GD09

If you want the most powerful home theater PC on the planet, this is the system for you! This system may be sleek and compact, but it packs in plenty of impressive gear. It features a stylish design that will blend in perfectly with the rest of your AV gear, great for keeping other members of your household happy. But behind that unimposing facade lurks the power of a seriously tricked-out PC!

For May 2017, we've radically revamped the high-end HTPC, harnessing the power of AMD's amazing new Ryzen 7 1700 eight-core CPU. This beast of a processor is incredibly efficient, yet can absolutely chew through any video task, including streaming or video conversion. And it's more than powerful enough for just about any gaming scenario, working in tandem with this system's potent GTX 1060 6GB video card, which also happens to provide the HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 connector you need for proper 4K video output. Backed up by 16GB of RAM, a 525GB solid-state drive, 2TB of hard drive storage, and a Gold-rated 550W power supply, this is truly a dream HTPC!

To learn how to build up a system in the SilverStone GD09 case we're recommending, simply check out our hands-on review! And for extra help getting up to speed on what it's like working with AMD's Ryzen platform, check out our hands-on Assembly Guide. If you still have questions after reviewing this guide, stop by our Reader Forum. To see what this system can do when pushed to the limits, check out the insane reader build in The TBG Gallery using our recommended case along with high-end liquid cooling! To have a look back at previous versions of this build, check out The Archive.

The $1,300 High-End Home Theater PC - May 2017

    CPU:

    AMD Ryzen 7 1700

    For a high-end HTPC, you want extreme processing power, and there's no better chip on the market to give you that at a great price than AMD's amazing Ryzen 7 1700. With eight cores and sixteen threads pumping away at every task, there's no challenge to great for this efficient CPU. It can even be overclocked by about 20% if you really need to push the limits!

    The Guru's Tip:

    This CPU includes a great cooler right in the box, so there's no need to upgrade to an aftermarket model!

    Motherboard:

    MSI B350 Tomahawk AM4

    This board provides tons of functionality at a low price. It has six USB ports (including a Type-C connector), upgraded audio, a great assortment of expansion slots, and an M.2 SSD slot, which you'll be using for this build's solid-state drive.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that the DVI and HDMI outputs on this board will be non-functional when used with a Ryzen processor, so make sure to add the video card we recommend in this guide (and attach your monitor or TV to it, not the motherboard!).

    Video Card:

    EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB SC Gaming

    Due to its efficiency, the GTX 1060 6GB is the ideal high-performance home theater card. It has HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 capability for 4:4:4/60Hz/4K output, and will do a great job handling gaming at 1080p too!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Remember, AMD's Ryzen CPU does not have built-in graphics, so you really do need to add a separate video card to run this system!

    Memory:

    Corsair 2x8GB Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 White

    With AMD's AM4 platfrom, you have to pay close attention to the RAM you use to guarantee compatibility. That's why we recommend this Corsair kit, which appears on MSI's approved RAM list. Running at 3200MHz, it will give a huge boost to performance over standard 2133MHz RAM.

    The Guru's Tip:

    While we previously recommended 8GB of RAM for this build, due to price drops on other components, we're able to squeeze in 16GB and stick right at our budget.

    Solid-State Drive:

    Crucial MX300 525GB M.2

    This cost-effective 525GB SSD from Crucial is the best mid-range M.2 drive on the market. It's the perfect match for a compact, high-performance system.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Going with an M.2 drive means no cables are required to install your SSD. Just note that you'll need a jeweler's type screwdriver to secure it to the motherboard.

    Hard Drive:

    Western Digital Blue 2TB

    Need more space for media storage? No problem! Just add this affordable but high-capacity 2TB drive from Western Digital!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that we're going with a 3.5" desktop drive here due to its low cost, but for an even sleeker build, you could go with a laptop-style 2.5" drive like the Seagate 2TB model.

    Case (Optional):

    SilverStone GD09 ATX HTPC Case

    This case is truly one-of-a-kind. It's the smallest ATX model on the market, allowing you to use full-featured, full-sized motherboards, video cards, and power supplies, yet taking up less space than the average micro ATX case. Learn much more about this great case, including tips on how to build it up, in our hands-on review!

    The Guru's Tip:

    This case comes with a single quiet 120mm fan, although you always have the option to add two more if you so choose. We recommend the Arctic F12 PWM.

    Power Supply:

    EVGA Supernova 550 GS

    Measuring just 150mm deep, this compact power supply will easily fit in the case we recommend, while providing virtually silent operation thanks to its zero-RPM fan mode and ultra-high Gold-rated efficiency.

    The Guru's Tip:

    EVGA has the best reputation and customer service in the industry!

    Optical Drive:

    LG 14x Blu-Ray Burner

    If you'll want access to physical media, you can't go wrong adding this well-priced Blu-Ray burner from LG.

    The Guru's Tip:

    To watch Blu-Ray movies, you'll actually need to add software support. We recommend Cyberlink's PowerDVD 16 Ultra.

    Operating System:

    Microsoft Windows 10

    Win 10 is better than Windows 8.1 in every conceivable way. Thank goodness Microsoft listened to critics and came up with an OS that's actually easy to use!

    The Guru's Tip:

    This discounted version of Windows comes on DVD, which will work just fine with this system's included Blu-Ray reader.