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Let’s take a little break from the crazy expensive gamer oriented computers and focus on something our dad’s might want. Since I work at an electronic’s store, I see all the time that kids come in with their dads, and their dads want to pay for a cheap desktop for their office. This can cost them at least $500, which hurts my head. Why not learn how to build a computer and save a ton of money? Well, next time your parents want a computer upgrade, bring them here and get a list of what you need. As usual, all prices will be in USD and from where applicable. Let’s begin with our office computer build.

CPU: AMD Athlon X4 860k

Definitely a favourite on budget builds, this CPU will allow everything from MS Word, large Excel sheets, and multitasking galore. It’s a really good CPU, always cheap, and yes, you can even run games on it if you want. Maybe your dad can play some games, too, cause nothing is cooler than that. This is perfect for an office computer.

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-F2A78M-D3H

This is a pretty decent motherboard for the money. Front USB, decent amount of USB ports in the back, two PCI-e slots for expansion, 4 RAM slots. Everything you would need for basic home computing. If you wanted to go crazy, it is also a good overclocker, so you can get a bit more power for whatever you’ll be doing.

RAM: 8GB Kingston Cheapo RAM

Just gonna grab the cheapest Kingston stuff you can buy. No heat spreader or anything, runs at 1600Mhz, perfectly fine for home computing. This is actually better than the stuff you would find in a Dell or HP or Acer, since most of that stuff is 1333Mhz, and sometimes not even Kingston.

HDD: 1TB Seagate Barracuda

What else would we go with? If you’ve read any of the other builds, this is probably obvious for you. Tons of capacity, decently fast, and will get the job done. It also has plenty of space if you want to take a break from the world of spreadsheets and tax returns and own some noobs.

GPU: Powercolor R7 250x

I know what you’re thinking, “a discrete card in an office build? Why?”. Well, there are a few reasons. The first is because even discrete graphics can give a boost in performance for things like powerpoints, rendering, even Excel. Also, if you happen to use LibreOffice, a free MS Office alternative, you get Mantle support. Yes, the thing used to make Battlefield go faster with AMD cards is available for free with an office substitute. Crazy. Also, this card was formerly known as the Radeon HD 7770 graphics card, so playing games is fine with it on medium settings or low settings.

Case: Fractal Design Core 1000

Fractal cases look like they were almost designed for a business in mind. They’re compact but look great, no garish angles or strange designs. They also have plenty of room to work in, are usually very quiet, and offer excellent cooling capacity. For a case that won’t take up your entire text and budget, this is a great choice.

PSU: EVGA 500W 80+ Bronze

While it may be a little overkill, it’s really inexpensive for what it is. The entire system pulls approximately 280W on full load, according to PCPartPicker, so this PSU is fine. It’s 80+ Bronze, so the power is clean, and rarely goes above the $40 mark. And if you want to turn your office machine into a badass noob owning mega monster with a GTX 980 and 32GB of RAM, you can do it!

So, there we have it. A “dad” build (term coined by my dad), and for just under $400 without Windows if you shop around and use PCPartPicker, this will definitely out do anything, and I mean anything that Best Buy and Tiger have to offer without breaking the bank. You’ll also maybe be able to get your dad into some gaming like racers, World of Tanks, maybe even Counter-Strike. Okay, probably not Counter-Strike, but you could play when you’re over at his house!

If you have any questions, ask them in the comments. Happy gaming and spreadsheet making.

Ben Kuyt

Gamer, Computer geek, Musician, Writer. Favourite series are Star Fox, Halo, Battlefield, and Forza. My last name is pronounced kite. Or kout, for the European Football fans.