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Best CPU for RTX 3090 in 2023 – Intel, AMD and gaming picks

The best accompaniment for a top-notch graphics card
Last Updated on August 15, 2023
Best CPU for RTX 3090.

Are you looking for the best CPU for the RTX 3090 GPU?

The NVIDIA RTX 3090 is a powerhouse graphics card, which demands the best hardware to maximize its potential. However, with so many CPU options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. In this article, we’ll be exploring the top CPU options guaranteed to deliver a seamless experience when paired with the RTX 3090. They’ll provide you with smooth performance, low latency, and maximum frame rates.

It is safe to say that the RTX 3090 is the best Nvidia GPU from the last generation. It showed us the best of the 2nd Ray tracing generation and DLSS. The GPU is capable of great 4K gaming, but it is also a card that will endure the most demanding professional usage.

Furthermore, Nvidia’s RTX 3090 features the latest Ampere architecture. It boasts 10,496 CUDA cores and 24 GB of GDDR6X VRAM, which is connected to the GPU via a 384-bit memory bus width. The card is built using Samsung 8N process technology and has a base clock speed of 1395 MHz, with a boost clock speed of 1695 MHz. Featuring a TDP of 350W, the RTX 3090 delivers exceptional performance and is capable of handling demanding games and applications with ease. Additionally, its memory bandwidth of 936.2 GB/s provides fast data transfer and improved overall system performance.

Products at a Glance

How we picked the best CPU for RTX 3090

How much?

To select the best CPU for the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090, your first step should be to determine the budget. High-end CPUs can be expensive, so it’s important to have a clear budget in mind to narrow down your options. Once you have a budget in mind, you can start considering other factors.


The next step is to check for compatibility. Make sure the CPU you choose is compatible with your motherboard and has the appropriate socket type. The RTX 3090 requires a PCI Express 4.0 slot. Additionally, consider the clock speed of the CPU. It should be high enough to keep up with the RTX 3090’s performance demands, with a minimum of 3.0 GHz being recommended. The more cores a CPU has, the better it will perform with the RTX 3090. A CPU with at least 16 cores is recommended. Consider the power consumption of the CPU, with a TDP that matches or is lower than the GPU being recommended to avoid overloading the power supply. Check for overclocking support, as overclocking can improve performance but also increases power consumption and heat output. Finally, look at the brand reputation and choose a well-known brand with a good reputation for quality and support.

If you’re looking for more RTX 3090 recommendations, then head over to our Best Nvidia RTX 3090 Graphics Card guide. As well as, our Best budget CPUs article.

Our Recommended

Best CPU for RTX 3090 in 2023 – Intel, AMD and gaming picks

  • Great performance for productivity
  • Low TDP
  • Outperforms professional Intel CPUs
  • Great gaming performance
  • Overclocked
  • No ray tracing
  • No DLSS

You’ve got to have a CPU with the power to help the 3090 fly. Ultimately, the Ryzen 9 5950X is the best match that we have found. It packs the core count, speed, and power necessary to fulfill any task. From gaming to the most demanding 3D rendering to overclocking, this CPU’s got everything covered.

The base clock frequency of 3.4 GHz and a maximum boost clock of 4.9 GHz make this CPU fast and responsive. It also has an unlocked multiplier, allowing for further performance tuning. The socket compatibility of AMD AM4 ensures that it will work with most motherboards.

The Ryzen 9 5950 is built with 7 nm lithography, which provides excellent power efficiency. It has a large 64 MB of cache, helping to reduce the number of memory accesses. The low TDP rating of 105 watts means that the CPU will not consume too much power, which helps keep the overall system power consumption and heat output under control.

  • Great pricing
  • PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 memory
  • Amazing single-threaded performance
  • Perfect multi-threading results
  • Overclockable
  • It doesn’t come with a cooler
  • No L3 cache

The Intel Core i9-12900K is an excellent choice for those looking to pair their NVIDIA RTX 3090 with a powerful CPU. With its 16 cores and 32 threads, this CPU provides efficient multi-core performance, making it ideal for content creation. The hybrid architecture of Intel, combined with the 12900K’s specs, makes it one of the best CPUs of its generation.

The 12900K is capable of handling multiple tasks at once, allowing your PC to deliver a seamless performance even when running demanding applications. Its base clock speed of 3.2 GHz and boost clock speed of 5.2 GHz make it one of the fastest CPUs in its generation, ensuring that it can keep up with the high performance of the RTX 3090.

Additionally, the TDP of 125W is relatively low for a high-performance CPU, which means it won’t consume too much power or generate too much heat. This helps balance out the high TDP of the RTX 3090, resulting in a well-balanced and efficient system.

