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Best CPUs for RTX 3080

Pair your shiny new RTX 3080 with an awesome CPU that works with your GPU to better streamline your workflows
Last Updated on April 21, 2023

Nvidia has a long-standing reputation for creating some of the most powerful GPUs on the market, and even its older generation models stand the test of time with their impressive performance. Thanks to features, like ray tracing and DLSS technology, GPUs like the RTX 3080 continue to shine, delivering top-notch results for gamers and content creators alike. With prices for older generation components becoming more and more appealing, now is the perfect time to build a system with the RTX 3080 at its core.

To help you find the perfect match, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of the best CPUs for the RTX 3080. In this guide, you’ll discover options that cater to various needs and budgets, ensuring that you can make the most of your RTX 3080 while enjoying the benefits of lower pricing on older-generation hardware.

Products at a Glance

Features and considerations

When you’re on the hunt for the best CPUs for the RTX 3080, there are a bunch of things you should keep in mind. After all, you want a balanced system that’ll make your gaming and work sessions smooth as butter. So, let’s chat about some of the key factors to consider during your search.

First up, let’s talk compatibility. It’s super important to make sure that the CPU you’re eyeing will play nice with your motherboard’s socket type. The RTX 3080 gets along well with most modern CPUs, but it never hurts to double-check that your processor of choice will fit snugly on your current or future motherboard.

Performance is another biggie. The RTX 3080 is one heck of a powerful GPU, so you’ll want a CPU that can keep up with it and prevent any pesky bottlenecks. When browsing through potential CPUs, take a good look at their core count, clock speeds, and overall performance. You want a processor that can handle your GPU’s demands and be a perfect match for your gaming or content creation needs.

Now, we can’t forget about power consumption and heat. A more powerful CPU usually means more heat and higher energy usage, so keep an eye on the TDP and make sure your cooling solution is up to the task. You don’t want your rig turning into a mini space heater or gobbling up too much electricity.

Last but not least, think about your budget. While we all want the latest and greatest, it’s essential to strike a balance between performance and cost. The good news is that there are plenty of excellent CPUs at various price points, so you’re sure to find one that fits both your RTX 3080 and your wallet.

Our Recommended

Best CPUs for RTX 3080

  • Great performance
  • Feature-rich CPU
  • Overclockable
  • Good power efficiency
  • High entry cost

The Ryzen 7 7700X proves to be an outstanding choice for those looking to harness the full power of the RTX 3080. This 8-core, 16-thread CPU from AMD’s Zen 4 architecture boasts a base clock speed of 4.5 GHz and a boost clock speed of 5.4 GHz, ensuring exceptional performance for demanding applications and games alike. Whether you’re aiming for 1440p or 4K gaming, the 7700X has you covered.

Productivity enthusiasts will also appreciate the strong new cores and higher efficiency, allowing for smooth operation through various tasks. However, it’s essential to note that upgrading to this generation requires a new AM5 motherboard and DDR5 RAM.

Additionally, the Ryzen 7 7700X features 32 MB of L3 cache, which contributes to reduced latency and improved overall system performance, making it an ideal match for the high-performance RTX 3080. The 105W TDP of the 7700X ensures efficiency and power-saving capabilities when compared to other high-performance CPUs, ultimately reducing power consumption and system costs.

In conclusion, the Ryzen 7 7700X is a powerful and efficient CPU that delivers excellent performance for users looking to pair it with the RTX 3080.

  • Budget-friendly option
  • Solid gaming performance
  • Cooler included
  • Lower multitasking capabilities
  • Not ideal for heavy content creation
  • Limited overclocking potential

The Intel Core i5-11400F is a fantastic budget-friendly option if you’re looking to pair an RTX 3080 with a CPU that won’t break the bank. It’s part of Intel’s 11th-gen lineup, so you can be sure that it’s packed with some solid performance capabilities despite its budget status.

This little champ comes with 6 cores and 12 threads, making it a great choice for gaming and multitasking. With a base clock of 2.6 GHz and a boost clock of up to 4.4 GHz, it may not be the fastest kid on the block, but it definitely has enough juice to keep up with the RTX 3080.

One of the best things about the i5-11400F is its power efficiency, sporting a TDP of just 65W. You’ll save on energy costs while still enjoying smooth gameplay and solid performance in other tasks. Plus, it’s got Intel’s Hyper-Threading technology, which helps with multitasking and ensures you’re getting the most out of your CPU.

Keep in mind that the “F” in its name means it doesn’t have integrated graphics, but that’s not a concern since you’re pairing it with a beast of a GPU like the RTX 3080. Overall, the Intel Core i5-11400F is a budget-conscious pick that still delivers respectable performance, making it an excellent choice for those looking to save a few bucks without compromising on their gaming experience.

