Updated: 01/31/2023 by Computer Hope

Barebone describes a computer system containing only the essential components that allow it to run, helping keep its overall cost low.

Example of barebone computer

Below lists components commonly found in a barebones computer.

Additional components, such as a computer monitor, external cables, keyboard, mouse, and other external components, are rarely included. Because all computer manufacturers are different, this term may also refer to computers with only a motherboard or case and nothing else.


When buying a barebone computer, make sure it lists all the components you think you need before purchasing it. Also, look around if you need to purchase additional peripherals, such as a keyboard and mouse. A company may sell barebones computers at a low cost but raise the price of everything else (e.g., peripherals and cables).

Computer, Hardware terms, Prebuilt, White box