If you’ve been browsing for the best gaming laptops under 900, you’ve probably come across all sorts of different CPUs and GPUs.
That’s because manufacturers can fit better hardware in a laptop with a 900 dollar budget : Ryzen 7s, Core i7s, 1660Ti, 2060RTX & 3050Ti (this is the cheapest).
That’s tons of new good stuff on top of the usual Ryzen 5 or Core i5 & 1650GTX for around 700.
That’s why if your budget is anywhere near $900…
You should be getting AT LEAST a 3050Ti and a nice 120Hz or 144Hz display. No exceptions!
Now you also have the option of choosing the good ol’ 1660Ti or slightly updated version: 2060RTX.
Any of these GPUs can output +80 fps at ultra/epic settings in nearly every AAA franchise.
Unfortunately, 3060RTX laptops are kind of rare under 900$ but more common under 1000$.
Recommended Specs For Gaming Laptops Under 900
Before we get down to the 5 best gaming laptops under 900, let’s be more specific about what you can FIND under 900$, what you should DEMAND under 900$ and what you must AVOID under 900$.
1050Ti: You’ll find a few of these under 900$ but pay no more than $650. That’s because…
1650: There are TONS of 1650GTX models anywhere from 650$ to 750$. That’s as high you should pay for a 1650GTX.
1660Ti: This laptop is old but by no means a bad choice. It’s just as fast or even slightly faster than the 3050Ti. It can still be found under 900$.
3050Ti: Literally the most common GPU found under 900. Slightly slightly slower (by 5 framerates) than the 1660Ti. You should still choose this one for reasons we’ll explain alter.
3060RTX: This is super rare under $900. As of 2022, we were not able to find one under 900$. It’s even difficult to find under 1000$.
2060RTX: This is as fast and powerful as the 3050Ti. Unlike, the 3050Ti, however, this is a true RTX GPU which supports “Ray Tracing”.
New! AMD Radeon RX 5500M: Found on some 2022 laptops. Power between the 1660Ti Max-Q and the full blown 1660Ti.
GPUs under 900$ to stay away from: 940MX, MX150, MX230, MX250, MX350, 1050 (2GB), 1050(3GB),1050(4GB) AMD Radeon 540.
The GPU unlocks higher graphics but the CPU is still responsible for these refreshing graphics: process framerates.
GPU can be paired up with different CPUs, naturally framerates will be higher withsome.
So you want the best CPU that GPU can support and you can find and afford:
Core i7 11800H>AMD Ryzen 7 5800HS>AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS> Core i7 11370H>AMD Ryzen 5 5600H> Core i5 11300H > AMD Ryzen 5 4600 = Core i5 10300
Those are approximations. CPU performance will depend on other factors like cooling, tempeartures, power supply,etc.
Only consider “H” High performance CPUs from the 4th, 5th gen (AMD) or 10th, 11th (Intel).
16GB: 16GB is standard for gaming. Very few games this require much , (8GB is enough) but 16GB will provide some headroom for other stuff running in the background. 16GB is common under 900$ but if yours doesn’t have 16GB, no worries the upgrade is only 20 bucks.
Dual-Channeled: Make both sticks have to be of the same size and type (x2 8GB). This will give your CPU a boost in processing speeds thus more framerates.
SSD type: Doesn’t matter which SSD you get, as long as it’s an SSD, you’ll get the same benefits for gaming. Mostly on launching the game/loading bars. Not framerates.
256 vs 512GB: Size is really going to be the limiting factor. 256GB is only enough for 3-4 games (Ex: WoW-70GB, CoD-150GB). 512GB on the other hand is enough for at least 8 games. 50% of laptops under 900 will have 512GB!
IPS FHD: Virtuall all laptops above 600$ will have IPS FHD panels. There are no QHD/LED displays under 900 so stop looking for one.
120-144Hz: You MUST demand at least a 120Hz if you’re paying anything more than 750$.
