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Budget home office build

Buddy asked me to help him build a home office pc… budget is ~600$

What he’s looking for is a pc that deliveries a snappy experience. He just uses a dual monitor setup with some ms office app, etc

I’m a software dev, not a pc builder… so wasn’t really sure where to get started.

Was thinking of just suggesting pc master race basic build and call it a day.

Another starting point I came across on pc part picker was:

If any one has any constructive criticism I’d appreciate it.

How much storage does he have now?

Also what are his current parts? Maybe those parts can be taken from the old rig and put into the new one, to save some money.

I’m not sure… I’m thinking 500gb should prob be more than enough. I don’t think he’s using anything fancy. I was trying to come up with something that he could upgrade down the line… cpu wise, etc and still be around his budget.

The thing is… there are so many builds out there and I’m a bit lost on what to suggest.

AMD APU build with a good chunk of fast RAM and NVME storage comes to mind.

Do you think 16gb of ddr4 @3000 is enough?
I’ve been looking at the Ryzen 5 2600


Swap to the CPU to a 3400G if desired.

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That’s pretty much the sweetspot, yeah. Still the best memory in my experience for any Ryzen system is Samsung B-die and specifically 8GB sticks of G-Skill TridentZ 3200 C14 14 14 34. That stuff will run full XMP on absolutely anything. But it is a bit more money.

Price to performance that is the best deal right now. But you will need to add a GPU since that chip does not have any integrated graphics. On the other hand if it’s just for office you can add basically any GPU and it’s fine. So that might be actually the better choice, yeah.

This plus any GPU should be good for a while:

EDIT: Switched the board. This way you can upgrade to any higher performance chip, no problem.

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Thanks! yea this looks great!

I’ll just say it:

HP or Dell prebuilt if it’s on sale.

I just bought an HP with r5 2400G and 16 gigs of 2666 ram (I guess) and 1 TB hard drive(will be adding a ssd for boot drive) and even that would probably be overkill for him. Cost me around 1800 R$ - US$ 470, while a custom built would go over R$ 2500 easily.

Ya’ll may unleash yer wrath upon me but I ain’t got no time to be dealing with building stuff atm.

Now I’ll read other responses, might edit later.


Yeah but you went over the budget and assumed he already has a GPU.

Hey OP, keep in mind that Ryzen chips need a discrete graphics card unless they’re APUs (2200G(GE), 2400G, 3200G or 3400G)

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Sorry, but why are you recommending to spend a fifth of the budget on freakin’ RAM?
Even in a higher end gaming rig i’d find that arguable. But in an Office build? Get the cheapest 3200Mhz RAM from a reputable company and be done with it. Saves you 60 bucks on the Ram.

Edit: I’d also go for a cheaper case. As much as i like the Fractal stuff, nearly 100 bucks on a 600$ system is just to expensive. At that pricepoint, i’d spend any penny i could on a part that actually improves performance.

A proper case lasts a decade or longer, I have no issue spending 30 to 50 bucks more than the absolute minimum crap box. Fractal fans are also not the worst and this case has two of those.

I recommend the RAM I had the least problems with and that is what is in that list.

But hey, feel free to suggest something yourself. :wink:

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Hmm, I’d go mini ITX for an Office system
Something like that. Though, Mainboard plus Ryzen 3000 needs some research. I just quickly through that together. Plus this case leaves space for a GPU later, if needed. There’s also some breathing room in the budget to either go 1TB SSD or with a better Cooler is needed.
Not sure If a Windows License should be part of the 600$ Budget.

Edit: Alternative with the 2400G for compatibility:
Performance difference shouldn’t be too big. Plus you save even more to spend on where ever your priorities are (storage, Cooling, GPU…)

Yeah, office applications don’t need much performance at all.

My laptop, desktop, and work computer are effectively indistinguishable in Office 2019 and Office 365.

