Best CPUs for RTX 2060 – Intel and AMD picks
Discover the best CPUs for RTX 2060 with our top five picks.
We’ve been privy to some exciting releases of late. AMD, Intel, Nvidia, and all the major brands are showing off their new devices and the masses have been rushing out to purchase them. However, not every product is for everyone. There are a ton of great choices on the market for an inexpensive GPU, with the RTX 2060 serving as one of the best examples.
If you’re one of those PC enthusiasts utilizing this specific GPU, we assume you’re also looking for some of the best CPUs to pair with your RTX 2060. With so many options available, it can be difficult to narrow down which processor is the perfect match.
Products at a Glance
How we picked the best CPUs for the RTX 2060
When it comes to gaming, having the right CPU can make all the difference to your gaming performance. To determine which is the best for use in tandem with an Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics card, we put together a comprehensive list of factors to consider.
The first and most important factor we looked at was how well each CPU could handle multiple cores. This helps ensure that there’s enough power for intensive games and applications to run smoothly on your machine. We also took into consideration RAM compatibility so that you can maximize your gaming experience with as much memory as possible.
Additionally, we paid special attention to each processor’s overall performance rating and price range so that you get maximum value without sacrificing quality or breaking the bank.
Best CPUs for RTX 2060 – Intel and AMD picks
- Low power consumption
- Great multi-threading
- Amazing single-thread performance
- PCIe Gen4
- Bundled cooler
- Limited manual and auto-overclocking headroom
The RTX 2060 is not a new GPU. Since its release, a variety of changes have been made to the graphics card world. Along with those changes, CPUs have moved up the ladder, as well. To use the RTX 2060, which is still a very good GPU for gaming and working, we need to make sure to pair it with a CPU on a similar level to avoid bottleneck issues.
Enter the Ryzen 5 3600X. Ryzen processors have been the go-to processor for gamers and PC enthusiasts since its release in 2019. This 6-core/12-thread AMD CPU is designed to deliver high performance with low power consumption. It’s an excellent choice for gaming PCs because it can handle intensive tasks, like streaming, video editing, and multitasking, without breaking a sweat.
This beast of a chip comes with a base clock speed of 3.8GHz that can be pushed up to 4.4GHz. It also packs 32 MB of L3 cache and supports PCIe 4.
- Unlocked multiplier
- Great Single-threaded performance
- No bundled cooler
- Need a Z-series motherboard to overclock
The Intel Core i5-9600K has been one of the audience’s and reviewers’ favorite CPUs in this range for quite a long time. This is a mid-range processor that offers a great combination of features, performance, and price.
This 9th generation processor features 6 cores and 6 threads, bringing a lot to the table for those looking for an upgrade or wanting to build their own gaming rig based on the RTX 2060. With a base clock speed of 3.7 GHz and Turbo Boost speeds up to 4.6GHz, the i5-9600K is capable of achieving strong single-core performance as well as excellent multi-core performance when paired with higher-end components, such as high-speed RAM and good graphics card. The unlocked multiplier also allows users to easily overclock the processor if they require even more performance out of it, making it one of the best CPUs for the RTX 2060.
If you want to be privy to some great performance while using the RTX 2060, this Intel chip is a great choice, even more so when we take into account the nice price of this CPU. This is the best budget CPU for your RTX 2060.
- Good for 1080p gaming
- Amazing price point
- Bundled cooler
- Disabled graphics
- Locked ratio multiplier
The Intel Core i5-9400F provides excellent performance for power users. The 9400F features 6 cores, a base frequency of 2.9GHz, and a maximum boost frequency of 4.1GHz making it an ideal good processor to match the RTX 2060. It doesn’t include support for HyperThreading technology, but that is what makes it so cheap.
The processor is ideal for multitasking and mid-range workloads. Additionally, this processor is designed with an enhanced 14nm process node, providing improved energy efficiency compared to previous generations while still delivering impressive performance results.
The 9400F comes equipped with Smart Cache memory that measures in at 9MB. This ensures a quicker response time when accessing frequently used data or applications.
- AM4 socket
- Great multi-threading response
- No integrated graphics
The AMD Ryzen 5 5600X is among the best processors for gamers interested in using an RTX 2060 graphics card specifically for gaming. The 6-core, 12-thread processor has enough power to help this GPU run the vast majority of games and increase performances within a budget. It’s the most modern option out of the Ryzen CPUs. It is also among the best CPUs for the RTX 2060, so if you’re also thinking of upgrading, this could be the perfect choice for you.
Besides the Cores and threads, the Ryzen 5 5600X also has a considerable frequency speed. It runs at a 3.7GHz base clock speed and 4.6GHz boost speed. It uses the current Socket AM4, so compatibility shouldn’t be an issue for now.
- LGA 1700 compatible
- Does not support PCIe 5.0
The Intel Core i5-12600 is another amazing choice for the RTX 2060. It offers gamers high-performance processing that won’t break the bank. But it is not only great for gaming, this option is a solid choice for content creators too. Especially, those who need a processor to handle demanding tasks like video editing and 3D rendering.
It comes with 6 cores and 12 threads, perfect for demanding applications, 18 MB of Intel Smart Cache for fast data access, and DDR5 memory support. If you’re looking for a powerful and affordable processor for gaming, content creation, or everyday use, the Intel Core i5-12600 is a great option.
Features and considerations
When deciding on the best CPU to pair with your RTX 2060, there are several features and considerations that you should keep in mind. First, you want to ensure that the processor is compatible with the RTX 2060 GPU. You’ll want to check that both components will work together in order for you to get optimal performance out of them. With this step, the main objective is to avoid potential bottlenecks down the line.
Next, consider the clock speed of the CPU. The extra GHz provided by a higher-clocked chip can help boost performance when gaming or running other applications on your PC. Similarly, you’ll also want to think about how many cores the processor has. Having more cores can improve multitasking efficiency and allow for smoother frames during intensive gaming sessions.
Additionally, look at whether or not overclocking is an option on the processor, as this could give you even greater performance gains if applicable.
And that’s all of the current best CPUs for the RTX 2060, a card that may be a bit aged but still packs a mighty punch, especially when paired up with a worthy processor. While Nvidia sells its newest cards at a hefty premium, PC enthusiasts should think of utilizing older cards to save a bit on their overall rig costs. If you’re not intending on running 4K games and 3D editing, an RTX 2060 isn’t that bad of an option for a GPU, and any one among these processors will prove its worth.
Building a gaming PC is always a pleasure. Building one and not breaking the bank is an even more pleasurable experience. For this purpose, the RTX 2060 GPU is an amazing product. To match that up we’ve seen five great CPUs to ensure the best performance at the best possible price.
In conclusion, the best CPU for the RTX 2060 GPU is the Ryzen 5 3600X, which provides excellent performance at an affordable price.
The Intel Core i5-9600K is a great alternative with slightly lower performance but still offers good value for the money spent. For those on a tighter budget, the Intel Core i5-9400F or Ryzen 5 5600X are viable options that provide decent performance at a lower cost.