Best CPU for RTX 2080

by Arslan Ashraf

Best CPU for RTX 2080

NVIDIA got its popularity with the release of the GeForce 20 series, a famous family of graphics processing units. Out of the series, the RTX 2080 (Amazon) is the fastest graphics card made up for passionate PC enthusiasts. It comes with supreme efficiency and offers six times more performance than all the previous generations’ graphics cards. At the same time, this card requires the best CPU for RTX 2080 to showcase its true potential performance and overclocking capabilities. Another reason to have a stable CPU with such a graphics card is to build a powerful PC that gives you the best experience when playing games or creating content.

Well, Intel and AMD are two names and great brands producing several processors according to advancement standards from time to time. But since these manufacturers have so many processors under their hood, it may become difficult for the users to choose one. Then, how will you decide which CPU you should go with? If you’re confused regarding choosing a CPU, all you have to do is to read this post until the end. We have tested and written in-detailed reviews of the six best processing units from both brands, including the pros and cons. But before exploring the products’ review, ensure to read the quick shopping tips section first. Let’s explore!

Quick Shopping Tips

Shopping tips include essential factors you must understand before purchasing a CPU. But if you want to explore everything you need before buying a processor, read this in-detail CPU shopping guide. Well, to keep everything simple, let’s explore some important factors.

Cores/Threads: Cores and threads are the most impacting factor of any CPU. Every processor has a certain amount of cores and threads. Without these, what’s a good CPU? It empowers the PC to perform with particular efficiency. The more cores and threads in your CPU, the more it will be versatile and efficient.

Cache Memory: Cache memory is the part of the CPU that stores and transfers data fastly and efficiently. It saves the data temporarily for the processing unit and gives you fast access to frequently used files. The more memories there are, the more it will be good for you. The rule of thumb is to go for a CPU with at least 82MB cache memory—go for more if possible.

Motherboard Compatibility: Another essential factor is motherboard compatibility. For this, you have to check your motherboard’s socket compatibility. If you buy a CPU and are looking for a motherboard, then check what socket your processor has, such as an LGA 1151 socket. Then, explore the CPU that supports this socket; otherwise, both will not adjust.

Overclocking: Each CPU comes with a certain base clock that can boost up to a specific boost clock speed. The margin between both of the ratings is known as overclocking headroom. For a graphics card like RTX 2080, you should go for a processor that offers you to overclock up to 3.2 GHz or more don’t go below. But, if possible, choose one with higher clock speeds and overclocking capabilities.

Graphics Processing Unit: This part of the CPU is essential for people who are gamers and video editors. Good GPU support enables your processor to present good display resolutions while gaming. Some of the CPUs lack this factor, so check out this feature before buying one. If there is no GPU, you can install one, or if there is already a GPU, you can insert more for a better graphics result.

The Best CPUs for RTX 2080 You Can Buy Today


AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

Best Pick
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

Brand: AMD | Series/Family: AMD Ryzen 9 Desktop Processors | Lithography: 7nm | Cores: 12 | Threads: 24 | Cache: 768KB L1, 6MB L2, 64MB L3 | Multi-Threading: Yes | Unlocked Multiplier: Yes | Integrated graphics: No | Socket: AMD AM4 | Base clock: 3.8GHz | Boost clock: 4.6GHz | Rated TDP: 105W | Bundled cooler: Wraith Prism with RGB LED

A solution to all your computer problems is the most outstanding processor AMD Ryzen 9 3900X. If you are building a premium PC, then this unit is an impactful option with compelling features. It has an adequate combination of 12 cores and 24 threads that boost the processor with immense power intensity. Also, when the multi-threading support comes into action, you can get the most out of multitasking. In short, you can rely on this best flagship CPU for RTX 2080 for your professional workload. The Ryzen 9 3900x is a perfect mainstream processor in the market right now to kill heavy workloads. 

Being part of Zen 2 core architecture, the CPU improves energy efficiency, clock speed, and cores. Also, the processor offers you DDR4 3200 MHz speed memory to handle loads of files and applications without any problem. No doubt, the process has been designed with straightforward and sturdy overclocking support that enables you to overclock up to 5.0 GHz. Along with this, the 70 MB huge cache provides you the fastest programming service ever you enjoy on Intel and other AMD CPUs. But the 145W TDP value is quite high, and you need to pair a compatible cooler to handle the heat production. 

One more important feature that stands out even in the crowd is the advanced PCIe 4.0 support. It enables the processor to compete even with some of the top-tier processors without any issues. Moreover, this unit is embedded with the latest AMD SenseMI technology. This technology enables the processor to follow machine intelligence to boost power. The other beneficial fact about this AMD Ryzen is the sensors that have been incorporated with it. These sensors are designed in ways that automatically adjust the processor’s speed depending on the inner condition of the CPU.

