The Best $1,000 High-End Home Theater PC Build – November 2021
A True Home Theater Powerhouse!
If you want to build the best home theater PC (HTPC) for $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!
This Month’s Build, Featuring AMD’s Zen 3 and Vega!
For November 2021, the $1,000 High-End 4K HTPC Build features the awesome new AMD Ryzen 7 5700G, an eight-core, 16-thread CPU that offers fantastic processing power, thanks to the Zen 3 architecture, and more importantly, Vega onboard graphics, which is twice as fast as Intel graphics, and means you can avoid the mad rush for add-in video cards. The best part: HDMI 2.1 is provided on the motherboard we recommend, which is a huge benefit to HTPC users, as it allows beyond full 4K/60Hz output to a TV. To keep the Ryzen 5 processor cool and quiet, we recommend an excellent low-profile CPU cooler from Scythe, and for power, we go with an ultra-quiet 550W Gold-rated power supply.
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. 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. In terms of RAM, we recommend a full 16GB of DDR4-3600, which will provide plenty of breathing room for any high-end task, including video production. 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, as well as our favorite accessories! 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.
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G w/ Vega Graphics$325
AMD’s Ryzen 7 5700G combines the best of all worlds, with its speedy 8-core/16-thread CPU powered by AMD’s Zen 3 architecture, along with the incredibly-fast integrated graphics powered by AMD’s Vega design. It’s the ultimate one-stop-shop if you want extreme CPU performance and don’t want or need a separate video card!The Guru’s Tip
This CPU includes a cooler, but for lower noise levels, we suggest you pick up the one we recommend later in this guide.
MSI B550 Gaming Edge WiFi$185This feature-packed board gives you everything you need for a PC build at a great price. Dual M.2 PCIe slots for high-speed SSDs (the top slot being Gen 4), six USB ports (including a Type-C port), and built-in WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5. It also has the ample power delivery system required to support any Zen 3 processor.
This board has both HDMI 2.1 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!
Crucial 2x8GB Ballistix DDR4-3600 C16 Black$85To get the most out of your PC Build, you want 16GB of RAM, and this kit comes in at a great price. But more importantly, with a combination of serious speed (3600MHz) and serious timings (16-18-18), this isn’t just a slow 3200 kit rebranded to sell at a higher price, it’s the real deal!
The high speed of this RAM will help not only the CPU, but the built-in graphics too, as it borrows system RAM for its image processing. Just make sure to enable the faster speed in the motherboard's UEFI to take advantage of it!
Solid-State Drive –
XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB$55There’s lots of competition in the SSD market, and right now, you simply can’t do better than this awesome deal from XPG on its SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe drive, which uses the speedy PCIe 3.0 interface and TLC NAND to vastly outperform not just hard drives, but SATA-based SSDs as well! To install this drive, affix it in the motherboard’s M.2 slot using a jeweler’s-type screwdriver.
500GB-class SSDs are large enough to hold the OS and apps in a system that will mostly stream content. For serious media collectors, we recommend a hard drive, which you can see in the optional parts section.
SilverStone GD09B-C ATX Case$115This 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, and we’ve made sure to select a motherboard that has the necessary Type-C header.
At 17.32" wide, this case is designed to blend in perfectly with an AV system.
Power Supply –
EVGA SuperNOVA 550 G3$60
EVGA’s SuperNOVA series offers exceptional performance at a great price, and has set the standard for high-end PSUs for years. The 550 G3 is a perfect example of that, offering up 550W of Gold-rated power, fully-modular cables, and a hybrid fan design that shuts off at low loads for silent operation. It’s also backed by an exceptional 7-year warranty.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$45The 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 CPU in this system includes a cooler, but HTPC users will appreciate the much lower noise levels of this upgraded model.
Operating System –
Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive$130Windows 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!
Windows 11 is coming in late-2021, and will be a free upgrade to all owners of W10!
Hard Drive –
WD Blue 4TB$70 The Guru’s Tip
While this drive spins at just 5400RPM, that's a benefit for HTPC use, because it's much quieter than a standard 7200RPM drive, and frankly, that extra "speed" doesn't do anything for reading media files.
Optical Drive –
LG 14x Blu-Ray Burner$60 The Guru’s Tip
The SATA cable required to connect this drive is included with the motherboard.
Video Capture Card –
Elgato 4K60 Pro MK.2-4K60 HDR10$227 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$225 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$58 The Guru’s Tip
This combo device will be a lifesaver if you're using your system from the couch!
Total Cost: $1000
- CPU – AMD Ryzen 7 5700G w/ Vega Graphics ($325)
- Motherboard – MSI B550 Gaming Edge WiFi ($185)
- Memory – Crucial 2x8GB Ballistix DDR4-3600 C16 Black ($85)
- Solid-State Drive – XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB ($55)
- Case – SilverStone GD09B-C ATX Case ($115)
- Power Supply – EVGA SuperNOVA 550 G3 ($60)
- CPU Cooler – Scythe Big Shuriken 3 ($45)
- Operating System – Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive ($130)