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Best CPU for RTX 3080 Ti in 2024 – top Intel & AMD picks

Need a CPU for the 3080 Ti? Look no further

Updated: Feb 19, 2024 3:06 pm
Best CPU for RTX 3080 Ti in 2024 – top Intel & AMD picks

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The 3080 Ti is an incredibly powerful GPU and one that is designed specifically to bring you high FPS in 4K gaming. There’s almost no contest to the efficiency of the 3080 Ti, except maybe for its little brother, the 3080. So we have to ask, what is the best CPU for the RTX 3080 Ti? The 3080 Ti is almost an untameable beast, but like all beasts, it needs a master, so what is the best CPU for the RTX 3080 Ti? We can start with a couple of suggestions: the Intel Core i9-13900K or AMD Ryzen 9 7950X. If you instead have its ever-so-smaller sibling, then check out our best CPU for the RTX 3080 page.

Everything a GPU calculates has to hit the CPU first, so in that sense, the CPU essentially keeps the GPU fed with data. Now that we know that, we understand why we need a good CPU and GPU pairing, one that can work in perfect synergy, with little to no bottleneck on either side. Without further delay, here’s the best CPU for the RTX 3080 Ti, which we keep updated regularly.

If you’re short on time, we have chosen the Intel Core i9-13900K as the best CPU for the RTX 3080 Ti. The Intel 14th generation CPUs are out and technically superior to the 13900k, however, We don’t believe they offer much more performance for the increased price.

What is the best CPU for RTX 3080 Ti?

Hands down the best CPU for the 3080 Ti has to be the Core i9-13900k. This master of all CPUs is also the best choice for the 3080Ti, because of resolution changes, the 12900k stays viable into 4K. Don’t worry if that’s out of your price range though, as we have a few different options to consider. Let’s take a look at all of them just below, starting with the best of course.

Best CPU for RTX 3080 Ti – Intel Core i9-13900K

Intel Core i9-13900K

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Base speed

P-cores 3 GHz / E-cores 2.2 GHz

Boost speed

P-cores 5.8 GHz / E-cores 4.3 GHz




125 W / 253 W boost.

  • Powerful 5.8 GHz boost clock speed
  • Massive amount of cores/threads
  • Latest LGA 1700 socket
  • Expensive option

The Core i9-13900K is the best CPU when it comes to the RTX 3080 Ti. The 13th generation builds on the 12th gen’s technology to keep the CPU’s efficiency high. That tech back from Alder Lake essentially means that there are two different CPU cores within the 13900K dedicated to different tasks – performance cores and efficiency cores.

The 13900K’s 24 Cores and 32 Threads can push through any kind of workload, whether that be demanding workstation tasks or easier gaming ones. The 13900K is the jack-of-all-trades CPU. As you can see, the 13900K’s core boost speed well exceeds 5GHz and rockets up to 5.8GHz. This was an unfathomable speed at the time of release for an out-of-the-box CPU. Since single-core speed directly correlates with gaming performance, we’d say the 13900K is a safe bet for the RTX 3080 Ti, and then some. Excellent if you’ll be doing CPU-intensive tasks like rendering or streaming.

The 13900K won’t be bottlenecking the RTX 3080 Ti much at all, even in 4K. Usually, we consider anything over a 5% bottleneck bad, but it doesn’t bottleneck whatsoever for general tasks. A big plus is that it’s pretty likely these days to find one on sale now that we’ve reached the 14th gen.

Runner-up CPU for RTX 3080 Ti – AMD Ryzen 9 7950X

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X

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Base Speed


Boost Speed






  • Excellent gaming performance
  • 16 cores/32 threads
  • Latest AM5 socket
  • Powerhouse of the 7000 series
  • Upgrading to AM5 can be costly

The Ryzen 9 7950X is an outstanding CPU choice to pair with the RTX 3080 Ti for several reasons. First, it boasts a formidable number of cores and threads, which means it can handle a wide range of tasks simultaneously. This is like having a lot of workers on your PC, all working together to get things done quickly and efficiently. So when you’re playing games or working on creative projects, the 7950X can effortlessly manage the complex calculations and instructions from your programs.

Another key factor is the 7950X’s blazingly fast clock speeds. Clock speed is like how fast those workers in your computer can do their tasks. The higher the clock speed, the faster they can work. With the 7950X’s impressive 5.7GHz boost clock speed, it ensures that your games and applications run smoothly and respond to your commands without any lag.

