Best CPU For RTX 3080


The shortage of PC components and the growing mining trend makes gaming a very expensive hobby. One year ago, 4K gaming was considered too expensive because RTX 2080 Ti was the only graphics card capable of running games at 4K resolution and its price was over a thousand dollars. Now with the second generation of RTX graphics cards, the scene is quite different, and we are there with some of the best CPU for RTX 3080.  

With a frame rate twice as high, the RTX 3080 may be among the best graphics cards based on the Ampere architecture. When it comes to 4K gaming, you should expect 120 frames per second in the latest titles. The launch price of this card was quite low about 699 USD which is half of the RTX 2080 Ti but now due to global shortage, it’s selling on online stores roughly at 1200 USD. 

While the performance and value of this graphics card is excellent, the increasing price is a real issue. To get the maximum benefit from this card, you also need a good motherboard, cooler, and power supply. There you can find guides on them that will help you get the best product for your build without breaking the bank, as well as a guide to the best RTX 3080 graphics cards.

So you have purchased your RTX 3080 graphics card, now it is time to check out the best CPU for it in 2021. We’ve a lot of guides there which will help you in building a complete gaming PC with this graphics card so don’t forget to check them out.

Our Recommendation for Best CPU For RTX 3080

With these detailed reviews, you will know what processor is best suited for what purpose. Nonetheless, reading the complete review will take a lot of time, and my recommendation is to see the table first, so you will know what processor you need under your budget and requirements, and then read the detailed review. In case you are still unsure what CPU you need for your build, there is a buying guide that can assist you in choosing the right CPU.

Award Model Price
Best Enthusiast CPU for RTX 3080 AMD Ryzen 9 5900X CHECK PRICE Read Customer Reviews
Best Editors Recommended CPU for RTX 3080 AMD Ryzen 7 5800X CHECK PRICE Read Customer Reviews
Best Gaming CPU for RTX 3080 Intel Core i9 10900K CHECK PRICE Read Customer Reviews
Best Budget CPU for RTX 3080 AMD Ryzen 5 5600X CHECK PRICE Read Customer Reviews
Best Flagship CPU for RTX 3080 Intel Core i9 9900K CHECK PRICE Read Customer Reviews
Best Productivity CPU for RTX 3080 AMD Ryzen 9 3900X CHECK PRICE Read Customer Reviews
Best Mid-Range CPU for RTX 3080 Intel Core i7 10700K CHECK PRICE Read Customer Reviews

Best CPU For RTX 3080 Reviews

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X (Image credit: Amazon)

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

Best Enthusiast CPU for RTX 3080

If all you plan to do on your build is game, the Ryzen 5 5900X is a good choice. While the Ryzen 5 5900X would be more suitable for people who like rendering or streaming. Twelve cores and twenty-four threads should be enough for any modern game or application, and it performs much better than Intel competitors like the i9 10900K. Using a good motherboard such as the B550 or X570 and an aftermarket CPU cooler, 3.7 GHz can easily be pushed up to 4.8 GHz. In modern games with resolutions up to 4K at ultra-settings, Ryzen 5 5900X provides 120+ frames per second.

Zen3 processors are based on 7nm chips, and this one includes twelve cores that have direct access to the L3 cache, resulting in better performance. The most important aspect that makes users consider Ryzen CPUs is the overclocking support and the PCIe Gen4 slots, providing double the bandwidth as Gen3 and giving AMD Ryzen CPUs an advantage over Intel CPUs. Compared to the i9 10900K, this processor offers 3-4 percent lower frame rates, but that’s not a big deal.

Despite the high price tag, this processor offers excellent performance in games and applications, but a missing cooler might be an issue for some users. A good aftermarket cooler is a must for you, so at the very least, you can run the processor on the stock clocks, as the processor gets a bit hot under high loads. The multitasking support of this processor makes it a better choice than Intel CPUs, which are designed only for gaming and do not deliver the best performance during heavy workloads. The RTX 3080 is optimized for CPUs with this kind of performance.

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X (Image credit: Amazon)

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

Best Editors Recommended CPU for RTX 3080

Ryzen 7 5800X provides excellent gaming and multitasking performance, making it a great mid-range option between mainstream Zen3 and flagship processors. There are eight cores and twelve threads, which is sufficient, and the Zen3 architecture keeps all the cores in direct contact with the L3 cache, resulting in better performance than previous generations. Additionally, the performance per core and the IPC, or Instructions per Core, are improved compared to the last generation of eight-core processors, making them ideal for productivity and gaming. The graphics card can deliver at least 100 frames per second when playing modern games at 2K resolution.