  • Industry-leading gaming performance
  • Energy-efficient design
  • Overclocking and undervolting support
  • Incompatible with DDR4 memory
  • Slightly reduced productivity app performance
  • Costlier AM5 ecosystem

The AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D is a game-changer in the CPU market, offering outstanding gaming performance at a competitive price point. Priced at just $449, this eight-core processor is not only more affordable than its rivals but also delivers a remarkable 12% faster gaming performance on average compared to Intel’s $580 flagship Core i9-13900K. In some titles, it even outperforms the competition by up to 40%, making it a formidable choice for gamers.

What sets the Ryzen 7 7800X3D apart is its cutting-edge 3D V-Cache technology. With a massive 96MB L3 cache capacity, thanks to its 3D-stacked chiplet design, this CPU easily secures its spot among the best gaming processors available today.

The Ryzen 7 7800X3D is built on the new Zen 4 architecture, using a 5nm process, and boasts a peak boost clock of 5.0 GHz, which ensures a consistently high level of performance across various workloads. This is a significant improvement over its predecessor, the 5800X3D, which utilized the Zen 3 architecture and a 7nm process.

Furthermore, AMD has unlocked the 7800X3D for basic overclocking and under-volting, providing enthusiasts with greater flexibility and customization options. This is yet another advantage over the previous generation model.

The AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D is a fantastic choice for gamers and power users alike, delivering incredible gaming performance and solid productivity capabilities at an attractive price point. With its advanced 3D V-Cache technology and Zen 4 architecture, this CPU is set to be a popular choice among those looking to get the most out of their RTX 3080 GPU.

  • Impressive multi-core performance
  • Excellent gaming capabilities
  • High performance-to-price ratio
  • Stock cooler not included
  • Requires a high-end cooling solution

If you’re looking for a high-end CPU to match the sheer power of your RTX 3080, look no further than the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X. This bad boy is the cream of the crop when it comes to performance and will surely elevate your gaming and productivity experiences to new heights.

With a whopping 12 cores and 24 threads, the Ryzen 9 5900X is an absolute powerhouse for multitasking, content creation, and pretty much any demanding task you can throw at it. Sporting a base clock of 3.7 GHz and a boost clock of up to 4.8 GHz, this CPU is no slouch when it comes to speed, either.

The AMD Ryzen 9 5900X is built on the Zen 3 architecture, which brings improved IPC and power efficiency to the table. With a TDP of 105W, it’s a bit more power-hungry than some other options, but it more than makes up for it with its stellar performance.

One thing to keep in mind is the price tag. As a high-end CPU, the Ryzen 9 5900X comes with a premium price. But, if you’re looking to get the most out of your RTX 3080 and want a CPU that can keep up with it, the investment is well worth it.

The AMD Ryzen 9 5900X is a top-tier choice for those who want the best of the best to complement their RTX 3080. It’s got the power, the speed, and the performance to handle anything you can throw at it, making it the ultimate high-end pick for your rig.

How we Picked the Best CPU for RTX 3080

Picking the best CPU for an RTX 3080 can be quite an adventure, but don’t worry, we’ve got your back. To help you find the perfect match, we followed a pretty fun process that made sure we considered all the important factors. Let me walk you through it!

First, we started by making a list of all the CPUs that could potentially pair well with the RTX 3080. We took into account different brands, performance levels, and price ranges, so we could give you a good variety to choose from.

Next up, we dived deep into research mode. We scoured the internet for reviews, benchmarks, and user experiences to see how each CPU performed in real-world situations. We wanted to make sure our picks would truly deliver the goods and not just look good on paper.

To narrow down our list, we then compared the CPUs based on their gaming and content creation performance, power efficiency, and overall compatibility with the RTX 3080. It was important to us that the chosen processors could handle the GPU’s demands and provide a balanced, powerful system.

Finally, after lots of research, comparisons, and maybe a little bit of arguing, we settled on our top picks for the best CPUs to pair with your RTX 3080. We’re confident that our choices will help you create a fantastic gaming or content creation rig that’ll keep you smiling for a long time. So, go ahead and check them out!

Our Verdict

After careful consideration of various options, it’s clear that the best CPU for the RTX 3080 depends on your specific needs and budget.

For a balanced option that delivers high performance without breaking the bank, the Ryzen 7 7700X is a solid choice. While it may require an AM5-ready motherboard, its performance and price point make it the most attractive option overall.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, the Intel Core i5-11400F is a great pick. Despite having only 6 cores and 12 threads, it still delivers solid performance and is a perfect fit for a budget build.

For gamers who want the best possible performance from their RTX 3080, the Ryzen 7 7800X3D is a gaming beast that delivers. It’s the new-gen replacement for the previously crowned best gaming CPU, the 5800X3D.

Finally, for those who demand the absolute best and are willing to pay for it, the Ryzen 9 5900X is the way to go. With an impressive 12 cores and 24 threads, this CPU is a powerhouse that excels at multitasking and content creation.