PC Builds

The Best Gaming PC Build Under $900 in 2021

7 Mins read

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With a budget of $900 you can build a decent gaming PC that will be suitable for playing older PC titles at 1080p resolution with stable framerate and medium quality graphics settings. With this kind of PC you should also be able to play the latest online first-person shooters, such as Fortnite or Call of Duty: Warzone with fairly good performance. However, this PC build will be most appealing to users who are trying to build a powerful and versatile home theatre PC.

Read also: The Best Budget Gaming PC Build Under $800

Our $900 PC build features the 10th Gen Intel Core i3-10100 CPU which, despite the fact that it comes with 4 cores, supports hyperthreading, and as such can deliver good performance for an affordable amount of money. Our PC also comes with 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and a feature-rich motherboard which allows you to later upgrade your CPU and GPU in case you’ll be wanting to improve its performance. Given how prices of GPUs are so high lately, for our $900 PC build we’ve decided to go with GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card. Although the GTX 1050 Ti is now 5 years old card, it is still capable of delivering decent gaming performance at 1080p resolution, which should satisfy your gaming needs for at least a year. Lastly, our $900 PC build also comes with a high-speed M.2 NVMe SSD housed inside Zalman’s S5 case which comes with programmable RGB LED lighting strip.

Components List

ComponentSelectionAvailability
ProcessorIntel Core i3-10100 4-Core, 3.6 GHz ProcessorCheck price
MotherboardMSI B460M-A PRO, Micro-ATXCheck price
MemoryTEAMGROUP Elite Plus 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-2666Check price
Graphics CardASUS Phoenix GeForce GTX 1050 TiCheck price
Solid State DriveCrucial P2 500GB M.2 NVMe SSDCheck price
Power SupplyEVGA 500 BR 80+ Bronze CertifiedCheck price
CaseZalman S5 White Mid Tower CaseCheck price

If you sum up the prices of all the components listed in our table, our PC build should cost you around $900. Since prices change every day, this amount may exceed the our designated budget at the time you are reading this, so don’t be surprised if numbers won’t be adding up the way we initially envisioned.

Expected Gaming Performance

i3-10100F + GTX 1050 Ti1080P @ High
Apex Legends49 FPS
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive250 FPS
Grand Theft Auto V75 FPS
Metro Exodus48 FPS
Rocket League150 FPS
Forza Horizon 461 FPS
Shadow of the Tomb Raider40 FPS

As you can see, our $900 gaming PC build is capable of delivering decent performance in older PC titles such as Grand Theft Auto V, CS:GO, and Rocket League. In newer titles like Apex Legends, and Metro Exodus, our PC configuration struggles to deliver 60 FPS on high settings due to the fact that it’s bottlenecked by the old GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. In more optimized titles, such as the Forza Horizon 4, you can still expect very good performance, but we recommend lowering graphics settings to medium or low if you want to have more than 60 FPS 100% of the time. Overall, if you aim to play competitive online games, such as DOTA 2, LOL, or Rainbow Six: Siege, then this PC build will suit you well. Otherwise, you should consider purchasing a more powerful PC.

PC BUILD DETAILS

Processor: Intel Core i3-10100

Cores/Threads: 4C/8T | Base Clock: 3.6 GHz | Boost Clock: 4.3 GHz | TDP: 65 W | PassMark Score: 8.833

Most PC enthusiasts will nowadays tell you that AMD’s CPUs feature a superior architecture, however, Intel CPUs have nothing to be ashamed either. The 10th Gen Intel Core i3-10100F is no exception in that regard, as this budget desktop processor is able to offer 4 cores, and 8 threads running at speeds of up to 4.3 GHz for less than $150. When it comes to gaming, this CPU performs outstandingly good, and as such is a perfect choice for gamers who want to get the best performance for as little money as possible. If you are not obsessed with performance benchmarks and tests, then you’ll love this CPU, as it’s only marginally slower than Core i5-11600K or Ryzen 5 3600 when it comes to video editing and productivity. Overall, this is a very good processor which won’t break your bank, nor will it bottleneck your graphics card.


Motherboard: MSI B460M-A PRO

Form Factor: Micro ATX | Socket: LGA1200 | Chipset: Intel B460 | Memory Support: 2 x DDR4-2933 | Features: 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16, 2 x PCIe 2.0 x1, 6 x SATA3, 1 x M.2

MSI B460M-A PRO is a decent micro-ATX motherboard that features Intel’s B460 chipset and support for latest 10th Gen Intel CPUs. The motherboard features two DDR4 memory slots that can address up to 64 GB of memory running at frequency of 2,933 MHz, and has one PCIe 3.0 x16 slot for GPU. Although pretty much barebone, this motherboard also comes with one M.2 SSD slot, and has 6 SATA3 connectors to which you can connect multiple 3.5″ or 2.5″ drives. Speaking of rear panel ports, the B460M-A PRO features four USB 3.2 Gen1 ports and two USB 2.0 ports. For connectivity there is one 1 GbE LAN Ethernet port, and for audio, there is a 7.1-channel Realtek on-board system.