With an RTX 3090, this processor gives about 155 frames per second, 135 frames per second with an RTX 3080, and approximately 100 frames per second with an RTX 3070. All benchmarks are from SOTTR and on ultra-settings with a 2K resolution. In addition, these new processor generations are compatible with the B450 or X470 motherboards, so all you have to do is do a BIOS upgrade, as opposed to Intel processors, which needs the latest chipset motherboard with every new generation.

The latest generation of processors lacks integrated graphics and a bundled cooler, whereas the previous generation CPUs came with them. Despite its superior performance, this processor is slightly more expensive than its predecessor, an eight-core processor. Users looking to build a 2K or 4K gaming build can consider this processor. It’s better suited for the RTX 3070, but you can also use it with the RTX 3080, and you won’t be disappointed by its performance. If you don’t have much multi-core work to do, you may also consider buying the Ryzen 5 5600X.

Intel Core i9 10900K (Image credit: Amazon)

Intel Core i9 10900K

Best Gaming CPU for RTX 3080

Intel’s i9 10900K is the flagship processor in the Comet Lake series and is a significant upgrade to the mighty i9 9900K. What makes this processor appealing is its ten cores and its raw gaming performance, as well as the overclocking support, which takes the clock speeds to 4.9 GHz and the single-core to 5.3 GHz. While Ryzen 5 5900X was also good for gaming, its main advantage lay in heavy workloads and multitasking applications, whereas that chip cannot even beat the gaming performance of the i9 10900K. The frame rate difference between both of these processors is roughly 3-5% in the latest titles.

Compared to other consumer-level processors, this one gives 160 FPS with the RTX 3090, about 140 FPS with the RTX 3080, and over 100 FPS with the RTX 3070 at ultra-settings in SOTTR. All of that is due to its fast clock speed and incredible overclocking capabilities. Thus, if you are concerned about frame rates in modern games, the Intel Core i9 10900K is the best processor to consider. Besides gaming, this processor can also be used to perform daily routine tasks such as Microsoft Office or streaming.

Intel has changed the sockets for its Comet Lake processors again, so overclocking on this processor requires a good Z400 series motherboard and an aftermarket cooler. Even at the stock clocks, the TDP of this processor is 125W, but it can reach 325W under heavy loads, so you need a powerful AIO or air cooler to run this processor. The disadvantage of this processor is that it doesn’t support ECC memory modules. It also lacks embedded features. With this CPU and RTX 3080, you can easily play 4K games at 60 frames per second.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X (Image credit: Amazon)

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

Best Budget CPU for RTX 3080

If you’re looking for a budget CPU for the RTX 3080, AMD has a great alternative to the Intel Core i5 10600K. Ryzen 5 5600X is a six-core, a twelve-thread processor that is capable of delivering reliable gaming performance on budget-midrange gaming builds and beats Intel processors on both performance and value. An excellent reason to consider the Ryzen 5 5600X is its performance, which is similar to the Intel i9 10900K in 1080p, but that CPU is superior when you go up with resolution because of the doubled number of cores and threads.

The lack of integrated graphics is disappointing if you will use this processor for casual gaming since Esports games can be played on integrated graphics. However, that’s not a big deal for most gamers because they always purchase a dedicated card to play competitive games, and every frame is significant to them. In addition, it is the most affordable offering in the Zen3 architecture and is better than the previous generation alternative, the Ryzen 5 3600X.

The motherboard requirements for this processor are not too high, as you can easily overclock it with any budget-friendly B550 or X570 chipset board. Overclocking might require a powerful CPU cooler, but you can choose between an air cooler and an AIO for this processor. For stock clocks (3.7 GHz), the cooler that comes with it is sufficient, and if you want to boost it, even more, I recommend the Hyper 212 Evo or Noctua NH-D15. In summary, it’s the best CPU for RTX 3080 as it provides excellent performance at a very budget-friendly price.

Intel Core i9 9900K (Image credit: Amazon)

Intel Core i9 9900K

Best Flagship CPU for RTX 3080

The Intel Core i9 9900K might not be the latest entry from Intel, but it still deserves a gold medal for its outstanding performance and low price. While eight cores and sixteen threads might not be enough for modern games, it’s good to be able to play titles at 4K resolutions and 60 frames per second. Intel CPUs are usually superior to AMD competitors in games, but they are less competitive when it comes to multitasking. Although the company enabled hyper-threading again with this one, it performs much better in heavy workloads.

