Build a Windows 10 PC for $495 (gallery)
Let's start with the brain of the PC — the processor. I'm not interested in Intel vs. AMD fanboy wars here and just want a good quality part at a reasonable price. I've chosen here the AMD A10-7870K quad-core 3.9GHz part.
Since this is an APU I'm getting both the CPU and GPU in a single package, and getting both at a very low price.
The cooler that comes with this package isn't the best, and combine that with the fact that AMD silicon seems to run hotter than Intel's, if you're going to push this hard you might want to consider an aftermarket cooler. That said, AMD assures me that the cooler is up to the job, so if you don't mind seeing the temperature spike, it shouldn't be a problem.
The APU I've chosen needs a Socket FM2 compatible motherboard, and that means we have dozens of good boards to choose from.
Since we've chosen a budget processor, it makes sense not to overspend on the motherboard too, and with that in mind I've gone for the ASUS A88XM-E FM2+ AMD A88X board. Not only is this board fully compatible with the APU, it is compatible with Socket FM2+ parts as well, giving you room for future upgrades.
The board gives you UEFI support and USB 3.0 ports (four in all, along with another 6 USB 2.0 ports).
Some basic RAM – CORSAIR Vengeance LP 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
It's strange to think that 1TB drives are pretty much the new sweet spot when buying storage. And since they come in well under $100, it makes sense to use one.
I've gone for the Western Digital WD Blue WD10EZEX. A no-nonsense 7,2000 RPM SATA drive with 64MB of cache.
The PC now needs power, and this is the point to be careful, because not only can you overspend on PSUs, underspending means that you'll probably be replacing it within a year.
I prefer to stick with a good brand, and have gone for the Thermaltake TR2 TR-500, a 500W unit capable of powering everything in your PC with plenty of overhead for any upgrades.
The case is where things get personal. Some people like fancy cases, while others prefer a minimal approach. Some like a big case, others want something small. Me, I'm happy as long as I can get my hands into it, and the sharp edges that invariably slice my flesh are kept to a minimum.
I'm going for a Rosewill FBM-01 case for this build. It's cheap and reasonably well made, and holds all the parts. It also has a couple of fans to keep the air moving.
Windows 10 Home
Oh, and finally the operating system. Processor aside, this is the second most expensive part of the build.