For a short while, PC building was gloriously affordable. The cost of graphics cards and RAM finally dropped after 2018â€™s dark times, AMD kept cramming more cores into its CPU lineup without increasing prices, and SSDs could be had for a song.
Nowadays building a basic x86 PC is pretty expensive. Overwhelming demand, tighter supply, and tariffs mean that, compared to last year, youâ€™ll spend $10 more here and $15 more there across the boardâ€”even as much as $40 more on a power supply. It adds up to a steep increase for those who only browse the web, watch streaming videos, edit documents, and/or code.
Fortunately, you can sidestep that financial outlay with an alternative: the humble but mighty Raspberry Pi 4. This fourth-generation version of the popular single-card computer starts at just $35 and packs enough punch to easily handle everyday tasks. Moreover, its simplicity means building is ultra fast. We put together a Linux-based desktop system for just over $100 and in about an hour, including software installs.