Nvidia’s latest and (almost) best next-gen graphics card (the throne is reserved for the RTX 3090), the RTX 3080, is just days away from its market launch, so many of you are thinking probably to acquire one.
And since this one is a game beast, it requires a powerful processor fast enough not to overwhelm it. Additionally, the RTX 3080 requires a strong power supply, so consider upgrading your current unit if you feel it is not up to the task.
Today we’ve put together a list of the best processors to pair with the RTX 3080. It includes some flagship models, but also a few relatively inexpensive choices.
The Best CPU For RTX 3080
These are the best cpu for rtx 3080, list of best processors NVIDIA RTX 3080 graphics card.
- i9-10900K – Best gaming CPU for RTX 3080
- Ryzen 9 3950X – Best AMD processor for RTX 3080
- i7-10700K – Best Intel CPU for RTX 3080
- i5-10600K – Best price-performance ratio
- Ryzen 7 3800X – VR gaming processor for RTX 3080
- AMD Ryzen 7 3700X – Best value for money at AMD
- Ryzen 5 3600 – Best Cheap CPU for RXT 3080
If you want the ultimate in gaming performance, there is only one option: Intel recently released the “Comet Lake” i9-10900K.
This processor has once again pushed the limits of performance with a 5.3 GHz clock that gives it the highest single-core throughput available today. This makes it the fastest gaming processor available today and nothing AMD can offer right now that can match it.
To exploit its potential even more, it is overclockable , which allows you to adjust it to increase the frequency of the clock. It’s no small feat with the chips coming out so quickly from the factory, and you’ll need a top- notch Z490 chipset motherboard and top-of-the-line cooling solution to keep temperatures stable. .
That said, this processor uses Intel’s “Thermal Velocity Boost” algorithms to increase the speed of the clocks when the temperature allows: So if you’re not ready to overclock, as long as you have adequate cooling, the processor will do this for you as standard.
Thanks to its 10 cores and hyperthreading, this processor is well placed to allow multitasking while gaming, including streaming if you want to share your game with others. As the heart of an ultra high-end gaming PC, the i9-10900K represents the current avant-garde and will easily take care of any gaming or whatever task you throw at it. This is the perfect pair for the RTX 3080.
If you are gaming and working on your PC, the Ryzen 3950X is the best choice to pair with the RTX 3080.
This processor is a beast of productivity with its 16 cores and 32 threads , but it’s also good enough for gaming. At 1440p and 4K (resolutions used by virtually all 10900K or 3950X owners), the difference between the 10900K and the 3950X is academic in most titles. And with the B550 and X570 chipsets offering PCIe 4.0 support, the 3950X could end up on a par or have a slight advantage over the 10900K when working with the RTX 3080 graphics card.
When it comes to productivity performance, the 3950X is a step ahead of all Intel processors. If you are using your PC for heavy work, the Ryzen processor is clearly a better choice. Again, if you can wait a few months to build your next gaming and working rig, you might get something like the 4900X . But, when it comes to productivity, even the future flagship model might be slower than the 3950X because it packs fewer cores than the current king of Ryzen processors.
Sure, 3950X owners who use their PCs for serious work might earn more with the RTX 3090 and its monstrous 24GB buffer , but the RTX 3080 should be a solid choice for CUDA-related workloads as well. Finally, let’s not forget the Ryzen 9 3900X . It’s still an amazing processor, both for gaming and for productivity. If you don’t have the money for the 3950X, the 3900X is a great substitute.
If you’re a fan of high frequency shooting but deny yourself the price of an i9-10900K, then the cheaper 8-core i7-10700K should be on your list.
This processor gives only a few hundred MHz in clock speed but retains all the key advantages of the Comet Lake processor architecture for gamers.
With a solid mid-range Z490 motherboard , you’ll be able to enjoy fast and smooth frame rates in all current and upcoming FPS games. Higher frame rates allow you to see the action a fraction of a second before your competition, giving you the edge.