 In conclusion, the Intel Core i9-12900K is an ideal choice for those who are looking for a powerful and efficient CPU to pair with their NVIDIA RTX 3090. Its high clock speed, efficient multitasking capabilities, and low TDP make it a great option for high-performance systems.

  • The best gaming performance CPU
  • Great price
  • Low power consumption
  • Great support
  • No overclocking
  • Not the best for productivity tasks

Not everybody cares about productivity, or at least does not need a supercomputer to edit videos. Sometimes, all you want is a rig that can run 4K at 140+ FPS of 1440p at the sweet and beautiful 240 Hz. For those gaming fanatics, AMD’s got the best gaming CPU in the game.

 The Ryzen 7 5800X3D is considered the best gaming CPU for the RTX 3090. This is due to its advanced 3D V-cache technology, which enhances performance in demanding applications, including gaming. The large, high-speed cache is optimized for 3D rendering and other GPU-intensive tasks, allowing the GPU to access data more quickly and efficiently.

This results in improved performance, especially in games with complex 3D models and textures. Additionally, the 3D V-cache can reduce power consumption by reducing the number of times the GPU has to access the main system memory. This powerful feature is only available in select AMD GPUs.

The gaming performance of this CPU is superb even compared with the newer generation of CPUs. AMD hit the jackpot with their original cache usage. So if you’re looking for the best gaming performance above all else, the Ryzen 5800X3D is what you need.

  • High IPC
  • Fast frequencies
  • Multi-threaded Performance
  • Overclockable
  • No integrated graphics
  • No PCIe Gen 5.0

The AMD Ryzen 9 5900X is a budget-friendly option for pairing with the RTX 3090. It has 12 cores and 24 threads, making it a great multi-tasker capable of running multiple applications at once.

With a base clock speed of 3.7GHz and a boost clock speed of 4.8GHz, this CPU delivers good performance without breaking the bank. The 7nm lithography also helps to improve efficiency and performance.

Additionally, it has a TDP of 105W, which is relatively low compared to other high-performance CPUs, meaning it doesn’t consume too much power and generates less heat. This helps to balance the high TDP of the 3090, making it a cost-effective option for those who want to build a gaming or content-creation PC.

  • Great gaming performance
  • High-clock speed
  • Cache capacity could be better

The Intel Core i9 11900K may be an older CPU, but it is still a great component to pair with your RTX 3090. It comes with 8 cores and 16 threads, and supports PCIe Gen 4.0, but only has 16 MB of L3 cache – this is much lower than other offerings from AMD.

The i9 11900K is perfect for gaming, thanks to its 3.5 GHz base clock speed and 5.3 GHz boost frequency. It also has a decent TDP at 125 watts. Despite being an older model, this processor uses the Intel LGA1200 CPU socket. So, you’ll be able to find a compatible motherboard easily.

The Core i9-11900K is a powerful processor that is designed for gamers, enthusiasts, and content creators. It can handle demanding tasks such as gaming, video editing, and streaming with ease.



Features and considerations

It’s important to consider that although from a previous generation, the 3090 still is a high-end GPU. This means it is better suited for demanding content creation tasks such as video editing and professional use. A lot of people might use it for 4K gaming. In all these cases, the unit will work great, but it will need a high-end CPU.

The most important aspect to consider is the CPU core count. The more cores a CPU has, the better it will perform with the RTX 3090. We recommend a CPU with at least 16 cores. With that amount, you’ll ensure that any multithreaded activity can take place. Unless you’re only gaming with this GPU, you shouldn’t go lower than that core count.

After having the core count clear, you must consider the frequency of the CPU. The CPU clock speed should be high enough to keep up with the RTX 3090’s performance demands. A minimum of 3.0 GHz of base clock speed is recommended.

Our Verdict

It all depends on your needs. The RTX 3090 is a versatile GPU, capable of performing great in any environment. If you want to get the best out of the GPU for productivity, the Ryzen 9 5950X is the best option; the core count, cache, clock speed, and overclocking capacity make the CPU a great choice for all power users. Another great option for the same purposes is the Intel i9-12900K.

In conclusion, the CPU choice for an RTX 3090 GPU setup is crucial for optimizing its performance. The Ryzen 9 5950X and Intel Core i9-12900K are the best options for content creation and the Ryzen 7 5800X3D is the best for gaming. For those looking for a budget option, the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X offers great performance for its price. Consider your needs and budget when making a decision on which CPU to choose for your RTX 3090 setup.