The i9 9900K produces a lot of heat and lacks the bundled cooler, so you will have to go with some aftermarket cooling solutions. A great feature of this processor is the solder thermal interface material, which was introduced by Intel and enhanced the contact between the die and the integrated heat spreader so the die can be better cooled. In addition, the processor is compatible with any Z300 series board, while it is not compatible with 400 and 500 series boards.

With this CPU, you can game at high resolutions, but you can also share your gaming experience with others if you’re a streamer. If you pair it with RTX 3080, you can expect at least 60 frames per second at 4K resolution and ultra-settings, but for a few games, you might need to compromise on the in-game settings. This 9th generation eight-core processor is still a substantial option in 2021, and if you are not willing to spend too much money on Rocket Lake or are not ready to upgrade the motherboard, you can still use it for your RTX 3080 build.

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X (Image credit: Amazon)

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

Best Productivity CPU for RTX 3080

Whatever kind of task you have to complete in your build, AMD Ryzen 9 3900X can do it all, whether you are gaming or multitasking. With twelve cores and twenty-four threads, this processor is adequate for modern gaming and is future-proof. Unlike Intel’s latest CPUs, Zen2 CPUs are based on 7nm technology, while the latest Intel CPUs are still based on 14nm technology. There is one thing you need to know about these high-end Zen2 processors: their multitasking performance is superior to their gaming performance, while Intel has more gaming options.

The most recent AMD processors have better performance than the older options, but they also come at a higher price, making users prefer the older CPUs. In the third generation of AMD processors, the instruction per core or IPC has increased by 15%. It comes with 70 MB of cache since high frame rates require more cache memory, and this one comes with 64 MB of L3 cache and 6 MB of L2 cache.

The bundled cooler comes with this processor and is suitable for stock clocks, so you don’t need an aftermarket cooler unless you intend to overclock the processor. Additionally, the PCIe Gen4 slots work with AMD B550 and X570 motherboards, which provide much faster data transfer speeds for graphics cards and NVMe drives. Intel’s competitor could be the i9 9900K, but one gives excellent gaming performance while the other gives an exceptional multi-core performance, so there is no comparison between the two. A bundled cooler and overclocking support are advantages of this processor, but the lack of integrated graphics is a disadvantage.

Intel Core i7 10700K (Image credit: Amazon)

Intel Core i7 10700K

Best Mid-Range CPU for RTX 3080

With great gaming and productivity performance, the Intel Core i7 10700K is the king of mid-range gaming processors. The reasonable price of this processor makes it a good choice, but it’s slightly more expensive than the i5 10600K and less expensive than the i9 10900K, which confuses some users. Even though this processor only has two cores less than the i9 10900K, its performance is much the same, and you can save some money by choosing it over the flagship processor. If we consider the performance of this processor over its price, I would say it is the best CPU for RTX 3080.

The 14nm manufacturing process still disappoints users because AMD processors are built on 7nm, but the i7 10700K doesn’t produce as much heat as the i9 10900K. However, with this processor, you can gain a lot of performance without spending a lot on a premium motherboard and AIO cooler. It is even possible to overclock this processor with a good air cooler such as the Noctua NH-D15, which is half the price of 280mm AIOs but provides similar cooling performance.

Intel thermal boost technology can temporarily increase the performance of this processor. Intel Core i7 10700K has a base frequency of 3.7 GHz, but you can overclock it to 5.10 GHz by overclocking. Unfortunately, this processor lacks thermal velocity boost capabilities and can’t handle PCIe Gen4 lanes, which disappoints users. While this processor’s single-core and multi-core performance and the overclocking headroom make up for these few disadvantages, we can overlook them. Intel Core i7 10700K is a great choice, but consider AMD alternatives as they offer a better value before buying it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What CPU is best for RTX 3080?

RTX 3080 is a potent graphics card and is compatible with mid-range processors like Ryzen 5 5600X; while if you have some great amount of money in your wallet to invest, you can also get the i9 10900K, and there will be no bottlenecking issue.

Will RTX 3080 bottleneck Ryzen 5 5600X?

There might be little bottlenecking with the Ryzen 5 5600X and RTX 3080, but it’s the best budget CPU you can consider for 1080p and 1440p gaming. If you have some spare money to invest, I would recommend you get something more powerful that can utilize the full performance of this graphics card.

Is Ryzen 9 5900X enough for 3080?

Ryzen 9 5900X is the best processor for RTX 3080 as this CPU comes with 12 cores and 24 threads, and the exceptional overclocking power makes it the best pair for this graphics card. If you are low on budget, you can also consider the Ryzen 7 5800X with a B550 chipset motherboard.

Atif Liaqat
Atif Liaqat
Computer Enthusiast & Gamer