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Best CPU for RTX 3070 Ti in 2024 – our top picks from AMD and Intel

Check out these amazing options to pair up with Nvidia's popular 3000 series card
Last Updated on May 3, 2024
Two amd ryzen 5 processor boxes on a desk, highlighted by purple ambient lighting, with a small "Best CPU for RTX 3070 ti" logo in the upper right corner.
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Whether you’re a gamer, content creator, graphic designer, or beginner enthusiast, selecting a processor for your rig is one of the most crucial steps of the building process. Choose wisely and you’ll have a PC that can run anything, but make a mistake and you’ll fall into the doom of bottleneck or overspending. Sounds like a situation that most would like to avoid; luckily, we’re here to step in.

You must have heard of the 3070 Ti by now: released in 2021, it’s the enhanced version of the mid-range beast of the 3070, offering an upgrade to 6,144 CUDA cores, a 1.77GHz boost speed, and the newer GDDR6X memory. As a mid-ranger, the 3070 Ti has established itself as a solid gaming GPU that’s still competitive in the market despite being superseded by the 4070 Super series.

This unit has special characteristics that make it a gaming goal. It’s a fairly affordable unit, it’s strong and fast, and it benefits from the 2nd generation Ray tracing and DLSS. Naturally, to match that speed and power, you need an equally stronger CPU. Depending on the specs of the unit, you’ll be better set for some tasks over others. Nevertheless, we’ve cherry-picked a suitable lineup that should tick the boxes for a variety of 3070 Ti users, so let’s jump straight in.

Products at a glance

How we picked the best CPU for RTX 3070 Ti

When it comes to purchasing a graphics card such as the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, finding a well-matched processor is just as important. It’s essential that gamers select a CPU powerful enough to handle their desired settings and provide them with an optimal gaming experience and well-rounded performance.

When selecting a CPU, there are several factors that should be taken into account. Firstly, users must consider their budget and how much they are willing to spend on the processor alone. Secondly, they should look at what type of games they will be playing – this will help determine which processor would best suit their needs. So, the first port of call was to scour the performance metrics of the highest-rated CPUs from both Intel and AMD, comparing core counts, thread counts, and clock speeds to get a feel for overall computational ability.

Compatibility was up next, as not only did we have to make sure each CPU was compatible with different motherboards, chipsets, and socket types for working seamlessly with the 3070 Ti, but also equally futureproofed for being a long-lasting part of your system.

Lastly, research into benchmark scores for different processors should be conducted in order to ensure maximum performance from the chosen CPU. Luckily, we’ve done our own benchmarking of our lineup in our in-house reviews, and have given each of them a seal of approval after getting hands-on. Click the review link to check them out and find out more about how we test each CPU in this testing guide.

If you’re interested in more RTX 3070 Ti articles, then head over to our Is the 3070 Ti good? piece. As well as, our RTX 4060 Ti vs RTX 3070 Ti comparison article.

Our top picks

Best CPU for the RTX 3070 Ti
01
  • AMD Ryzen 5 7600X CPU in front of its packaging, featuring the "7000 series processor" label.
  • AMD Ryzen 5 7600X processor with visible pins on a white background.
Best in ClassExcellent
Specifications
  • Cores: 6
  • Threads : 12
  • Boost speed : 5.3 GHz
  • Base speed: 4.7 GHz
  • L3 Cache: 32 MB
  • TDP: 105W
  • Platform: AMD (AM5)
Reasons to Buy
  • Amazing performance-per-watt ratio, with a TDP of 105W
  • You get this impressive performance for a competitive price
  • Its 6 cores and 12 threads go a long way
Reasons to Avoid
  • Unfortunately, you’ve got no DDR4 support
  • Fewer cores than Intel alternatives
  • These fewer cores means  it doesn’t excel in heavy workstation tasks

As our top choice of processor for the 3070 Ti, we’ve gone for the Ryzen 5 7600X. Combining AMD’s latest Zen 4 architecture and a base frequency of 4.7GHz, this processor offers high performance without breaking the bank. Its 6 cores and 12 threads provide exceptional power for multitasking and intensive gaming alike, allowing you to run modern titles at high settings effortlessly.

Additionally, the Ryzen 5 7600X features a total of 32MB of cache memory which further enhances its ability to handle demanding workloads quickly and efficiently. With support for PCIe 5.0 technology too, users can take advantage of faster storage speeds while enjoying lag-free gaming experiences at higher resolutions.

AMD is proud to introduce to the general population one of the world’s finest processors for video games at a stunning price tag. This processor is similar in functionality to the one from Intel, which likewise provides the best productivity at pixel resolution 1080p and 1440p. This was also the case in our in-house benchmarking from our Ryzen 7600X review, which saw it flying through Cyberpunk 2077 in 1080 with a 295 FPS average, standing as a testament to just how well entry-level CPUs can perform these days.