THE PROS

Excellent multi-cores

12 cores and 24 threads

Boosted with the latest features

Incorporated with modern AMD technologies

THE CONS

High TDP

Single-core is not much impressive

Intel Core i9 9900K

Staff Pick
Intel Core i9 9900K
Intel Core i9 9900K

Brand: Intel | Series/Family: 9th Generation Intel Core i9 Processors | Lithography: 14nm | Cores: 8 | Threads: 16 | Cache: 16MB Intel Smart Cache | Hyper-Threading: Yes | Unlocked Multiplier: Yes | Integrated graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 630 | Socket: LGA1151 | Base clock: 3.6GHz | Boost clock: 5.0GHz | Rated TDP: 95W | Bundled cooler: No

The next processor on our list is for lovers of Intel Core users, Intel Core i9 9900K. This Intel beast from the Coffee Lake lineup outstands the competitors for any reason. As per requirement, when it comes to power, it is integrated with a robust power design. With this power proficiency, you can do heavy load work in different domains such as video rending, high-end gaming, etc. Nonetheless, if we say it is the best CPU for RTX 2080, there’s nothing wrong. Also, it comes with several improvements, including more cores, improved frequencies, Solder TIM for thermal improvements, and more. 

Now let’s enlighten the top-notch features of this powerhouse CPU. It has eight cores and 16 threads, enough for the RTX 2080 cheap. The clock speed that you can get from this unit is 3.6 GHz, along with turbo boost frequency, you can reach up to 5.0 GHz. With this overclocking capacity, you can efficiently use the gaming PC RTX 2080. Above all, it is equipped with an integrated graphics unit and DDR4 technology. Anyhow, there is a 16 MB cache less than the Ryzen i7 3700X, which makes it a little slower. On this, you need a decent cooler as well, as the TDP is 95 W.

If you install a cooler, then no one stops you from gaining the best PC experience. Nevertheless, the leading Intel technologies such as Intel Hyper-threading, Virtualization, and Intel boost bless your system with tremendous support. For any passionate PC user, this process is a needed tool. Intel Core i9 19900K is the best Intel CPU for RTX 2080 embedded with various technologies and huge power support to work on multi-tasks efficiently. Further, it gives 30% better multi-core performance as compared to others. Apart from this, you will need a decent cooler to keep the temperature in control.

THE PROS

A complete powerhouse

Good Multi-threading and Hyper-threading

5 GHz overclocking capacity

Unlocked multiplier

THE CONS

Expensive

Require a cooler

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

Budget Pick
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

Brand: AMD | Series/Family: AMD Ryzen 7 Desktop Processors | Lithography: 7nm | Cores: 8 | Threads: 16 | Cache: 512KB L1, 4MB L2, 32MB L3 | Multi-Threading: Yes | Unlocked Multiplier: Yes | Integrated graphics: No | Socket: AMD AM4 | Base clock: 3.6GHz | Boost clock: 4.4GHz | Rated TDP: 65W | Bundled cooler: Wraith Prism with RGB LED

AMD’s third-generation Ryzen processors come with more clock speeds, more cores, and more overall output than the 1st and 2nd Gen chips. The first CPU on the list, the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X, is one of those processors. It is most reliable for handling a card like RTX 2080, as you can check by the excellent rating users gave to it. It comes at a mid-range price with eight cores and sixteen threads to provide you best usage without bottlenecks. The CPU offers brilliant performance and features at a competitive and reasonable price point. 

In the case of performance, we see the processor is unlocked and can be boosted up to 4.4 GHz. The 36 MB large cache in the CPU enables you to perform fast and complete your task smoothly. It is embedded with the DDR4-3200 MHz enough memory system. Moreover, the 100+ FPS ultra-fast performance enables you to play the world’s best and most advanced games. Anyhow, the CPU supports PCIe 4.0, the best addition of the 3rd Generation of AMD Ryzen. Surely, when you insert an RTX 2080, a desirable performance will be in wait for you.

The TDP of this processor is 65W, which is great. Adding a Wraith Prism LED cooler with this unit will take care of temperature pretty well. Besides, the thermal paste is also applied to the processor for better results. Undoubtedly, AMD Ryzen 7 3700X is the best AMD CPU for RTX 2080. The processor offers efficient performance and features for matching the compatibility of high-end graphic cards. You can take it for better gaming, video editing, and 3D modeling. Nonetheless, an insane overclocking experience is waiting for you.

