System Overview – Total Cost: $625
This computer utilizes relatively low-cost components for a relatively powerful system. Computers are assembled with several main components: motherboard, CPU, RAM, storage, power supply, and case. At the low-end, these components individually can be from $70 to $140 each. While this computer is low-cost, the quality of the components is high. In a more powerful computer, these equally matched components might all be $150 to $250 each. In addition to the hardware below, you would need to purchase and install Windows 10 Home for about $140 [View], along with a display, keyboard, and mouse.
Motherboard by Gigabyte ($120)
The motherboard for this system is the GIGABYTE B450 I AORUS PRO Wi-Fi AMD Ryzen AM4/Mini ITX/M.2 Thermal Guard with Onboard Wi-Fi/HDMI/DP/USB 3.1 Gen 2/Motherboard. [View] This motherboard is about 7-inches square and 2″ tall in size, so it’s a good choice for someone who wants a small but powerful desktop computer. It has plenty of ports and expandability. It is designed to accommodate an AMD CPU rather than an Intel CPU, which can save money. It includes an M.2 connector for the latest fast, small, low-cost hard drives.
CPU by AMD ($140)
The processor for this system is the AMD Ryzen 5 3400G 4-core, 8-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Radeon RX Graphics. [View] Because this processor has video capabilities, it’s not necessary to purchase a separate video card for this computer. This is also a very efficient and high performing processor and listed on the CPU Benchmark website as a high-end processor. [View] See the table below for similar processors that cost hundreds of dollars more for the same performance.
A benefit of this processor is that it includes a fan, cooling assembly, and thermal paste used where the cooling assembly presses against the processor. This all fits into a relatively small space as shown below.
RAM by Corsair ($63)
The memory used in this computer is the Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 3200MHz C16 Desktop Memory Kit. [View] While 8GB would probably be enough for most tasks, having 16GB ensures smooth operation.
Startup Drive by Silicon Power ($120)
The solid-state startup drive in this computer is the Silicon Power 1TB NVMe M.2 PCIe Gen3x4 2280 TLC R/W up to 3,400/3,000MB/s SSD (SU001TBP34A80M28AB). [View] This drive offers a lot of fast storage in a small package.
Power Supply by EVGA ($100)
The power supply in this computer is the EVGA SuperNOVA 550 Ga, 80 Plus Gold 550W, Fully Modular, ECO Mode with Dbb Fan, 10 Year Warranty, Compact 150mm Size, Power Supply 220-GA-0550-X1. [View] There are other power supplies available for less money that would probably work perfectly well in this system. However, this particular power supply includes individually attachable modular cables. This is a great advantage because power supplies usually include a large bundle of cables, some of which don’t get used. In this computer, there is no need for additional power cables connected to a video card. There is also no need for cables to power traditional hard drives and DVD drives. By using only the CPU and Motherboard power cables, this configuration can be very minimalist and clean. There is also a switchable Eco Mode on this power supply which is helpful for a smaller computer like this one.
Case by NZXT ($80)
The case for this computer is an NZXT H210 – CA-H210B-W1 – Mini-ITX PC Gaming Case – Front I/O USB Type-C Port – Tempered Glass Side Panel – Cable Management System – Water-Cooling Ready. [View]