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Best CPU for the RTX 4060 in 2024 – our top picks for Nvidia’s mid-level card

The RTX 4060 can be paired with a variety of cost-effective silicon
Last Updated on January 23, 2024

In this guide, we will provide insights on picking the best CPU for the Nvidia Geforce RTX 4060 to ensure an optimized gaming experience. When it comes to building a balanced and efficient gaming PC, one of the critical decisions lies in choosing the right CPU that would complement your GPU. If you’re eyeing Nvidia’s latest mid-range offering, the RTX 4060, you’d want to pair it with the best mid-range CPU that won’t hold it back and at the same time won’t blow your budget.

Products at a Glance

Features and considerations

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060, built on the AD106 architecture, features 3072 Cuda cores, 30 rt cores, and 8GB GDDR6 memory. It’s clocked at 1830 MHz base clock speed, which can be boosted to 2535 MHz. This is all packed into a TDP of 115 watts. At a price point of $299, the RTX 4060 provides substantial value for budget-oriented gamers.

However, a balanced gaming system does not solely rely on the GPU. The choice of the CPU is crucial to ensure that the full potential of your GPU is utilized, preventing any potential bottleneck and boosting frame rates. The ideal CPU for the RTX 4060 should be capable enough to keep up with the GPU without causing an imbalance. It’s also worth considering that a new batch of CPUs will be coming out this year, with AMD revealing a new lineup of state-of-the-art silicon at CES. This could well affect the pricing of the last-gen chips, meaning it could pay to wait a little if you’re looking to snap up a bargain.

Our Recommended

Best CPU for the RTX 4060 in 2024 – our top picks for Nvidia’s mid-level card

1
PROS
  • Delivers a good mix of performance and price
  • Superior PCIe 5.0 support compared to Raptor Lake competitors
  • Excellent power efficiency
CONS
  • High platform costs may be a barrier for some
  • It supports only DDR5 RAM
  • Requires a reputable custom cooler to manage heat

The AMD Ryzen 7 7700X, our Editor’s choice, stands as a testament to AMD’s prowess in delivering stellar processing performance without ripping a hole in your wallet. This powerful chip is a step up from AMD’s previously successful AM4 platform, moving into the land grid-based AM5 socket, which supports CPUs up to 230W – promising a future of even more potent processors.

This 8-core, 16-thread chip manages to narrow the performance gap with the Intel 13600K, thanks to the extra cores. The slight speed difference with the 7700X is practically negligible, particularly in the realm of gaming when paired with the RTX 4060.

The AMD Ryzen 7 7700X, with its judicious balance of power and price, better PCIe 5.0 support, and excellent power efficiency, convincingly takes the crown as our editor’s choice. The 7700X won’t let you down when paired with the RTX 4060, delivering a performance that meets and often surpasses expectations.

2
PROS
  • Offers world-class gaming performance
  • Exceptional value for the money
  • Lower platform costs
CONS
  • The chip runs hot
  • Higher power draw
  • Absence of an integrated GPU

The Intel Core i5-13600K finds its sweet spot in the mid-range of Intel’s Raptor Lake lineup, charming users with its ability to excel both in gaming and productivity tasks. Despite being a middle-tier CPU for Intel, this processor has the gusto to punch above its weight, rivaling AMD’s top performers.

Cost-effectiveness is one of the main selling points of the 13600K, and it’s precisely why it finds a special place in many users’ ‘top CPUs’ list. With its 14 cores and 20 threads, this CPU can handle gaming and productivity tasks with aplomb, making it an excellent choice for users who require a balance of power and efficiency.

Even so, the Intel Core i5-13600K earns its stripes on our list of best CPUs for the RTX 4060. Although it may not be the first choice for hardcore gaming enthusiasts, its reliable performance in productivity tasks coupled with solid gaming capabilities make it a worthy contender for anyone looking to get the most bang for their buck.

3
PROS
  • Excellent value for money
  • Easier to cool than the 7600X
  • Minimal gaming performance difference compared to 7600X
CONS
  • Mediocre stock cooler
  • The standard frequency is considerably lower

If you’re seeking a cost-effective entry into the AM5 era and need a processor that can handle 1080p gaming without a hiccup, the AMD Ryzen 5 7600 may just be the chip for you. Don’t let its place as the most affordable and stripped-down AM5 CPU fool you; this little chip packs quite a punch.

Like its X variant, the Ryzen 5 7600 retains a 6-core, 12-thread configuration. Although only one CCD is active, and two cores are disabled, it doesn’t hamper its performance significantly. The base clock speed is slightly lower, but the 7600 still manages to boost up to just 200MHz less than its more powerful counterpart.

What sets the 7600 apart is its modest power consumption—merely 65W compared to the 7600X’s 105W. The lower power draw implies better thermal performance. In fact, AMD is so confident about the Ryzen 5 7600’s thermal management that it includes the Wraith Stealth cooler with it.

4
PROS
  • Offers substantial gaming improvements
  • Works with all AM4 systems
  • Lower platform costs compared to newer models
CONS
  • Doesn't provide multi-threading
  • Sensitive power requirements prevent overclocking
  • Frequency lag compared to the 5800X

If you’re an AM4 holdout in search of a suitable match for your RTX 4060 Ti, AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X3D may well be your top choice. Even though this chip is based on a design that’s now three years old, it continues to hold its own against the latest gaming processors, thanks to a game-changing innovation by AMD.

Originally based on the Ryzen 7 5800X, AMD took it to another level by significantly increasing its L3 cache size. AMD found that expanding the L3 cache size resulted in a substantial enhancement in the performance of its server processors.

As a gamer, the improvements you’ll notice with the 5800X3D are strikingly similar to those you’d expect from a generational upgrade. It can hold its own against the likes of the Ryzen 5 7600X, excelling or trailing slightly depending on the specific game.

How do we pick the best CPU for the RTX 4060?

In choosing the best CPU for the RTX 4060, we consider a few vital factors. We take into account the performance benchmarks of the CPU, the price point, and the compatibility with the GPU and motherboard.

The performance of the CPU is gauged based on its cores, clock speed, and threads. A higher number of cores and threads allow for better multitasking and overall performance, while a higher clock speed leads to faster processing times.

We also consider the price point, ensuring we recommend CPUs that provide the best value for money. Just as the RTX 4060 is a mid-range GPU, the recommended CPU should also be affordable, offering excellent performance without breaking the bank.

With these factors in mind, we sift through the multitude of CPUs in the market to recommend the best fit for your RTX 4060 GPU, providing a balanced, efficient, and budget-friendly gaming experience.

FAQs

What CPU is best for RTX 4060?

According to our top picks, the AMD Ryzen 7 7700X is considered the ideal choice and the most balanced mid-range processor for the RTX 4060. It delivers an excellent blend of performance and price, supports superior PCIe 5.0 optimization compared to its competitors, and boasts excellent power efficiency. This makes the AMD Ryzen 7 7700X a great pairing for the RTX 4060, providing a well-rounded experience for users.

Our Verdict

In conclusion, selecting the best CPU to pair with your NVidia RTX 4060 depends on your specific needs and constraints. For those seeking top-of-the-line gaming performance and value for money, the Intel Core i5-13600KF workloads shine. AMD’s Ryzen 7 7700X specs offer an excellent blend of performance and price, with superior PCIe 5.0 support and power efficiency. The AMD Ryzen 5 7600 is an outstanding MSRP value proposition for budget-conscious gamers, while the Ryzen 7 5800X3D provides impressive gaming enhancements and video editing potential for AM4 platform users.