THE PROS

Good for multi-tasks

Low TDP and addition of cooler

36 MB cache

THE CONS

Single thread performance is not too good.

Intel Core i5-10600K

Intel Core i5-10600K
Intel Core i5-10600K

Brand: Intel | Series/Family: 10th Generation Intel Core i5 Processors | Lithography: 14nm | Cores: 6 | Threads: 12 | Cache: 12MB Intel Smart Cache | Hyper-Threading: Yes | Unlocked Multiplier: Yes | Integrated graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 630 | Socket: LGA1200 | Base clock: 4.1GHz | Boost clock: 4.8GHz | Rated TDP: 95W | Bundled cooler: No

The post has reached its end with the Intel Core i5-10600k which is a solid recommendation for mid-range users with mid-tier performance requirements. You can receive each penny of your investment in the form of efficiency with this best value for RTX 2080. The brand has embedded Hyper-Threading in this processor since users have long-awaited this feature for multitasking. If we look at its structure, the chip is built on the 14nm Skylake architecture like the other processors from the 10th generation Comet Lake-S lineup.

If we compare its price in the market with the other chip, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600x was found to be its direct competitor. The two have many similarities, including closely matching price tags and identical specifications. In addition, both follow a 6-core and 12-thread structure with multi-threading or hyper-threading features. However, the i5 10600k has a higher boost clock speed of 4.8GHz than the 4.4GHZ given in the Ryzen 5 3600x. In terms of overclocking, the i5 10600k will win at any cost. 

During the testing sessions, my team and I saw numerous advancements in this chip than its predecessors. Firstly, it improves the multi-core and single-core performance more effectively than the previous processors. Secondly, the power consumption has increased to support so much speed but without increasing the temperature. However, there are some downsides to this item as well. The lack of PCIe 4.0 support isn’t good news since it makes it unsuitable if you’re building a future-proof system. 

THE PROS

Pretty affordable

Excellent performance

Overclocking headroom

Hyper-Threading

Adequate thermal performance

THE CONS

Lacks PCIe 4.0 support

AMD Ryzen 5 3600

AMD Ryzen 5 3600
AMD Ryzen 5 3600

Brand: AMD | Series/Family: AMD Ryzen 5 Desktop Processors | Lithography: 7nm | Cores: 6 | Threads: 12 | Cache: 384KB L1, 3MB L2, 32MB L3 | Multi-Threading: Yes | Unlocked Multiplier: Yes | Integrated graphics: No | Socket: AMD AM4 | Base clock: 3.6GHz | Boost clock: 4.2GHz | Rated TDP: 65W | Bundled cooler: Wraith Stealth

If you are concerned about only gaming, then AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is the best gaming processor for RTX 2080. For PC enthusiasts who can’t afford AMD Ryzen 7 3700X then this 3600 is perfectly suitable. Apart from gaming, it also provides decent help to developers, streamers, and office workers. The CPU consists of 6 cores and 12 threads together with effective multi-threading. These cores give your PC the strength to easily wrap up your low-profile tasks without any lag or problem. On top of that, you can use the one-click overclocking feature to get the same performance as its pricey counterparts. 

Furthermore, the processor is fully unlocked and enables a base clock speed up to 3.6 GHz. Further, you boost it up to 4.2 GHz enough to achieve a good gaming experience. The processor has 65 TDP, which is pretty low, plus a wraith cooler also comes with it. Therefore, the heat issue is not a problem for you if you also have a good motherboard and graphics card. Anyhow, it supports DDR4-3200 MHz. Again, if you have a combination of a good motherboard and graphics card, you can have ultra-fast 100+ FPS performance.

The addition of a 35 MB cache doesn’t allow it to lose its speed between working. The 7-nanometer leading-edge technology is another great addition to the design of this processor. Nonetheless, this design allows you smooth operation and a cool system environment. The AM4 socket enables it to incorporate the latest MOBO like x570. AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is the Best CPU for gaming and handling other light works. The unit has six and twelve cores, providing good efficiency to overclock up to 4.2 GHz. The 7-nanometer is the other outstanding feature that we get at an affordable price tag.