Additionally, the 7950X is a built the CPU is built on cutting-edge architecture, the latest AM5 platform. This will be supported for years to come – a modern, efficient workspace for those workers. This Zen 4 architecture allows the CPU to communicate seamlessly with your RTX 3080 Ti, ensuring they work together seamlessly to deliver top-notch graphics and performance.

Best Budget Intel CPU for RTX 3080 Ti – Intel Core i5-12600KF

Intel Core i5-12600KF


Boost clock speed (single core)

4.9 GHz

Total Cores / Threads







LGA 1700



  • Excellent value for money
  • Strong 4.9GHz boost clock speed
  • Solid choice for gaming with 10 cores
  • Overclockable
  • No integrated graphics too fall back on

The Core i5-12600K is a good CPU because it offers a strong balance of performance and affordability. It has enough power to handle most everyday tasks like web browsing, office work, and even gaming. The “K” in its name means it can be overclocked, which is like giving it a turbo boost for even better performance if you’re into that.

It also has ten cores, which are like ten workers in your computer. This means it can handle multiple tasks at once without slowing down. So, whether you’re playing games, streaming videos, or doing work, it keeps things running smoothly.

In summary, the Core i5-12600K is a solid CPU choice because it provides good performance without breaking the bank. A couple of generations old, but that’s no problem as it’s still on the latest LGA 1700 socket. Bonus points because now we’re up to the 14th gen of Intel processors, these older generations are cheaper than ever. It serves as a good budget CPU to pair with the RTX 3080 Ti.

What is a CPU/GPU bottleneck?

A CPU/GPU bottleneck occurs when one component of a computer, either the Central Processing Unit (CPU) or the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), is significantly faster or more powerful than the other. This can cause a bottleneck in the system, as the faster component is held back by the slower one.

The result is that the system as a whole is not performing as well as it could be. In gaming, a CPU bottleneck can result in lower frame rates, while in streaming, a GPU bottleneck can cause dropped frames and poor video quality. To fix this issue, the user can upgrade the slower component or reduce the settings of the more powerful component.

So as you can see, we must find the right CPU and GPU pairing. We think we have done just that.

Can a CPU affect GPU performance?

The performance of the GPU can be influenced by the choice of CPU to a certain degree. Both the CPU and GPU are essential components in a computer system and work in tandem to perform various tasks, such as gaming and graphics-related applications.

The CPU functions as an intermediary between the software and hardware segments of the system, and it can have an impact on the overall performance of the computer. The CPU cooperates with the GPU to exchange data and commands, and if the CPU lacks sufficient power, it may not be able to keep up with the GPU’s requirements.

For instance, having a robust graphics card but a weaker CPU can cause performance bottlenecks or slowdowns in certain applications or games. This occurs because the CPU may not be capable of processing the necessary data at a rapid pace to keep up with the demands of the GPU.

Conversely, if you have a powerful CPU but a weaker GPU, you may not be able to leverage the CPU’s full potential when running graphics-intensive applications or games.

Best CPU for RTX 3080 Ti FAQs

Do I need a good CPU for the RTX 3080 Ti?

The RTX 3080 Ti is no doubt a powerful graphics card, so it’s best you have a good CPU to back it up. This is the best way to avoid any bottlenecking. If you’re on a limited budget though, even modern mid-range CPUs are decent enough if you don’t need the absolute best processing power or don’t mind some bottlenecking.

Will RTX 3080 Ti bottleneck my CPU?

This of course depends on your CPU. If you don’t want to deal with bottlenecking, we recommend a high-end CPU within the i9 or Ryzen 9 tier. The latest 14900K is a top suggestion, though we’d recommend the 13900K or 12900K for better value for money.

For AMD builds, the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X is our choice for best performance. However, the 5800X3D is a top-tier pick for a gaming-focused rig and solid value for money.

Final word

The i9-13900K is the best-value CPU for the 3080 Ti. Unless you find a wicked deal on the 12th generation CPUs or consider buying second hand you won’t find support better at this price point. Though the former may be a little more likely now that the 14th-generation CPUs have arrived. You’re now armed with the knowledge and information you need to find the best CPU for any given GPU. This information will work no matter the combination and should be useful for years to come.

Should you get stuck, however, we’ll always be here to shed some light on any topic you might need help with.

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

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