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What CPU bottlenecks the RTX 3080?

What CPU can you get away with when running an RTX 3080?

Updated: Jan 30, 2023 9:35 am
What CPU bottlenecks the RTX 3080?

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The RTX 3080 is a mighty GPU from Nvidia released, part of the 2nd Gen RTX line-up released in 2020. They are built with dedicated 2nd gen RT Cores and 3rd gen Tensor Cores, streaming multiprocessors, and G6X memory for a fantastic gaming experience.

Now read: What is a bottleneck?

Today, we’re going to analyze the RTX 3080 and determine if there are any CPUs out there that can cause a bottleneck, for both the lower and upper limits. Our aim is to find a set of CPUs you can compatibly use with the 3080 and have a bottleneck-free experience.

With all that being said, let’s dive in.

RTX 3080 specifications

Here are the specifications of the RTX 3080. It is important to note that some AIB cards have higher core clock speeds, this set of specifications is based on the Founders Edition.

  • Core clock: 1710 MHz
  • CUDA Cores: 8704
  • Memory clock: 19000 MHz
  • Memory size: 10 GB
  • Memory type: GDDR6X
  • Digital Max Resolution: 7‎680×4320 @60Hz
  • PCB Form: ATX
  • Recommended PSU: 750W

As you can see, the 3080 is a very capable GPU with lots of power to behold. So it’s imperative we find a CPU that’s well suited to the 3080 and one that won’t cause a bottleneck.

What is a GPU bottleneck?

A GPU bottleneck occurs when the graphics card is forced to work at or near its maximum capacity, resulting in slower performance due to a bottleneck in the flow of data. This can happen when the GPU is unable to keep up with the demands of a game or application, causing a reduction in overall performance and potentially leading to visual issues such as stuttering and lag.

But we’re talking about a CPU causing a GPU bottleneck, how does this differ from a standard GPU bottleneck?

A GPU bottleneck caused by a CPU is when the CPU performance is too poor in comparison to the GPU, and cannot supply enough data to the GPU fast enough to keep it operating at its full potential. This is the same as a CPU bottleneck. It has a knock-on effect on almost the entire system.

What CPU bottlenecks an RTX 3080?

There’s not really a CPU out there at the high end that causes a bottleneck in the RTX 3080, you can opt for the new i9-13900K and the 3080 will keep up with ease. However, there are definitely CPUs on the low end that will cause a bottlenecking problem when paired with the 3080.

When recommending a CPU, we wouldn’t go any lower than the Core i9-10600K, or the Ryzen 9 3900X. Both of these CPUs perform the same in 4K but the performance begins to slip for the Ryzen 9 3900X when you drop the resolution. Since the 3080 is primarily a 4K card, we recommend you do not drop lower than these two CPUs.

however, if you’re running 1400p or lower, we’d push the Ryzen recommendation up to a Ryzen 7 5700X.

Final word

The RTX 3080 is an insanely powerful GPU that requires a good CPU to pump information to it. You cannot out-class the 3080 with a CPU alone, as there are no CPUs available that are “too powerful” for the 3080. But there are definitely some that aren’t powerful enough. As long as you avoid these, you should be gaming bottleneck free. We hope you found this What CPU bottlenecks an RTX 3080 article helpful.

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

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