The term "barebones computer" is used to describe a partially built PC. Although barebones systems vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, they typically contain a case, power supply, and motherboard. Some manufacturers may provide a barebones computer with just one or two components missing for full function. These systems offer flexibility and value for businesses. End-users may only require a basic system or want to make their own decisions on selecting additional devices, such as hard drive, operating system, video card, and processor. Barebones computers offer more design and performance flexibility, but they also require the end-users have the technical know-how to install separate computer components.
PC Connection offers a great selection of barebones systems from name brands like Asus, Chenbro, Cisco, Intel, MSI, Shuttle, Supermicro, Tyan, and Zotac. One Intel line has a barebones computer that is upgradable, rack mountable, and supports 10 Gigabit Ethernet networking. This barebones computer has over 150 sensors that feed the management software with voltage and temperature information to monitor the system’s health. An ultra-slim Shuttle model features dual COM ports, dual gigabit LAN ports, DVI video outputs, and HDMI video outputs.
Barebones computers are available in a number of different styles. The tower barebones computer looks much like a classic desktop computer—it features a sizable amount of space on the interior for cooling and expandability. Book-size barebones systems are impressive with their slim design, but it also limits the available internal architecture. As a result, the power supply and motherboard need to be a specific design. For the most part, these barebones computers are compatible with hardware devices and components. A mini-cube barebones computer is half as tall as tower barebones, but because of the layout architecture still offers plenty of upgradable options.