The Best $1,000 High-End Home Theater PC Build – June 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.
Intel Core i5-11400$210There’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.
This CPU includes a cooler, but for this build we recommend an upgraded model.
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!
Crucial 2x8GB Ballistix DDR4-3200 Black$88Thanks 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!
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$110Harnessing 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.
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.
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.
At 17.32" wide, this case is designed to blend in perfectly with an AV system.
Power Supply –
SilverStone PS-ST55F-PT$110This 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.
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.
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$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!
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.
Hard Drive –
WD Blue 4TB$86 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 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 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 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 The Guru’s Tip
This combo device will be a lifesaver if you're using your system from the couch!
Total Cost: $988
- CPU – Intel Core i5-11400 ($210)
- Motherboard – Asus ROG Strix B560-A Gaming WIFI ($180)
- Memory – Crucial 2x8GB Ballistix DDR4-3200 Black ($88)
- Solid-State Drive – XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB NVMe ($110)
- Case – SilverStone GD09B-C ATX Case ($115)
- Power Supply – SilverStone PS-ST55F-PT ($110)
- CPU Cooler – Scythe Big Shuriken 3 ($45)
- Operating System – Windows 10 Home USB Flash Drive ($130)