The Ryzen 5 7600X brings big value for a small price – it performs well in gaming workloads and can hold it’s own in more productive tasks, it seems 6 cores go a long way these days.

PC Guide

AMD created the Ryzen 5 7600X as one of the best processors on the market for gaming, as we’ve clearly just seen. But, if you’re upgrading an existing processor, remember that the third generation Ryzen 7000 processors only support DDR5 RAM and require a motherboard with the AM5 socket and DDR5 RAM. The 32MB of total cache makes the Ryzen 5 7600X one of the best processors for handling heavy loads. It has 6 cores that may surge to 5.3GHz of boosted frequency. In such instances, overclocking isn’t mandatory to reach such speeds. By itself, the processor is capable of doing such a task, provided you have an appropriate CPU cooler.

What users say

As our top pick, and as an entry-level CPU no less, it’s no surprise that users on Amazon have praised the performance and value of the Ryzen 5 7600X. One review commends these traits in particular, describing the 7600X as “the best value bargain deal in terms of ALL CPUs on the market right now…regardless if you prefer AMD or Intel”. It’s clearly no joke for gaming either: “With its six cores, twelve threads, and unlocked multiplier, this processor is designed to cater to the needs of gamers seeking high-speed, multitasking capabilities”.

Best Intel CPU for the 3070 Ti
02
  • Close-up of a computer's motherboard featuring a mounted Intel Core i5-13600K processor with visible socket and screws on a detailed circuit background.
  • Close-up of an Intel Core i5-13600K processor in focus, with a blurred blue computer case in the background.
  • An Intel Core i5-13600K processor displayed in front of a blurred computer case.
  • Intel Core i5-13600K CPU against a plain white background.
Excellent
Specifications
  • Cores: 14 (6P-8E)
  • Threads: 20
  • Boost speed : P-Core 5.1GHz / E-Core 3.5GHz
  • Base speed: P-Core 3.5GHz / E-Core 2.6GHz
  • L3 Cache: 24MB
  • TDP: 181W
  • Platform: Intel (LGA 1700)
Reasons to Buy
  • Perfect for high-performance gaming alongside the RTX 3070 Ti
  • Supports either DDR4 or DDR5, so is versatile for all systems
  • Just as good as the 14600K, but costs less.
Reasons to Avoid
  • Notably high power consumption and temperatures for its offerings
  • Hence, you’ll need to take into account cooling requirements
  • If you haven’t had to yet, you’ll need to upgrade to LGA 1700

If you’re looking for a CPU that allows you to do more than just gaming for a similar price tag, then you can also consider going with Team Blue, and we’re pushing the 13600K into the spotlight. It’s known around the world that Intel holds the crown in terms of a better environment for content creation and productivity tasks, although AMD has reduced that gap significantly these past couple of years.

The Intel Core i5-13600K is a powerful little processor with 14 cores and 20 threads. Despite its affordable price of $320, it still manages to deliver top-notch performance. Compared to the previous model, the i5-13600K has double the number of E-cores and a combination of 8 efficient and 6 high-performance cores. It also supports Hyper-threading, giving it 20 total threads. All this power is packed into a chip that only uses 125W of energy – how’s that for value?

The Core i5 13600K is a fantastic CPU for those looking to get a great performance CPU without breaking the bank

PC Guide

This design is good for gaming and performs well in both light and heavy tasks. It has more cores and faster clock speeds which make it perform better than the 7600X, and positions it as close to the Intel Core i9 family but with a lower cost and power use. Our benchmarking of the chip in our i5-13600K review stood as a testament to this too, reaching a 179 FPS 1080p average in Cyberpunk, and a 162 FPS 1080p average in Elden Ring. In layman’s terms, its performance is bang on for enhancing the 1080p efficiency of the 3070 Ti, and 1440p should be a breeze too.

This CPU can be overclocked for better performance, but without a built-in graphics card, the Intel Core i5-13600KF is similar but cheaper. If you have a graphics card, this is a cost-effective choice for the same performance.

What users say

With an average of 4.8 stars across its Amazon user reviews, it’s fair to say that the i5-13600K has gotten a good rep for itself for being an excellent value CPU with a stellar performance for its price. Users have commented on how it’s a “champion in the mid-range desktop processor arena”, and commend it for being a “true powerhouse”. On the flip side, heat management has cropped up a few times, and it’s well-known that particular processors, such as the 13600K, can get hot when performing under heavy loads or stress.

