Barebones PCs: All the Essentials at the Right Price
Barebones PCs, also known as barebones desktops, offer a practical and value packed way to get started with a custom PC build. These stripped down mini PCs include a computer case, power supply, and motherboard, with some or all of the other parts omitted. The idea is to provide just the basics so you can customize the rest to your hearts content.
A barebones PC can be a great choice for a lot of different use cases, including: small form factor PCs, basic desktop computers for students and professionals, test platforms for components and build ideas, personal media servers and network attached storage - NAS devices - for homes and offices, utility PCs for point of sale systems, office servers, security systems, IoT stations for homes and small businesses, and more.
You will find barebones models in all kind of configurations, from basic office machines to the chassis of a high performance gaming PC - all of which are available from Micro Center
Choosing a Barebones PC
First, look at the specs of what a barebones computer provides out of the box. As mentioned before, pretty much all models include a case, motherboard, and power supply, so look at the relevant specs for these parts and decide if they will meet your needs.
For example, does the motherboard include enough USB and HDMI ports and PCIe slots, and is it compatible with Intel or AMD Ryzen CPUs? Check out the power supply, too - is it rated to provide enough wattage for the GPU you want to use? Is there room to add case fans, or is the case designed for fanless builds? All of these questions will affect which other components you can add.
Pay attention to what does and does not come with the PC as well. Depending on the specific model, a barebones system may or may not include a CPU and graphics card. Most barebones PCs also do not include any kind of permanent storage memory or RAM. Check how many SATA and M.2 connectors the motherboard provides for attaching SSDs and HDDs, plus how many RAM modules and gigabytes of RAM it can accommodate. Remember that barebones PCs also do not come with an operating system, so leave room for a copy of Windows, or which other OS you would like to use, in your budget.
Check out Micro Centers lineup of barebones desktop PCs here and find the best prices on these lean machines. Looking for something that is fully ready to rock out of the box? Browse our selection of prebuilt PCs and all in ones for plug and play deals.