5 Best Gaming Laptop Under $900 (2021) – RTX GPUs & 120/144Hz Displays

This is a very exciting post to write because a budget around 900$ opens up a whole lot of power and visual specs for gamers. 

What you should be getting from the best gaming laptop under 900$ is a high end GPU like the 1660Ti or even a 2060RTX (if you are lucky).

Both the 1660Ti and the 2060RTX are the two most popular GPUs even in 2020 because they’ve got the best performance/money ratio.

That means….

They’ve got enough power to blaze thorugh ANY AAA game from the minecraft to the Witches 3 and Call of Duty at High or even Epic settings at a relatively low price (2070RTX/1070RTX start from1300$ and they will only marginally increase framerates) without you having to pay an eyeball.

There’s one more thing….

A budget around 900$ doesn’t mean you’ll only be cable of hitting at high framerates at beast settings but also it should let you actually see those framerates through a 120/144Hz monitor.

You can EASILY find a 120Hz display under 900$ and sometimes even a 144Hz display with this budget.

Recommended Specs For Gaming Laptops Under 900

Anyways let’s get down to what you CAN find under 900 and what you SHOULD/SHOULD NOT be getting with a budget under 900$.

GPU

1050Ti: You’ll find a few of these under 900$ but you shouldn’t pay anymore than 650$ for one. That’s because…
1650: A laptop with a 1650(which is faster) costs anything from 680-720$. You may find these above 800 but it’s not worth paying for one unless they’ve got a 120hz/144hz display too.
1660Ti: Because this baby can be found well under 900. Anywhere from 850-900$. Like I mentioned before the best GPU you can get in this price range and probably enough for virtually all gamers.
2060RTX: Despite being a generation newer, this is only slightly faster than the 1660Ti. If you find it under 900$ , you should grab it obviously but it is very unlikely.

Other GPUs found below 900$ you should stay away from: 940MX, MX150, MX230, MX250, MX350, 1050 (2GB), 1050(3GB),1050(4GB)  AMD Radeon 540.

CPU

If you want to get higher framerates,as a gamer, I’d advice you NOT to go for a GPU more powerful than 1660Ti/2060RTX and instead focus on CPU. Every bit of Hz is going to increase your framerates massively!

Intel: Core i5 8300, Core i9300H, Core i5 10300, Core i7-10750H.
AMD: AMD Ryzen 5 3550H, AMD Ryzen 5 4600H  AMD Ryzen 7 3750H

Ideally you’d want any of the purple ones. They’re found on 800-900$ and if you’ve got a 1660Ti/2060RTX with it, you’ll easily get  +150-200 fps on high to epic settings on most games (see table below).

RAM

8GB: 8GB RAM was yesterday’s standard for gaming. Unfortunately, it’s still pretty common to find in this price range.
16GB: 16GB will allow you to play virtually any game out there and any future release too. It will also provide headroom for other stuff in the background. Pretty hard to find a laptop with 16GB on board so you will have to do the upgrade.

Dual-Channeled:  It’s important that when you add another RAM stick, you have to make it dual-channeled. This means both sticks have to be of the same size/model. This will give your CPU a boost in processing speed.

Storage
Storage type Will Matter for heavy sized games like CoD and open world games like the Witches or Assasin’s Creed.

Luckily all laptops now have the fastest type , PCIe NVMe SSD. Just be sure to get 512GB or do the upgrade yourself.

Display

IPS FHD: Virtuall all modern laptops under 900$ have a FHD but only a few have an IPS. TN displays are actually better for competitive gaming though.
120-144Hz: 120Hz/144Hz are pretty common in this bracket. Unfortunately, most of the time, you’ll have to give up GPU power to get a 120Hz/144Hz. Though not always.

Top 5 Best Gaming Laptops Under 900$

Look there are about a hundred models made in 2020. Not all of them are great deals though, some of them actually have a value of 700$ and they’re selling for 850$. So we took those out and we also took anything without a 1660Ti/1650/2060RTX out of the list. 

Once we’ve done that we took out those that looked more expensive and those who had an older processor/not enough SSD goodness. The final list has like 10 laptops but these five are the five best deals out of those. If you want to see the full list, it’s right at the end.

Let’s start with the best deal under 900$ right now.


1. Gateway Creator 

Best 2060RTX Gaming Laptop Under 900

  Intel Core i5 10300H 4.5GHz

  8GB DDR4

   Full RTX 2060 6GB vRAM 

  256GB PCIe NVMe SSD

  15.6” 120Hz Full HD IPS

  7.25lb

  5 hours

The “under 900$” budget is very tricky. 

