The Best $1,000 High-End Home Theater PC Build – February 2024

By Ari Altman | Published January 20, 2024 | Updated January 20, 2024

SilverStone GD09A 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, plus a lot of room for expansion. 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!

For February 2024, the $1,000 High-End 4K HTPC Build features Intel’s 14-core, 20-thread Core i5-13500, a multi-tasking powerhouse that also happens to be very efficient. Just as important is its onboard graphics chip, which means you can avoid paying top dollar for an add-in video card. 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. And while this system isn’t set up for gaming by default, we list an optional drop-in video card that will turn it into a serious gaming powerhouse!

On the storage side, the $1,000 High-End 4K HTPC Build goes with a 1TB PCIe Gen 4 solid-state drive, which will provide incredible responsiveness for your operating system and applications. Need more space? No problem – you can add two more M.2 solid-state drives and 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 memory, we recommend a full 32GB of ultra-fast DDR5-6400 RAM, which will provide plenty of breathing room for any high-end task, including video production.

The 4K HTPC Build is housed in the stylish SilverStone GD09 case, the most compact ATX-class HTPC chassis on the market, which we reviewed right here. For power, we go with an efficient Gold-rated 550W power supply, and cooling is supplied by a low-profile heatsink from Deepcool. Also included in the price is next-gen 802.11ax (WiFi 6E) 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!

Parting Thoughts

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 provide product links to Amazon, which 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 i5-13500

    $245
    The 13th-Gen “Raptor Lake” CPUs build upon the breakout success of the 12th-Gen models, Intel’s most impressive release in a decade. The Core i5-13500 is an absolutely productivity powerhouse, thanks to packing in 6 performance cores and an additional 8 efficiency cores, for 14 in total. It can easily beat any AMD CPU anywhere near its pricepoint in productivity and content creation.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This CPU includes a heatsink, but we recommend a much quieter model later in this guide.

  • Motherboard

    Gigabyte B760 AORUS Elite AX

    $175
    This B760 board from Gigabyte allows you to tap into the potential of Intel’s latest CPUs a great price. You get a potent a 12+1+1 power design, a Gen 4 PCIe video card slot and two additional expansion slots, three PCIe Gen 4 M.2 slots, 10 USB ports (including a Type-C), plus built-in WiFi 6E.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This board has both HDMI 2.1 and Displayport 1.4, meaning you can easily run any monitor or TV using the built-in graphics on the CPU we recommend without a video card in your system!

  • Memory

    G.Skill 2x16GB Ripjaws S5 DDR5-6400 CL32

    $110
    For the ultimate in speed, you must go with DDR5 RAM, but not just any DDR5 RAM, because you need high-frequency DDR5 to blow past DDR4 RAM performance. And that’s what you get with G.Skill’s Trident Z5 kit running at DDR5-6400 with timings of 32-39-39-102 at 1.40V. This is the real deal when it comes to DDR5 performance!

    The Guru’s Tip

    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

    TeamGroup MP44L 1TB PCIe 4.0

    $65
    The MP44L PCIe 4.0, which blows past previous PCIe Gen3-based drives by harnessing the power of the PCIe Gen4 interface, is an absolute bargain of a high-end drive. It can hit up to 5,000MB/s in sequential operations!

    The Guru’s Tip

    1TB of capacity will be enough for any apps you'd possibly want on an HTPC, but for serious media storage, add the hard drive in the optional component section later in this guide.

  • Case

    SilverStone GD09-C

    $114
    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. And this updated version of the GD09 includes a USB Type-C connector up front that interfaces with modern peripherals.

    The Guru’s Tip

    At 17.32" wide, this case is designed to stack neatly into an AV rack.

  • Power Supply

    SilverStone ET550-HG

    $84
    This unit offers Gold-rated efficiency (that’s 90% at 50% load) and plenty of power (550W) in a short chassis, which makes it very easy to install. The best part: with the wattage this system will pull, the power supply will never need to run its fan at high speed, meaning it will operate in silence!

    The Guru’s Tip

    While you don't need 550W for this build, this one offers excellent efficiency at a great price. Its compact size is also critical for fitting it in the case.

  • CPU Cooler

    DeepCool AN600

    $55
    The excellent low-profile cooler provides a huge upgrade versus most other low-profile coolers. The slim 15mm-thick fan uses fluid dynamic bearings, unusual in this class and a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to eliminating noise. It’s also one of the very few high-performance low-profile coolers that can be mounted so it does not obstruct the RAM slots, although it does offer 40mm of clearance, which is enough for standard low-profile RAM. The entire heatsink/fan assembly sits at 67mm tall.

    The Guru’s Tip

    While the CPU we recommend includes a cooler, this model will be far quieter, making it a better match for an HTPC.

  • Operating System

    Windows 11 Home (USB) @Newegg

    $139
    Windows 11 built on everything people loved about Windows 10, and then took it to 11! It adds significant under-the-hood changes to make it faster and more secure, and of course, the interface is sleek too! Note that we’re linking to Newegg, because Amazon long ago stopped selling this physical USB version of Windows, which is the most convenient one to use.

    The Guru’s Tip

    Windows 11 is what you want on your PC to maximize performance!

Optional Products

  • Hard Drive

    Seagate Barracuda 4TB

    $85
    Need a lot of storage at a great price? Then head straight for Seagate’s Barracuda series of hard drives. This drives runs at a cool and quiet 5400RPM, and thus consumes very little energy, making it a great option for long-term storage of media and other files.

    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 16x Blu-Ray Burner

    $70
    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 21 Ultra.

    The Guru’s Tip

    As a warning, we've seen this model sell out recently, and we wouldn't be surprised if LG discontinues Blu-Ray drive sales soon given the declining use of such drives.

  • Sound Card

    Creative Sound Blaster AE-7

    $198
    If you’re serious about audio, you’ll want to 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.

  • Video Card

    Zotac GeForce RTX 4060 8GB

    $310
    The RTX 4060 8GB is the ideal mainstream video card. It offers great performance for the price and an ultra-efficient design for quiet operation and very moderate power supply requirements.

    The Guru’s Tip

    Turn your HTPC into a gaming hot rod with this drop-in GPU, which is a perfect fit for the case!

  • The Home Theater Keyboard/Trackpad Combo

    Logitech K400

    $26
    Want to use your PC from the couch? Then pick up this wireless media keyboard with integrated trackpad, because mice are no fun to use on your lap!

    The Guru’s Tip

    The keyboard connects using a tiny USB receiver.

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