By pairing this processor with an RTX 3080 and 165-240Hz monitor with minimal input lag, you can test your skills . Nvidia even announced a 360Hz monitor and lag reduction technology as part of its keynote address, underscoring its commitment to giving competitive gamers the best possible experience. Paired with an RTX 3080, you’ll have the best device out there.
The i5-10600K core is an excellent processor for gaming.
It features 6 cores and 12 threads and is very easy to overclock. Pair it with a quality Z490 card and a powerful cooling system and you’ll get gaming performance in the range of 10900K for a lot less . That’s why we think the 10600K is the best choice for the reasonably priced processor to pair with the RTX 3080 if gaming is your primary concern.
The 10600K should also perform well with future games thanks to its 12 threads and high boost frequencies. This processor shouldn’t clog the RTX 3080 at 1440p and 4K, but it could do so at 1080p resolution. On the other hand, the RTX 3080 is not a card for 1080p gaming. The least you can do is use it for high refresh rate games at 1440p. And at that resolution and refresh rate, the 10600K card should do the trick.
The virtual reality matures on PC, with helmets like the Oculus Rift S opens the technology to a much wider audience, while the index valve is the current helmet peak.
VR places unique demands on the PC. The graphics card should be as powerful as possible because it should render each scene from two points of view, one for each eye. This increased rendering demand results in lower frame rates. You also need stable and smooth frame rates to maintain immersion and combat motion sickness.
Finally, there’s the cost aspect: With the added cost of the top tier graphics card and a headset, any processor needs to perform well, be balanced, and be good value for money .
That’s why we recommend the Ryzen 7 3800X. This 8- core 16-thread processor delivers great performance with a 4.5GHz boost clock, and while it doesn’t come equipped with the high-end of an Intel Comet Lake processor, the price difference allows you to get most VR headsets.
It comes with a Wraith Prism cooler , which further enhances the value of the offering. AMD’s early adoption of PCIe 4.0 allows you to take advantage of the latest high-speed SSDs if you need that speed for content creation or other demanding workloads. Overall, the Ryzen 3800X offers the best balance of performance, price, and flexibility for a VR gaming rig with an RTX 3080.
Users who play and work on their PC but don’t have (or don’t want) the money to spend on a device like the 3900X or 3950X should pair the RTX 3080 with the Ryzen 7 3700X. This is an 8- core, 16-thread processor which is great as a mixed-use processor. It offers amazing productivity performance for its price. When it comes to gaming, it’s not the fastest of the bunch, but it closely tracks the best Intel processors, especially at 1440p and 4K resolutions. It is also very efficient and does not require an advanced cooling system.
Now the 3700X could end up choking the RTX 3080, especially for games at 1080p and 144Hz at 1440p. Gaming at 1440p at 60Hz shouldn’t suffer, but those who want to get gaming at 1440p at 144Hz might find that the 3700X doesn’t provide enough power for the RTX 3080. If you need a processor only for gaming and you are considering getting the 3700X you can either get the 10600K or wait for the next Ryzen 4000 processors. Some sort of Ryzen 7 4700X should arrive with enough performance improvements to match the RTX 3080 at 1440p and 144Hz.
On the other hand, if you need a processor for productivity first , the 3700X is a great choice. It packs a lot of oomph when it comes to work-related loads and it should be perfect for playing AAA games at 1440p and 60fps and esports titles at 1440 and 120 / 144fps.
The only budget processor we can recommend for pairing with the RTX 3080 is the Ryzen 5 3600, and that’s a bit of a stretch.
The 3600 is most likely going to clog the RTX 3080 to some extent, even at 1440p. If you want to build a pure gaming processor based on the RTX 3080, we strongly recommend that you wait for the Ryzen 4000 processors . The 3600 is great for the price, but combined with the power of the RTX 3080, it won’t be enough, regardless of the resolution and performance expected.
For those looking for a budget processor for work-related tasks, the 3600 is a smart choice. It has enough power to deliver satisfactory performance for productivity tasks and casual gaming sessions that don’t include high refresh rate games. But then again, the 3600 is much better suited to the RTX 3070 and not the flagship 3080 card.