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What CPU bottlenecks the RTX 2080?

What CPU bottlenecks the RTX 2080? Let's find out

Updated: Jan 31, 2023 4:04 pm
What CPU bottlenecks the RTX 2080?

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The release of the RTX GPU series back in 2018 certainly made some waves in the industry – the cards offered innovative Ray tracing and DLSS technologies, which got us gamers pretty excited.  

Now Read: Best CPU for RTX 2080

The RX 2080 is among the first generation of RTX series processors and is based on Nvidia’s 12mm Turing architecture. Although it is now over 4 years old, it still holds up pretty well today and falls somewhere between the mid to high-end GPU territory. 

The RTX 2080 definitely has the processing power to offer you incredible gaming performance, but it needs a pretty powerful CPU to feed its instructions so it can knock out pixels at full speed.

Today, we’ll be discussing what CPU bottlenecks the RTX 2080, and I’ll provide you with some options, so you know what works best with this card. 

RTX 2080 specifications

First, a look into the RTX 2080’s base specs:

  • Base clock: 1520 MHz
  • Boost clock: 1800 MHz
  • CUDA Cores: 2944
  • Memory clock: 14000 MHz
  • Memory size: 8 GB
  • Memory type: GDDR6X
  • Bus width: 256-bit
  • Digital Max Resolution: 7‎680×4320 @60Hz
  • Power usage: 225W
  • Recommended PSU: 650W

Very solid specs overall. With 8GB of GDDR6X memory, the RTX 2080 can game at 4K 60FPS, although it’s probably a better match for 1440p gaming at high graphics settings or framerates. 

What is a bottleneck?

A system has a bottleneck when one of the microprocessors, either the CPU or the GPU, hits its maximum processing speed. In such a scenario, the stronger of the two microprocessors would still have some capacity left and be able to take on some additional workload. However, it would be prevented from doing so by the other microprocessor failing to keep up. 

A CPU that bottlenecks the RTX 2080 will be one that’s too slow to feed it instructions. As a result, the RTX 2080 GPU will be unable to run at its full potential. 

Obviously, bottlenecks are undesirable, especially ones that are more extreme. You want your CPU and GPU to offer very similar performance, so your system runs efficiently. 

What CPU bottlenecks at RTX 2080?

The RTX 2080 is, by all means, a very capable card, even when set up against today’s very graphically demanding titles. Gaming at 1080p and 1440p will be a breeze, and a 4K 60FPS performance is doable but not in every game. 

Your screen resolution does influence bottleneck. Gaming at a higher resolution increases GPU usage dramatically but doesn’t affect CPU usage all that much. 

With that in mind, if you’re looking to game at 1440p and 4K resolutions, I recommend pairing the RTX 2080 with nothing weaker than a Ryzen 5 5600X. Go any lower, and you may end up with a processor that can’t keep up with the RTX 2080’s demands. 

If you intend to game at 1080p with high framerates, you will need a much stronger processor to avoid a bottleneck. If that’s the case, I recommend using a Ryzen 7 5800X3D or an Intel Core i5-13400

On the opposite end of the spectrum – pairing the RTX 2080 with anything stronger than an Intel i5-13600K, even at 1080p, would be wasting resources. While the RTX 2080 is a solid GPU, it doesn’t pair well with today’s high-end processors. 

Jack is a Tech and News Writer who has a vast and proficient knowledge of CPUs, Motherboards, and Computer technology.

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