THE PROS

Good multi-core performance

Quite Affordable

Low power consumption

Comes along with a cooler

THE CONS

Limited overclocking

No integrated GPU

Intel Core i7 9700K

Intel Core i7-9700K
Intel Core i7-9700K

Brand: Intel | Series/Family: 9th Generation Intel Core i7 Processors | Lithography: 14nm | Cores: 8 | Threads: 8 | Cache: 12MB Intel Smart Cache | Hyper-Threading: Yes | Unlocked Multiplier: Yes | Integrated graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 630 | Socket: LGA1151 | Base clock: 3.6GHz | Boost clock: 4.9GHz | Rated TDP: 95W | Bundled cooler: No

Here we bring another Intel processor that thinks i9 9900K is not for them and needs to consider some other good option, so their Intel Core i7-9700K is recommendable. There are eight cores and sixteen threads for dealing with the numerous works. Anyhow, the unit provides you with a capacity for overclocking. Intel used Intel’s Optane memory technology in this chip plus embedded it with a 12MB cache, less than all above but adequate for this processor. Overall, the i7 9700k is a way better option than the pricey i9 9900k in terms of its excellent value for money and quite similar performance. 

Furthermore, the processor already has Intel UHD 630 graphics, and when you insert the cheapest 2080 result into a beautiful screen display. There will be no bottlenecks and throttle when you encounter it with a motherboard based on Intel 300 series. Further, the base clock speed is 3.6 GHz of this processor. On the other hand, the Intel boost technology lets you push the cores extremely and boost up to 4.9 GHz—even higher if you pair it with a good quality motherboard and graphics card. Also, the unit has 95 W TDP, so for smooth performance, you also need a nice compatible cooler.

It is equipped with dual-channel DDR4 support and greater bandwidth of 41GB. The base graphics frequency is 350 MHz, whereas the 1.20 GHz is the max dynamic frequency of graphics. If you want a 3D gaming experience on a 1080p, you can go for it without any problem. Unquestionably the i7 9700K is another good choice that comes at a slightly lower price than the i9 9900K. It has no hyper-threading technology and requires a good cooler to maintain its coolness. Still, it is the best CPU for RTX 2080 for the best 4K resolution and overclocking experience while gaming and content creation.

THE PROS

Turbo boost technology 2.0

Integrated GPU

Slightly affordable than i9 9700K

Supports PCIe 4.0

THE CONS

Cooler is not included

No Hyper-threading

Conclusion

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 is one of the supreme graphics cards that you need proper support for to show its full potential. You must hear the term bottleneck; this bottleneck happens in your system when the processing unit of your system shows incompatibility with other elements, especially the graphics card. It can create a lot of mess while using a computer then soon you lose interest in whatever you are doing over your workbench. Therefore, you must use the best CPU for RTX 2080 in your system to get rid of all such bad possibilities. 

Thereby, we review the different CPUs that are highly compatible with the cheapest RTX 2080. All of them are best in their terms; you can choose which suits your requirements the most if you are willing to choose an AMD processor, so we find the Ryzen 7 3700X preferable. In contrast to AMD Ryzen, you can go with Intel Core i9 9900K, which is overall one of the best processors for RTX 2080. Among all other CPUs, it provides you with greater versatility and hyper-threading than others. Check the list if you want some other card. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better, RTX 2080 or RTX 2080 super?

No doubt, the RTX 2080 Ti is the better option performance-wise, but at the same time, it is somehow more expensive than the RTX 2080 super. If your main concern is money, the last card is a better value for money.

Which CPU will not bottleneck RTX 2080?

The CPUs Ryzen 7 3700X, Intel i9 9900K, Intel i7 9700K, Ryzen 5 3600, and Ryzen 9 3900X are the most compatible with RTX 2080. These provide enough proficiency to the card and hence will not allow it to face bottlenecks. You can choose any of them depending on your requirements.

How important is a CPU for gaming?

Graphics cards are a crucial component of modern gaming systems, but they’re not the only thing that matters. In addition, a strong processor will allow you to maximize its performance without experiencing bottlenecks or slowing down gameplay too much on starts-to-finish loads. So, before playing any title make sure both components have equal power.

Which CPU is the best pair with RTX 2080?

All the processors mentioned in this list are compatible with high-end graphics cards like RTX 2080. Among all of them, the Intel Core i9 9900K is the best pair with RTX 2080. This powerful combination of high-end CPUs and compelling graphical cards can go beyond your expectations regarding performance.

Can I accept that RTX 2080 provides 4K gaming resolution?

The RTX 2080 is an exceptionally powerful graphics card, so you can expect it without any doubt to perform gaming at 4K with maximum refresh rates. You can insert this tremendous card into your system, which is available at an affordable price for impactful performance.

Arslan Ashraf

Arslan Ashraf is a tech enthusiast and an experienced technical writer at GamingDairy. He has been writing all types of guides, tutorials, and tips for gamers, developers, and other people who use computers. His way of writing is quite unique: he starts with testing every single piece of Hardware and does a long list of experiments before writing the actual masterpiece. Well, if you have any queries, ensure to connect with him!