How to build a decent productivity PC for less than $500

It's possible to put together a decent PC for around $500, and that includes mouse and keyboard, and this build is ideal for anyone who only needs to do a few tasks on Windows. If you don't play games on the desktop and just want a cheaper computer for office work, this is a build for you.

You'll struggle to build a PC capable of 4K gaming for the price of an Xbox One X

Build your own PC for less than $500

Take a look at our suggested build below. Note that you aren't required to pick each part we recommend, but the components in the list below will work well alongside one another.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ComponentOur ideal pickPrice
CaseCorsair Carbide SPEC-04$39.99
PSUEVGA 500 W1$29.99
MotherboardMSI Pro Series Intel B250$55.01
CPUIntel Core i3 7100$99.99
RAMPatriot Viper 3 Series 8GB$54.99
StorageWD Blue 250GB SSD$69.99
OSWindows 10$79.99
TotalRow 7 - Cell 1 $429.95

If you have $500 to spend, this leaves you with around $70 for other accessories, such as a mouse, keyboard, Wi-Fi adaptor, and a DVD drive (should you require one). We haven't taken into account hooking up a TV or monitor in this build. Take a look at the mouse and keyboard options below for a few places to start.

There you have it. We put together a PC running Windows 10 for less than $500 without additional, hidden costs. It won't power you through games, because you have no GPU, but it will be able to handle most tasks you can throw at it, should you only require a PC to browse online, communicate with friends and family, and send email.

Over to you ...

Got your own build ideas or want to make an alteration to our suggestions? We're always looking for good feedback and advice, so sound off in the comments.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.