but I'd rarely recommend an i3 unless forced by the budget.

WirelessCables 1 Build 1 point 3 months ago

I still don't know why this doesn't have an i3 6100... It's an office PC after all.

Please explain. =-)

manirelli staff submitter 7 Builds 1 point 3 months ago

per the comment directly above yours:

Having used an i3 for moderate excel usage and many other office programs the decision to upgrade from the i3 to the i5 was a no brainer. Obviously usage varies from person to person but I'd rarely recommend an i3 unless forced by the budget.

WirelessCables 1 Build 1 point 3 months ago

While few programs if any just utilize one core, the extra 1GHz helps the single core score, which may make it better for lighter tasks. In my opinion, it's not really worth the $78 premium in lighter tasks. But, usage differs from person to person.

negativeobs 1 point 3 months ago

Thanks for the build ! I used this part list with a few minor swaps based on part availability, added software and monitors for a complete office build.

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/mb6qr7

kellerpandh@msn.com 1 point 3 months ago

New guy here, how about cables and/or connectors for the build?

manirelli staff submitter 7 Builds 1 point 3 months ago

Everything should be included with the parts.

emailhacker -2 points 5 months ago

Worst SSD you could choose.

SoupMan01 3 points 5 months ago

well for the price its not so bad

LemonComputers 3 points 5 months ago

Why's that? Do you have proof to back up your claim?

maxman1830 -5 points 5 months ago

agreed SanDisk and AData are 2 of the worst on the market but I can see how its cost effective like people still buying AMD CPUs

LemonComputers 2 points 5 months ago

agreed SanDisk and AData are 2 of the worst on the market

Source?

but I can see how its cost effective like people still buying AMD CPUs

AMD as a CPU manufacturer is not bad. Their current CPUs cannot compete with a lot of Intel's higher end CPU lineup, but with the release of Zen AMD will become much more competitive again.

maxman1830 2 points 5 months ago

I'm speaking from experience and reviews I've seen from both manufacturers in the A-Data and SanDisk SSDs comment and I'm referring to current AMD CPUs not the company as a whole

LemonComputers 1 point 5 months ago

What experience have you had with both of those SSD manufacturers?

maxman1830 1 point 5 months ago

When I was going to buy my first SSD I wanted it to be fairly budget orientated so naturally it was a decision between SanDisk, Crucial and A-Data the A-Data reviews atleast that time were so negative that I refused to touch them and the Crucial had slightly better reviews than the SanDisk SSD I wanted but the SanDisk was on sale on Newegg so I bought it and it has been the only drive to ever completely fail on me as well as the drive still having a sluggish speed beforehand(it was very likely defective from the start) I hope that WD's SSDs fixed the issues that SanDisk has had in the past with their acquisition of the company leading to their production of SSDs

GentlemanShark 1 Build 1 point 5 months ago

How do you know that?

jaden1 -2 points 4 months ago

UM everyone knows that this build is not usable because there is no gpu plz fix this

manirelli staff submitter 7 Builds 5 points 4 months ago

This is a home/office build. You have video out from the motherboard powered by the integrated graphics on the CPU.

ians907 4 Builds 1 point 4 months ago

It has integrated graphics from the cpu. A graphics card isn't needed.

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manirelli staff submitter 7 Builds 1 point 3 months ago

Stop spamming.

PlasmusAng 1 point 3 months ago

ok

PlasmusAng 1 point 3 months ago

but only offering help

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manirelli staff submitter 7 Builds 20 points 5 months ago
WirelessCables 1 Build 3 points 5 months ago

On a related note...

The Versa H15 doesn't have a front fan. There's a 120mm Fractal Design fan for ~$5 I'd suggest.

PC_Genius 1 point 4 months ago

lmao

iLLixer404 1 point 4 months ago

...

[comment deleted by staff]
manirelli staff submitter 7 Builds 2 points 4 months ago

No need on an office machine.

LemonComputers 1 point 4 months ago

A dGPU isn't necessary for this type of build.

Reason:
Note: Wattages are estimates only. Actual power draw may differ from listed values.
Component Estimated Wattage
Intel Core i5-6400 2.7GHz Quad-Core Processor 8W - 65W
Asus H110M-K Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard 15W - 60W
Crucial 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory 5W - 5W
Mushkin Chronos 480GB 2.5" Solid State Drive 2W - 10W
Total: 30W - 140W