Best $1000 high-end HTPC Build

CRITICAL COVID-19 NOTICE: There are a few PC component categories that have sold out over the past month, and for this build, you'll likely need to backorder the video card. The good news is that according to our proprietary shipment data, all in-stock products ordered by our readers are still shipping out daily, and if the product is in stock, you WILL get it within a few days!

If you want to build the best home theater PC (HTPC) for under $1,000, this is the system for you! The $1,000 High-End 4K Home Theater PC Build 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, which is great for keeping other members of your household happy. Behind that unimposing facade, however, lurks the power of a seriously tricked-out PC!

For July 2020, the $1,000 High-End 4K HTPC Build gets a complete overhaul, moving to the awesome new Intel Core i5-10400, a six-core, 12-thread CPU that offers fantastic processing power. We've had to move away from AMD due to a crippling motherboard shortage that makes it essentially impossible to build a mainstream PC today using AMD's CPUs. To keep things extremely quiet, we go with the aptly-named be quiet! Shadow Rock LP cooler. On graphics duty, we recommend the GeForce GTX 1650 Super 4GB video card, which improves upon the original GTX 1650 by nearly doubling memory bandwidth at the same pricepoint. It's a perfect pick for connecting the $1,000 High-End 4K HTPC Build to a 4K TV. It's also great for gaming at 1080p, or accelerating media encoding, should you be doing that on your HTPC. In terms of RAM, we recommend a full 16GB of DDR4-2666, which will provide plenty of breathing room for any high-end task, including video production.

On the storage side, the $1,000 High-End 4K HTPC Build goes with a 512GB PCIe-based solid-state drive, which offers amazing responsiveness for your operating system and applications. You can also add an optional hard drive for media storage, plus a Blu-Ray burner for optical media access. Need more space? No problem - you can always add up to three high capacity hard drives for media storage. The $1,000 High-End 4K HTPC Build is powered by a quiet and ultra-efficient power supply and runs in the stylish SilverStone GD09 case, the most compact ATX-class HTPC chassis on the market. Simply put, the $1,000 High-End 4K Home Theater PC Build is a dream HTPC at an affordable price! By the way, the $1,000 High-End 4K HTPC Build has plenty of expansion potential, so be sure to check out the optional components we recommend at the end of this guide!

To have a look back at previous versions of this build, check out The $1,000 High-End 4K HTPC Build Archive. And for extra help getting up to speed on what it's like working with AMD's Ryzen platform, definitely check out our hands-on Ryzen Assembly Guide.

The $1,000 High-End Home Theater PC - July 2020

  • CPU:

    Intel Core i5-10400 @Newegg

    For the $1,000 High-End HTPC, you want amazing processing power combined with amazing efficiency, and there's no better chip to give you that than Intel's Core i5-10400. Intel has coming roaring back in the mainstream segment with this six-core, 12-thread chip, which beats AMD's Ryzen 5 3600 offering in many disciplines, while not suffering from a massive motherboard shortage that has crippled AMD's sales!

    The Guru's Tip:

    This CPU includes a cooler, but we recommend you upgrade it, and our favorite option is listed later in this guide.

  • Motherboard:

    ASUS Prime H470-PLUS/CSM

    This feature-packed board gives you everything you need for a PC build at a great price. Dual M.2 slots for high-speed SSDs, eight USB ports (including Type-C), and six expansion slots.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Be very careful about substituting in other boards; you cannot use older Intel B360 or H370 boards, or competing AMD B450 and B550 boards.

  • Video Card:

    Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1650 Super Windforce OC 4G

    HTPC enthusiasts looking for the holy grail of 4K output, nearly-silent operation, and serious gaming performance need look no further than the new GTX 1650 Super. It will run cool and quiet in the $1,000 High-End HTPC, while easily driving any gaming title to a 1080p resolution at maximum settings, thanks to its "super-fied" memory subsystem, which offers nearly double the bandwidth of the original 1650 at the same pricepoint! And of course this card's HDMI 2.0b port will output 4:4:4/60Hz/4K video perfectly!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Take note: this is one of the very few 1650 Super models that will fit in the $1,000 High-End HTPC. Many are too tall! Like most components right now, all video cards are backordered due to coronavirus - don't get fooled into buying a GTX 1650 for the same price as the GTX 1650 Super - it's not the same thing! And don't worry too much if it's backordered (which almost all GPUs are currently - this Intel CPU has built-in graphics so you can get your build up and running before your GPU arrives!).

  • Memory:

    Patriot 2x8GB Viper Elite DDR4-2666 Grey

    This 16GB kit will allow the Ryzen processor your $1,000 High-End HTPC to achieve maximum performance, thanks to its high speed DDR4-2666 rating.