Honestly a 200GE with 8 GB of 2400 MHz RAM and a basic SATA SSD would probably feel pretty close as too.

A 2400G/3400G with 16 GB of RAM and a half decent SSD would be more than adequate for a home office, and it would be enough to last for years.


I agree, the APUs are generally completely fine. They have some limitations in direct comparison though. Cores and clocks are the obvious ones of course but also ECC support (I know, AMD says it’s a board thing but effectively …) and cache. That last point is actually my biggest gripe with the APUs.

Me personally, with prices where they are right now, I would go 2600 without even blinking. Yes, you need a GPU … duh. So get any cheap low end polaris for a couple bucks. You’re still in the neighborhood of the APUs but you get a lot more performance and everything is modular.

SATA SSD is completely fine for data storage but if you want to make a system as snappy as possible, you go NVME. And since the budget allows it, it would be stupid not to.

@domsch1988 For the ITX idea: That’s cool, if that is a factor it is worth money. If it isn’t necessary though you are severely limiting basically everything for no good reason. One M.2 slot instead of two, no option to easily double the RAM, no way to add another PCIe card (USB4 is around the corner) and so on.

Also don’t cram a non modular full ATX size PSU into that shoe box, please. That’s just terrible.

I’m sorry, but we’re talking about an Office build here

  • ECC is nothing that should way into the decision. Heck, i wouldn’t even consider it myself for a homeserver too much, if it costs significantly extra
  • Dual m.2 certainly isn’t high on the priority list either. They won’t be running RAID 0 NVMe and getting one with double the capacity is mostly cheaper. That, or spinning rust
  • An additional GPU produces noise, heat and Powerconsumption. All things you’d not want in an Office build.
  • USB 4 isn’t even out yet. Why would i plan a build around that now? It’s 2-3 years off. Maybe more. And even then you’d have to wait another year or two for devices that acutally need the bandwidth. If at all. Same as PCIe4
  • Other than GPU there realy isn’t any PCIe card you’d need in a Office PC. I don’t in my Gaming rig and unless you’re planning RAID, 10Gb Ethernet or Professional Audio Recording, i’d be hard pressed to find a use for those slots.

I’ve got the feeling that you are a little “out of touch” with what a office/budget build should look like. Talking about ECC in this thread serves no purpose.

I agree on the modular PSU.

Your options are either ITX or Full SIze ATX, as mATX is largely dead by now. There is stuff around, but X570 already did produce only one or two boards.
So, if you want to make space for a Full-size ATX Box, by all means, go for that. Better performance, airflow and a little less cost. I’d personally just go for ITX, as thermals aren’t that huge in the Power realm we’re talking here and the cost was very close in this case.


I already said that there is value in a small form factor if that is a factor. But personally I value upgradeability and modularity more. That’s all.

Either as cheap as possible or best price/performance I would guess. I am focusing on the latter. Currently the 2400G / 3400G offer neither of those things. They are not cheaper than a 2600 with a cheap GPU but they definitely are less performance.

It’s simply one of the differences between the Ryzen CPUs and APUs. Why is pointing that out a bad thing? Because you don’t value it? Fine, ignore it. It’s still true.

Deskmini mounted to the back of the monitor is de wae.


Nuc will do the job, throw in some storage, RAM and you’re good to go.


Something not mentioned but spring for the extended warranty since it’s for a home office

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Most of the build on here are crazy. Way overkill and budget breakers. Remember he will need an O/S as well. As one poster said, get a refurb. Except, do NOT get an HP. Way too proprietory right down to the psu. Go for Lenovo, Acer, Dell or ASUS. Look for systems that have a ssd and an optical drive. I’m sure he is the type that will find that useful. You should find plenty of pickings around $500 - 600 range and they will all include a brand new copy of Win 10. Look for a minimum of 8 gb of RAM but the sweet spot is 16 gb. Generally a ssd and 16 gb means that that was meant for the execs and will be a sweet piece.