There are about hundreds of gaming laptops under 900$. Most will have hardware worth 750$ and still sell close to 900$(More info on the last section). So you have to be extremely cautious and follow my guideline above.
We’ve gone through almsot every laptop listed online and after that we took out those that were unncessarily expensive or did not meet the GPU/CPU requirements. The final list has about 20 laptops. These following five have the best bang for your their bucks.
If you want to see the full list, it’s right at the end.
Let’s start with the hottest laptop under 900$ (actually way under 900$ with hardware worth well nearly 900$).
1. Acer Nitro 5
Best Gaming Laptop Under 900 – 3050Ti 144Hz
Core i5 10300H
GeForce RTX 3050Ti
256GB PCIe SSD
15 ” 144Hz Full HD IPS
If your budget is just under 900$, you should be getting AT LEAST a 3050Ti.
The choice will really come down to what “CPU” you want your 3050Ti laptop to have.
As of March 2022, these are the most popular 3050Ti laptops available:
You can see now why we featured the Acer Nitro 5 as the first laptop in this list.
There’s no laptop with a better bang for the buck. 144Hz displays will usually bump the price to at least 900$ and 3050Ti GPUs will get the price up into the 850$ at the very list. So why is Acer selling it for 791? The CPU.
The CPU is not slow per se but it’s two generations behind (We are approaching the 12th) so it’s quite cheap to buy right now.
As you add more CPU power to a 3050Ti, you’ll get higher framerates (+10 fps everytime you go up one step in the CPU scale). The choice is up to you. For 780$, ANY gamer will tell you it’s a deal.
3050TI + Core i5 10300H: Gaming Performance
Most games can be played on Ultra with at least 80 fps. The most hardware demanding games like CoD will run at 90fps at High which is pretty good considering that Warzone can bring the high-end GPUs (3070/3080RTX) to their knees at Ultra.
Best Gaming Laptop Under 900 – 120Hz 3050Ti
3050Ti 4GB vRAM
512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
15” 120Hz Full HD
It would be nice if you could get a Ryzen 7 5800H or at least a Core i7 11370H (which is only quad core but has as much clock speed as a Ryzen 7). Unfortunately, those CPUs start showing up above 900$.
The best CPU upgrade you can have for your 3050Ti is the AMD Ryzen 5 5600H.
AMD Ryzen 5 5600H vs Core i5 10300H:
Clock speed efficiency is clearly better on the AMD Ryzen 5 5600H, you may get up +10 fps on high/ultra settings on some games. Now that may not be very schoking but consider the fact that AMD Ryzen 7 5800H will only raise framerates by ~20 and Core i7 11800H by ~25-30. It’s not easy to raise framerates once you are at ultra/high settings.
Extra Storage + 120 Hz display:
The Acer nitro does not come with 512GB, the Lenovo Ideapad does which kind of justifies the price as the upgrade from 256 to 512GB is about 40 bucks.
What it does not have though is the 144Hz display which is a bummer but the difference between 120 vs 144Hz is minuscule and you’re not like to get past 120fps or even 100 fps at high/ultra settings anyways. So 144hz kind of becomes useless unless you like to game at low/medium settings and even then the visual difference is not noticeable between 120 and 144hz.
I’d still recommend you get the Acer Nitro 5 over anything else. If it’s out of stock, which is very likely given all the hardware goodness for the price, this is your next best option
3. HP Victus 16
Best Gaming Laptop under 900 – 3050Ti + 16” Display
Core i5 11260H
3050Ti 4GB vRAM
512GB PCIe SSD
16” 60Hz Full HD
This is not an upgrade to the AMD Ryzen 5 5600H. The AMD Ryzen 5 5600H is still better than almost every Core i5 CPU released even those from the 11th generation.
The only Core i5 CPU that comes close would be the Core i5 11400H but that’s not available under 900$ yet and it won’t likely be so until the 12th generation CPU chips become widely available in the next few months.
