How to build a $100 productivity PC with a Raspberry Pi 4

For a short while, PC building was gloriously affordable. The cost of graphics cards and RAM finally dropped after 2018’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, you’ll spend $10 more here and $15 more there across the board—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.

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