The Best $1,000 High-End Home Theater PC Build – June 2021

By Ari Altman | Published June 10, 2021 | Updated June 20, 2021

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 components, which is great for keeping other members of your household happy. Behind that unimposing façade, however, lies the power of a seriously tricked-out PC!

For June 2021, the $1,000 High-End 4K HTPC Build features the awesome Intel Core i5-11400, a six-core, 12-thread CPU that offers fantastic processing power for the price, and more importantly, great onboard graphics, 50% faster than previous-gen Intel graphics. The best part: HDMI 2.0 is now enabled via the 500-series motherboard we recommend, which is a huge benefit to HTPC users, as it allows full 4K/60Hz output to a TV. To keep the Core i5 processor cool and quiet, we recommend an excellent upgraded low-profile CPU cooler. In terms of RAM, we recommend a full 16GB, 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 1TB PCIe-based solid-state drive, which offers amazing responsiveness for your operating system and applications. Need more space? No problem – you can always add up to three high capacity hard drives for media storage. You can also add an optional Blu-Ray burner for optical media access. 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, which we reviewed right here. Also included in the price is next-gen 802.11ax wireless networking, built into the motherboard. 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!

Throughout this guide, we list product links to Amazon, Newegg, or B&H for our US readers, and our Amazon links will auto-convert for readers in Canada, the UK, and parts of the EU. As always, we’d appreciate if you’d use our product links, which helps support continued development of this and all of our buyer’s guides.

Required Components

  • CPU

    Intel Core i5-11400

    $210
    There’s plenty of competition in the mid-range CPU market, which is a great thing for you, the consumer! And Intel’s new Core i5-11400 6-core, 12-thread CPU is the sweetspot, offering awesome multi-threaded capability plus plenty of single-threaded speed to power you through any game thanks to its modern Rocket Lake architecture. It also has built-in Intel UHD 750 graphics, which is priceless these days. Note that even CPUs are selling very fast these days, so we change vendors often to ensure you the best price and availability.
    The Guru’s Tip

    This CPU includes a cooler, but for this build we recommend an upgraded model.

  • Motherboard

    Asus ROG Strix B560-A Gaming WIFI

    $180

    This feature-packed board gives you everything you need for a PC build at a great price. Dual M.2 slots for a high-speed SSDs, eight USB ports (including a Type-C port), five expansion slots, and built-in 802.11ax (WiFi 6) wireless networking plus Bluetooth 5.2. And a great new feature of B560 boards compared to previous-gen boards is that they allow the use of fast RAM, which is what we spec in this system.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This board has both HDMI 2.0 and Displayport 1.4, meaning you can easily run any monitor or TV using the CPU we recommend without a video card in your system!

  • Memory

    Crucial 2x8GB Ballistix DDR4-3200 Black

    $88
    Thanks to great price on mainstream RAM, we can now squeeze a whole lot of performance and capacity into your system by going with a 16GB DDR4-3200 kit. It will help you make the most of your snazzy new system, which fully supports this ultra-high RAM speed!
    The Guru’s Tip

    A new feature enabled on B560 and H570 motherboards is official support for DDR4-3200 on Core i5 processors. Previously you would have been limited to DDR4-2666!

  • Solid-State Drive

    XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB NVMe

    $110
    Harnessing the power of cutting-edge TLC V-NAND, the NVMe protocol, and the PCIe interface, this SSD is by far the fastest drive at its pricepoint. It can hit sequential speeds of up to 3500MB/s! Note that you’ll need a jeweler’s-type screwdriver to affix it.
    The Guru’s Tip

    We go with a 1TB model here, which is plenty for the OS and all the apps you're likely to load onto an HTPC. If you have serious media storage needs, pick up the hard drive we list in the optional products section below.

  • Case

    SilverStone GD09B-C ATX Case

    $115
    This case is the perfect choice for a 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. One more note: this is the newest version, which includes both a USB Type-A port and a USB Type-C port on the front panel.
    The Guru’s Tip

    At 17.32" wide, this case is designed to blend in perfectly with an AV system.

  • Power Supply

    SilverStone PS-ST55F-PT

    $110
    This compact PSU will easily fit in the $1,000 High-End HTPC, while providing virtually silent operation thanks to its Platinum-rated efficiency and zero-fan mode, while its fully-modular cables will keep things neat.
    The Guru’s Tip

    While you don't need 550W for this build, that's really the starting point for a quality PSU, and this one offers all the full range of premium features that you can actually take advantage of in an HTPC!

  • CPU Cooler

    Scythe Big Shuriken 3

    $45
    The excellent low-profile cooler will fit easily in this system while providing a huge upgrade in terms of noise and temperatures versus most other low-profile coolers. It’s also one of the very few high-performance low-profile coolers that does not obstruct the RAM slots.
    The Guru’s Tip

    While the CPU in this build comes with a cooler, this model is a huge upgrade, and we highly recommend it, particularly if you care at all about noise.

  • Operating System

    Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive

    $130
    Windows 10 was a big step up from Windows 8.1, and Microsoft continues to support Windows 10 users not only with regular security updates, but with major content releases every six months. And the USB version installs in under 5 minutes, meaning you can get right into using your system!
    The Guru’s Tip

    This USB 3.0 version of W10 will install in under 5 minutes! Just note that it sells out regularly, but you can always go for the downloadable version if you have a free 8GB+ USB drive available.

Optional Products

  • Hard Drive

    WD Blue 4TB

    $86

    Need a lot of storage at a great price? Then head straight for WD’s Blue series of hard drives. WD Blue drives run cool, quiet, and consume very little energy, making them great for long-term storage of media and other files.

    The Guru’s Tip

    There's been a bit of a run on hard drives worldwide due to "Chia" cryptocurrency mining, so don't be surprised if this drive is suddenly sold out!

  • Optical Drive

    LG 14x Blu-Ray Burner

    $60
    If you want access to both DVD and Blu-Ray physical media in your system, you can’t go wrong adding this well-priced Blu-Ray burner from LG. To watch Blu-Ray movies, you’ll actually need dedicated playback software. We recommend Cyberlink’s PowerDVD 20 Ultra.
    The Guru’s Tip

    The cable required to connect this to drive are included with the motherboard.

  • Video Capture Card

    Elgato 4K60 Pro MK.2-4K60 HDR10

    $249
    As the uses of 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 lower PCIe x8 slot for this card, rather than one of the short PCIe x1 slots.

  • Sound Card

    Creative Sound Blaster AE-7

    $210
    If you’re serious about audio production and playback, you’ll want add a dedicated sound card to your system. 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 knob to adjust the headphone levels.
    The Guru’s Tip

    You also get a digital audio output on this card, perfect for outputting to an AV receiver.

  • The Deluxe Home Theater Keyboard

    Logitech K600 TV Keyboard

    $56
    Want a great HTPC keyboard to go with your new PC? Then go for Logitech’s K600. It has two modes of navigation (touchpad and joystick), and uses Logitech’s proven wireless connection system. It’s even compatible with most Smart TVs, allowing you to search for content with an actual keyboard rather than just a remote!
    The Guru’s Tip

    This combo device will be a lifesaver if you're using your system from the couch!