Why is this laptop on the list then?
Simply because both 3050Ti laptops above are too great of a deal so it is very likely by the time you read this, they’re out of stock. A laptop with this hardware and this price is more realistic so if this model also runs out of stock you will always find a similar one under 900$.
Gaming Performance: Core i5 11260H
Price should be much lower than what it is now (899$).
A much better deal would be the HP Victus with the AMD RX 5500M GPU. This is not an NVIDIA GPU there are no RTX features but other than this has faster performance than a 1650GTX and very close to the full blown 1660Ti.
So you can expect framerates to get pretty close to the 3050Ti.
Unfortunately both of these models do not have a 120/144Hz display. They’re only 60Hz (despite descriptions not specifying anything), there are some models with a 144Hz display which you can find on the HP website or Best Buy. They might be slightly more expensive though.
60Hz displays do not necessarily limit the framerates your CPU/GPU can output, you will still see +80 +100 fps whatever your CPU/GPU can output on the frame counter and you will get the same benefits of low input delays. The game will not look as smooth though so it is up to you.
Best Gaming Laptop under 900 – 17” Display
Core i5 10300H
GeForce GTX 1650Ti
512GB PCIe SSD
17” 144Hz Full HD
This laptop does not have a 3050Ti nor will it get you higher framerates at higher settings.
You can get a sense of the performance of the Core i5 10300H + 1650GTX by checking out our videos on Youtube.
We carried those benchmarks using a Core i5 9300H + 1650GTX so you should get slightly better framerates. Even with the lower clock speed Core i5 9300H, you’ll get:
+80 fps at Ultra on Both World of Warcraft and F0rtn1t3. You can find benchmarks of specific games on the other videos on that channel and see that all games can be run at ultra with this set up.
Display: 17” and 144Hz
Unlike every 1650GTX laptop, this is one of the two or three models that have a 144Hz display and most importantly a 17” display.
If you’re not after playing the most graphical intensive games at ultra settings like CoD, The Witcher, Tomb Raider,etc, but more like Overwatch,CS:GO, WoW, Fortnite, then you don’t really need a 3050Ti.
If you plan on playing these games competitively, you’re better off setting graphics to High even if you have a 3050Ti, the 1650GTX as shown in the video can easily go past +100fps on High on FPS (First Person Shooting) games so the extra screen space and the 144hz will come in handy.
You want +140fps or so to play competitively on these kind of games as this is the sweet spot for input delays.
Best Gaming Laptop under 900 – 3060RTX
Core i5 10500H
3060 RTX 6GB vRAM
512GB PCIe SSD
15” 144Hz Full HD IPS
This is , for obvious reasons, the most powerful laptop on the list.
Despite the fact that the Core i5 10300H is weaker than the AMD Ryzen 5 5600H , you will get a massive improvement on framerates at ultra settings due to the 3060RTX being quite a lot faster and more powerful than 3050Ti,1660Ti,2060RTX and every other GPU outside of the big two: 3070 and 3080RTX.
Gaming Performance: 3060RTX + Core i5 10300H
Most “non-racing games” easily get close or go pasat 100fps on Epic/Ultra settings.
Another reasong to think about 3060RTX is how many hours you game per day. Running at ultra or high settings is far less stresful on a 3060RTX than a 1650GTx or a 3050Ti, so it should be able to witstand heavy loads for longer periods of time.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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).
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.
|128 GB NVMe||~30$|
|256GB SATA III||~50$|
There are cases when you get something like a 256GB/512GB NVMe + 1TB HDD or a 512GB PCIe NVMe + 512GB/25GB SATA III SSD.
|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$(80$)|
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$.
|60Hz IPS TN||40$|
|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$
8GB RAM ~ 30$
256GB SSD PCIe NVMe~ 40$
Display ~ 100$
Other small parts~ 150$
Laptops sells for 900$.