    The Guru's Tip:

    To get this to run at its rated speed, enable the XMP profile in the motherboard's UEFI interface. Note that DDR4-2666 is the fastest speed that the Core i5 CPU supports.

  • Solid-State Drive:

    XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe

    The SSD market has seen a lot of new entries lately, and the most notable is the SX8200 Pro, by far the best drive at its pricepoint. It features TLC NAND and the ultra-fast PCIe interface, allowing it to blow past more expensive SATA drives! We go with a 512GB model here, which is plenty for the OS and all the apps you're likely to load onto an HTPC.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Just note that you'll need a jeweler's type screwdriver to secure this drive to the motherboard.

  • Case:

    SilverStone GD09 ATX Case

    This case is the perfect choice for $1,000 High-End HTPC. At just under 27 liters, it's the smallest ATX-class HTPC case on the market, and allows you to use powerful video cards or other expansion cards, plus up to two 3.5" hard drives and an optical drive. For cooling, it includes one pre-installed 120mm low-noise fan, with room for two more.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Learn more about this study in compact design in our full review.

  • Power Supply:

    SilverStone ET650-HG

    This compact PSU will easily fit in the $1,000 High-End HTPC, while providing virtually silent operation thanks to its Gold-rated efficiency, and its semi-modular cables will keep things neat.

    The Guru's Tip:

    While you don't need 650W for this build, it's impossible to find quality PSUs below that wattage level in today's market. Everything is sold out, and this is one of the rare units that can actually be backordered!

  • CPU Cooler:

    be quiet! Shadow Rock LP

    Enjoy complete silence from your HTPC by equipping it with this excellent low-profile cooler from be quiet! 

    The Guru's Tip:

    Learn more about this cooler in our low-profile CPU Cooler Shootout!

  • Operating System:

    Microsoft Windows 10 Flash Drive

    Win 10 is a great OS that keeps getting better, as Microsoft releases a major update every Fall and Spring to add features and security. We highly recommend it for the $1,000 High-End HTPC, although we know that daring users will explore the Linux-based options.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This USB 3.0 version of W10 will install in under 5 minutes!

Optional Components

  • Hard Drive:

    Western Digital Blue 2TB

    If you need to bulk media storage for your $1,000 High-End HTPC, we recommend you start off with WD's Blue 2TB drive. Quiet, affordable, and very reliable, it's the perfect hard drive for a home theater build.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Need more space? Just jump up to WD's 4TB drive, which offers even better value! This system can actually hold three 3.5" hard drives, meaning your total storage capacity is nearly limitless, with NAS-focused models now available in sizes up to 14TB!

  • The 802.11ax/Bluetooth PCIe Adapter:

    TP-Link Archer TX3000E WiFi 6 / Bluetooth 5 PCIe Adapter

    Add high-speed 802.11ax (WiFi 6) wireless networking to your build with this great PCIe card from TP-Link!

    The Guru's Tip:

    This card even has built-in Bluetooth 5.0!

  • Optical Drive:

    LG 14x Blu-Ray Burner

    If you want access to both DVD and Blu-Ray physical media in your $1,000 High-End HTPC, 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 dedicated playback software. We recommend Cyberlink's PowerDVD 19 Ultra.

  • The Home Theater Keyboard/Trackpad Combo:

    Logitech K830 Illuminated Wireless Keyboard

    If you'll be using your $1,000 High-End HTPC from the couch, you definitely need to invest in a wireless input device, and there's no better option than Logitech's K830 keyboard with integrated trackpad! Featuring professional styling and functional backlighting, it looks as great as it works.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Logitech has proven time and time again that it makes the best wireless peripherals on the market, bar none!

  • Sound Card:

    Creative Sound Blaster AE-7

    If you're serious about audio production and playback, you'll want add a dedicated sound card to your $1,000 High-End HTPC. The AE-7 from Sound Blaster features an astounding 127db signal-to-noise ratio, an ESS SABRE-class 9018 DAC,along with an Audio Control Module (ACM) that incorporates a built-in microphone array and mic/headphone I/O connections, plus a control know to adjust the headphone levels.

    The Guru's Tip:

    You also get a digital audio output on this card.

  • Video Capture Card:

    Elgato 4K60 Pro MK.2-4K60 HDR10 PCIe Capture Card

    As the uses of Home Theater PCs evolve, so do the components that go in them. While we used to recommend TV tuner cards and DVR cards, we think these products are now almost entirely obsolete. Rather than ripping content, most high-end PC users are now creating their own! And there's no better add-in card than the Elgato 4K60 Pro to record 4K video directly to your PC, whether from a game console, a 4K video camera, or the PC itself!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that you'll need to use the motherboard's PCIe x4 slot for this card, rather than a PCIe x1 slot.