If you browse around you’ll find laptops with all the awesome specs we went over:

  • High Refresh Rates: 120-144Hz
  • High end GPU: 1660Ti
  • High end CPU: Ryzen 7/Core i5 10th/Core i7 10th
  • RAM: 16GB
  • SSD: 512GB NVMe

However… it’s extremely difficult to find ALL of them packed into one little machine.

The gateway creator is as of 2021, the only laptop with all these specs UNDER $900.

The only reason for that is the fact that it’s been manufactured by the biggest retailer company in the world (WALMART).

No matter how hard you look and how long you wait, you are not going to get a 2060RTX/120Hz/Core i5 10th laptop under 900$ from ANOTHER brand like ASUS/Acer/Dell or HP. It’d be nice because those have a great history of manufacturing gaming laptops.

So if you are really really desesperate to have it all I suggest you grab this model OR if it isn’t not available try other “non-popular gaming brands” like GigaByte, Aero, Clevo.

Here’s a list of other brands.


2. MSI GF65 Thin 9SD

The Best Gaming Laptop Under 900

  Core i5 9300H

  8GB DDR4

   1660Ti 6GB vRAM

  256GB PCIe NVMe SSD

  15.6” 120Hz Full HD IPS

  7.18

  7 hours

.You could say this model has the same specs as the laptop from wallmart. 

The Core i5 9300H isn’t that much slower than the Core i5-10300H and the 1660Ti, as you can see from this video, isn’t that more powerful than the 2060RTX unless you’re trying to add Ray Tracing features to the graphics.

 

I am aware those benchmarks are for desktops but the mobile GPUs are the same as the ones used on desktops. It’s just more accurate to compare them on a desktop because they’re more likely to share the same resources: GPU,RAM,Storage.

You can find similar benchmarks on laptops though and you will notice the difference in framerates isn’t that huge (15FPS at the most, 10 on avg).

Storage & RAM: 

One thing you must do on both laptops, is, upgrade the storage and RAM. They’re both capped at 8GB/256GB and that’s how the manufacturer was able to afford a 120hz display on it which is far more important and nearly impossible to replace on a laptop on your own.

 


3. ASUS TUF Gaming FX505

Best Budget Gaming Laptop Under 900

  Ryzen 7 3750H

  8GB DDR4

   GeForce GTX 1650

  256GB PCIe SSD + 1TB HDD

  15.6” 60Hz Full HD IPS

  7.78lb

  7 hours

If you’re a big fan of ASUS like I am, then you should probably consider this model over the other two models.

ASUS/MSI are the both leading brands of gaming laptops. With some critics stating that ASUS has the best cooling systems/overall design for laptop endurance. Although I personally believe both ASUS and MSI are equally good in this department.

Anyways, this model has the exact same specs as the MSI laptop EXCEPT…

Ryzen 7 3550H: This is not the latest Ryzen 7 processor BUT it’s only slightly weaker than the Core i5 9300H, maybe by 1-4% so you will lose a few more framerates. 

512GB: However this model has x2 storage space so you probably won’t to upgrade it to install more AAA games. You MAY need to upgrade the RAM on BOTH if you are playing very hardware demanding games like CoD otherwise you should be fine.

 


4. Acer Nitro 5 

 Best Gaming Laptop Under 900 w/ 144Hz

  Core i5 10300H

  8GB DDR4

   GeForce GTX 1650 4GB vRAM

  256GB PCIe SSD

  15.6” 144Hz Full HD IPS

  7.33lb

  5 hours

This Acer Nitro has the highest refresh rates (144Hz), one of the best processors in this bracket (10th Core i5) , it’s cheaper too.

But…

It doesn’t have a 1660Ti/2060RTX which is what you need to be able to play every game out there at high/epic settings.

The 1650 however is a mid-range GPU and if you are more into less graphically demanding games, basically, any game that’s no the first video posted here, you should be able to hit epic settings ang go past +100FPS.

I’m talking about games like MOBAS/WoW/OW/MineCraft and the likes.

Here’s a table of what you can do with  this CPU/GPU set up:

 


5. MSI GF75 Thin Gaming Laptop

Best Gaming Laptop Under 900 – 17” Display w/ 120Hz 


  Core i5 10300H

  8GB DDR4

   GeForce GTX 1650

  512GB PCIe SSD

  17 ” 120Hz Full HD IPS

  4.85lb

  3 hours

This last model is just like the Acer Nitro.

It’s got the same price, same CPU/GPU but it’s got a slightly lower refresh rates : 120Hz.

However, it comes with a very spacious SSD so there won’t be any need for upgrades in that department.

AND…

It’s got a 17” display.

