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Best CPU for RTX 3090

Need a CPU for the RTX 3090? We have you covered.

Updated: Nov 21, 2023 3:58 pm
Best CPU for RTX 3090

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The RTX 3090 is almost the top end of the 30-series GPUs from Nvidia, superseded only by the 3090 Ti. The 3090 provides ridiculous performance in 4k gaming, a performance that would have been unimaginable 2 years ago. But like all components, we need a good support network to keep the 3090 running as it should. What’s the best CPU for the RTX 3090?

All GPUs get given instructions and those instructions come from the CPU, so it’s clear to see that we need a CPU that can keep up with the processing power of the 3090. This is what we mean when we speak of compatibility and bottlenecking, all of your PC parts need to work in synergy. There’s no one good part that’s gonna boost performance by X%. If the rest of your system can’t keep up, you’re going to be hindering your RTX 3090. Without further delay, here’s the best CPU for RTX 3090.

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Best CPU for the RTX 3090

The best CPU for the 3090 has to be the Ryzen 9 5950X.

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 1


3.4GHz/ 4.9GHz

Core (Threads)






The Ryzen 9 5950X is a Multi-core monster and is not a force you want to contend with. It’s the flagship Zen 3 processor. And it’s clear to see why when we dive into the specs.

The 5950X holds a tremendously large number of cores and threads for a desktop CPU. The count comes in at 16 Cores and 32 Threads. Making the Ryzen 9 5950X ideal for chewing through high-intensity workloads.

Not only that, but the maximum cores boost speed is 4.9GHz, almost breaking the 5GHz barrier on the limited AM4 platform was quite the achievement at the time. And as we know, core boost speed and gaming performance go hand-in-hand. The 5950X is an ideal processor for the RTX 3090.

The 5950X does not bottleneck the 3090 at all in our testing, about 3% in 1440P and 0.3% in 4k. These results prove that this is the ideal CPU to pair with the RTX 3090.

Thanks to AMD releasing their Zen 4 CPUs this year, we can often see a discount on a lot of the older CPUs. Just as well too because there isn’t really a CPU that supports the 3090 better at a lower price point.

Now Read: Best CPU for the RTX 3080 Ti.

What is a bottleneck?

A CPU and GPU bottleneck is a phenomenon that occurs when the performance of one component (either the CPU or GPU) is limiting the performance of the other. This can happen when one component is significantly faster or more powerful than the other, and as a result, it becomes the limiting factor in the system’s overall performance.

A CPU bottleneck can occur when the CPU is not fast enough to keep up with the demands of the GPU. This can lead to lower frame rates in gaming or poor video quality in streaming.

A GPU bottleneck, on the other hand, can occur when the GPU is not powerful enough to process the data that the CPU is sending to it. This can lead to dropped frames and stuttering in gaming or poor encoding performance in streaming.

To avoid bottlenecks, it is important to have a balance between the CPU and GPU power. Upgrading the slower component or reducing the settings of the more powerful component can help alleviate the bottleneck.

as you can see from the above, it’s very important to find a good balance between CPU and GPU. We think we have done just that with our choice of CPU today.

Best Budget CPU for RTX 3090

Unfortunately, your best bet is the Ryzen 9 5950X, maybe you could go down to the 5900X but you’re losing out on 2 CPU cores and 4 Threads, you’ll also see a higher bottleneck of around 8-9%. We recommend sticking to the 5950X to get the most out of your beastly RTX 3090.

Can a CPU affect the performance of a GPU?

Yes, the CPU can impact the performance of the GPU to some extent. The CPU and GPU work together to perform various tasks, including running games and graphics-intensive applications. While the GPU is primarily responsible for processing and rendering graphics, the CPU plays an important role in feeding data to the GPU and keeping it busy.

If the CPU is not powerful enough to keep up with the demands of the GPU, it can create bottlenecks and slow down the performance of the PC as a whole. This can be particularly noticeable in games or applications that require a lot of CPU processing power, as the GPU may be waiting for instructions or data from the CPU before it can render the next frame.

If the CPU is powerful enough, it can help the GPU perform better by keeping it fed with data and instructions. A faster CPU can also help reduce input lag and improve overall system responsiveness, which can enhance the user experience when playing games or using graphics-intensive applications.

It’s important to choose a CPU and GPU that are well-matched to each other and to your specific use case, to ensure that you are getting the best possible performance out of your system. Other factors, such as RAM and storage, can also impact system performance, and it’s important to consider these factors when building or upgrading a PC.

Final Word

Typically, now that we’re in the realms of high-end GPUs, we run out of CPUs that can fit the bill appropriately, so there’s only one recommendation here today. The Ryzen 9 5950X is a great addition to the RTX 3090, and one that should be considered as we see Zen 3 CPUs discounted across the board.

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

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