Linux Budget Workstation

There’s not a lot of pieces to a desktop computer. Here’s what I have, bought just after the pandemic started and it became clear I was going to be working from home for a substantial amount of time

I had a few goals and requirements for this build:

  1. Low cost
  2. Lots of CPU
  3. Not annoyingly loud
  4. Minimum 64GB of memory
  5. No need for gaming

I knew that I would run several VMs on the workstation, mostly to split out different things I need to do, for example access work related systems via a VPN in a Windows based virtual machine, have a VM for doing demos, ect ect, so I would need at least 64gb of memory.

The Build

The cost of this build was, pre-tax, $1300 CDN! With Ontario tax and the $50 build fee it came out to just over $1500. (I should note that this build was done about 7 months prior to this post, so it’s been a while, a quick glance suggests the pricing is still about the same.)

I bought the parts at Memory Express and had them build the system for an extra $50. They were great to work with.

Component Item Cost
CPU AMD Ryzen 5 3600 Processor $259.99
Case Corsair Carbide Series 100R Mid-Tower Case, Silent Edition, Black $89.99
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX 64GB DDR4 2666MHz CL16 Dual Channel Kit (4x 16GB), Black $389.99
Storage Western Digital Blue SN550 M.2 PCI-E NVMe SSD, 1TB $169.99
Power Source Corsair RMx Series RM550x 80+ Gold Fully Modular ATX Power Supply, 550W $144.99
Motherboard Asus TUF B450-PRO GAMING w/ DDR4-2666 $169.99
Video Card Gigabyte GeForce GT 710 2GB GDDR5 Low-Profile PCI-E w/ HDMI, DVI $79.99

NOTE: This video card is pretty limited, but works great to power a HDMI monitor.


In the end, I couldn’t be more happy with this build. It’s stable, quiet, and, as far as I’m concerned, high performance. But, that said, I don’t play video games, or do any GPU related activities. I just need to output to a monitor. It’s the perfect workstation for me, both from a cost and an experience perspective.