So if screen space is important to you like let’s say your gaming would benefit a lot if you need to see a bigger portion of the map (MOBA games come to my mind), then it’s probably a good idea to invest on an awesome display rather than on GPU/CPU power you’d never put to full use.


How to Find The Best Gaming Laptop Under 900

Like we mentioned before, it’s always best to just make a list of all laptops being sold online but that can be quite time consuming.

And even if you do that, it’s always a good idea to double check.

In this section we’ll show you how to estimate the price of a laptop. This will not be super accurate but if you use across several laptops, you can a good estimate which one is a great deal and which one is not.

Wait,  how do I get the prices of laptop parts?

Like in every best gaming laptop under XXX post, we are using the desktop prices for GPU/CPU when we can.

Using Storage/RAM prices as listed on amazon (on board and external types have two different prices and we’ll take that into account).

As for display and the rest of the chasis/parts like the cords, we will use AliExpress/Ebay to get a good estimate.  Note that we’ve also consulted our IT guy to double check that these prices make sense.

GPU

Starting with the GPU.

This is easy when you get to this budget because it’s pretty much the same GPU they use for desktops.

So you can go to the Intel’s or AMD’s website to get the prices. If that does not work a quick google search will give you the retail price.

GPU Cost($)
1650 ~240
1660Ti 335$
2060RTX 400$


CPU

Not all the prices of the CPUs found in this bracket are found online. 

That’s because a lot of them are only available on laptops.

One way to get them is by directly contacting AMD/Intel for a quote on their CPUs as if you want to build your own.

Name Price
Ryzen 5 3550H 200$
Ryzen 5 4600H  250$
Core i5 9300H 250$
Core i5 8300H 230$
Core i5-10300H 250$
Ryzen 7 3750H  230$
Ryzen 7 4800HS  300$

We only had to do that for those in blue. Those in green you can just get them by doing a quick google search or using Intel/AMDs official site.

RAM

RAM is kind of tricky. For one, the prices depend a lot on brand. Two, the price will depend on if it’s an external RAM or an “on Board” RAM stick.

Again if you are consistent with these prices you should be fine. These are the prices of the most widely used sticks on gaming laptops.

Name Price
16GB 60$
8GB 30-35$
4GB 20$

Do not try to separate onBoard RAM and external RAM, we already did that here. For example, 8GB is onBoard and 16GB is not all on Board (8GB onBoard + 8GB external).

Storage

LikeWise storage prices can be really hard to estimate because there’s external storage and on Board Storage.

A good rule of thumb is that any laptop with 512GB PCIe NVMe or 256GB PCIe NVMe has it all onBoard unless it’s explicitly mentioned by the manufacturer it is not (it will most likely be because making not onboard and splitting just makes it more expensive to manufacture.

Name Cost
128 GB NVMe ~30$
256GB NVMe ~40$
512GB NVMe ~64$
256GB SATA III ~50$
1TB HDD ~50$

There are cases when you get something like a 256GB/512GB NVMe + 1TB HDD or a 512GB PCIe NVMe + 512GB/25GB SATA III SSD.

Use these:

Name Additional(Total)
256 GB NVMe+256GB SSD SATA III ~$30(70)
512GB NVMe + 256GB SSD SATA III ~$50(114$)
512GB NVMe + 1TB HDD ~$40(104$)
256GB NVMe + 1TB HDD ~40$(80$)

Display

There is far more than 20 different displays on laptops but for gamers we only have to focus on 10 or so and out of those 10 you will only find these on gaming laptops under 1000$.

Display Specs Price
60Hz IPS TN 40$
60Hz IPS FHD 50$
120 Hz IPS FHD 100$
144 Hz IPS FHD 15” 150$

The first two are super common and you find those on a laptop it better be cheap or it better have other pros on it like a good CPU/GPU combo or far more storage.  

The 120Hz is very common in this 900$ bracket and the last one (144Hz) super extremely rare unless you are giving up some GPU/CPU power. Why? You guessed , it’s expensive.

The safest way to get the current prices of laptop displays is using Ali express or just emailing a manufacturer for a quote.

Other Small Parts

This refers to battery, power cord, motherboard and everything else we didn’t go over.

I don’t advice you to get too scientific with all other parts. It’s just time consuming and not productive at all. It’s best to estimate all of these together and take the total average price.

Prices here will vary from 100$ to 150$. 

Always use 150$ on this bracket.

EXAMPLE: GATEWAY CREATOR

Core i5 10300H ~ 250$
2060RTX~ 400$
8GB RAM ~ 30$
256GB SSD PCIe NVMe~ 40$
Display ~ 100$
Other small parts~ 150$

Total: 970$

Laptops sells for 900$.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.