Memory: TEAMGROUP Elite Plus 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 2666 MHz Kit

Speed: DDR4 2666 MHz | Timings: CL19-19-19 | Operating Voltage: 1.20V | Capacity: 2 x 8GB

TEAMGROUP has been known for producing good-quality RAM featuring SK Hynix’s memory modules. The Elite series sticks are primarily intended for mainstream gamers who are looking for affordable and low-powered memory modules. These DDR4-2666 modules feature CL19 CAS latency, and operate at voltage of 1,2V. They can also boast with attractive heatsink design, and long-term efficiency, which is a nice plus. Unfortunately, these sticks don’t come with Intel XMP-ready profiles, which means you’ll have to overclock them manually if you plan to do so.


Graphics Card: ASUS Phoenix GeForce GTX 1050 Ti

Boost Clock: 1392 MHz | Memory: 4GB GDDR5 | Length: 192 mm | Power Connectors: None | Outputs: 1 x DP, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DVI

In 2021, the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti does show its age. However, given how prices of all other GPUs are so high due to the ongoing cryptocurrency mining craze, the GTX 1050 Ti remains a solid option for achieving decent 1080p gaming experience. Featuring only 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM, as well as no support for ray-tracing, or NVIDIA DLSS technology, the GTX 1050 Ti is only suitable for playing older PC titles and competitive multiplayer games, such as CS:GO, League of Legends, and DOTA 2. In more demanding games, such as GTA V, or Forza Horizon 4, the old GTX 1050 Ti is still capable of delivering stable 60 FPS on medium to high settings, which is quite impressive.

Another big plus for this card is that it requires no additional power supply connectors, since it draws all of the necessary power directly from the motherboard. Provided that you are not planning to play any of the latest AAA titles on high settings, and just want something to play your favorite F2P games with your friends, the GTX 1050 Ti should keep you happy for at least a year.


Solid State Drive: Crucial P2 500GB M.2 NVMe SSD

Capacity: 500GB | Interface: M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 | Max. Read Speed: Up to 2400 MB/s | Max. Write Speed: Up to 1900 MB/s

Crucial P2 500 GB M.2 NVMe is an exceptionally good SSD that sticks in the crowd due to its very affordable price. Featuring declared reading speeds of up to 2400 MB/s, and writing speeds of up to 1900 MB/s, the Crucial P2 is amazingly fast solid state drive in its market segment. With a capacity of 500 GB, the Crucial P2 offers enough space to accommodate a Windows 10 operating system, as well as few games and applications that you use frequently. The Crucial P2 also comes with an SSD management software for performance optimization, and it features a 5-year limited warranty.


Power Supply: EVGA 500 BR 80+ Bronze Certified

Form Factor: ATX | Power: 500W | Efficiency rating: 80 PLUS Bronze Certified | Modularity: Non-modular

Since our PC build features highly energy-efficient components, and doesn’t support CPU overclocking, there in no need to spend large amounts of money on a high-power PSU. The EVGA 500 BR is capable enough to deliver all the necessary power to our PC build, as its 500 watt output is able to ensure stable system performance, even with potential upgrades that we’ve not yet included. Featuring 80 plus Bronze certification, this non-modular PSU features 85% efficiency under typical loads, and its multiple voltage and current spike protections guard your PC from potential electrocution. Overall, the EVGA 500 BR is a great high-quality power supply unit that will be more than enough for most mainstream users.


Case: Zalman S5 White

Form Factor: Mid Tower | Motherboard Support: ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX | Dimensions: 398 × 212 × 465 mm | Radiator Support: 2 x 240 mm | I/O Ports: USB 2.0 x 2, USB 3.0 x 1, HD Audio x 1, Mic x 1 | Drive Bays: 2 x 3.5″, 2+2 x 2.5″

Zalman S5 White is an extremely attractive mid tower PC case that features compact dimensions and RGB LED stripes placed both at its front and side. The Zalman S5 case comes with two 120 mm pre-installed fans that feature auto RGB sync support, and with a side panel that is made of 4 mm thick tempered-glass. Although it looks quite compact from the outside, the S5 is a very spacious PC case as it can accommodate two 240 mm AIO liquid cooling radiators. One radiator can be mounted vertically on the side, while the other can be mounted at the case’s top.

This case also features inner panel for conducting proper cable management, while the component mounting layout is optimized for ensuring improved airflow. Zalman S5 can house GPUs that measure up to 340 mm in length, and CPU coolers that measure up to 163 mm in height. On its front panel you can find three USB ports, as well as audio and microphone jacks.

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About author
Before he joined ViCadia, Nicholas worked as a journalist for several tech magazines. Over the years he gained a lot of knowledge about computers. His main area of interest are processors, motherboards, and operating systems.
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