Best AMD CPU for the 3070 Ti
03
  • AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D 8-core processor retail box.
Reasons to Buy
  • Excellent gaming performance
  • 3D V-cache technology
  • Best value on this list
Reasons to Avoid
  • Can get quite hot
  • Single-core performance can be a bit sub-optimal

Next up, we’ve concluded that fans of Team Red should certainly consider the Ryzen 7 5800X3D as their AMD pick for pairing alongside an RTX 3070 Ti. The X3D platform, which has exploded with new releases from AMD, still proves to be an exciting new edition to the processor market. Despite being AMD’s very first iteration of the X3D lineup, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D is still an amazing option as the best CPU for a 3070 Ti.

The 5800X3D is host to 8 cores and 16 threads, and, as mentioned previously, leverages AMD’s 3D v-cache technology, which gifts it a ton more L3 cache for exciting enhancements and efficiency. This means games will effectively run better, and multi-tasking workloads will also be much smoother, but it does come with one major downside: no overclocking. If you can get past that though, the $325 price tag is a hard bargain to pass up.

Despite being AMD’s very first iteration of the X3D lineup, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D is still an amazing option as the best CPU for a 3070 Ti.

PC Guide

On top of this, it’s also remarkably efficient, with a TDP of just 105W. While this has its benefits, some users might find themselves held back overall by the lack of support for DDR5; on the flip side, it means you won’t need to invest in an AM5 or DDR5 ecosystem just yet, which could be a cost-efficient solution for a lot of users that are upgrading their rig one component at a time.

What users say

Amazon users have given the Ryzen 7 5800X3D a whole lot of praise on Amazon, with 92% awarding it with a shiny 5-star rating. In particular, there was a focus on its performance, smoothness, value, and also how easy it was to set up in a PC. While some users found it running on the hot side, there was no lack of comments on the 5800X3D being a “worthy investment that transforms your computing capabilities”.

Best performance CPU for the 3070 Ti
04
  • An Intel Core i9-13900K processor installed in a motherboard socket, surrounded by circuits and components.
Highly Recommended
Specifications
  • Cores: 24 (8P-16E)
  • Threads: 32
  • Boost speed : P-Core 5.7GHz / E-Core 4.3GHz
  • Base speed: P-Core 3.0GHz / E-Core 2.2GHz
  • L3 Cache: 36 MB
  • TDP: 253W
  • Platform: Intel (LGA 1700)
Reasons to Buy
  • 24 strong cores, giving it great multi-tasking and single-thread performance
  • Sensible upgrade that still uses the LGA 1700 socket
  • Versatile for gaming, productivity, and creative tasks
Reasons to Avoid
  • High performance means high power consumption
  • Can definitely get very hot too
  • At the top end of the budget spectrum

Sometimes you just want the best of the best, we can’t blame you for that. If that’s your case, then you could be in need of the Intel i9-13900K. This is the strongest CPU from the Raptor Lake generation of Intel; it was built to endure hardcore processes, and thanks to a large amount of cores multi-tasking is the main activity you should perform on this CPU.

The Intel i9-13900K is a high-end desktop CPU that was released in 2021, standing as the previous flagship replaced only by the 14900K. It features 24 cores and 32 threads, with 8 cores designated as performance cores (P-cores) and 16 cores as efficient cores (E-cores). The P-cores have a base clock speed of 3.0 GHz and a boost clock speed of 5.8 GHz, while the E-cores have a base clock speed of 2.2 GHz and a boost clock speed of 4.3 GHz.

For pairing alongside a 3070 Ti, there’s not much more of a future-proof choice; while you could go for the 14th Gen, there’s only a marginal performance upgrade that’s not necessarily worth your investment. Our very own 13900K review and in-house benchmarking shows the chip making light work of AAA titles at 1080p, with Cyberpunk 2077 and CS2 averaging 342 FPS and 185 FPS respectively.

The CPU has 68 MB of cache memory split between L2 and L3 caches, and a thermal design power (TDP) of 125W. The peak boost power (PBP) and memory transfer rate (MTP) are 253W and DDR4-3200/DDR5-5600, respectively. The Intel i9-13900K is priced at $589, while the KF version without integrated GPU is priced at $564.

While the Intel Core i9-13900K is no longer the flagship it was at release, generous discounts and high performance still make it an ideal processor to consider in 2024.

PC Guide

Features and considerations

The very first thing to consider when selecting a CPU is the number of cores. The more cores, the more tricks it can perform simultaneously. You’ll find that the bigger the version, the more cores it has. This is mainly because the Ryzen 9 or Intel i9 is built for serious workloads that need to involve all the cores.

On the other hand, with Ryzen 5 or Intel i5, the number of cores diminishes, making them less expensive, and more suitable for gaming because, luckily, gaming is mainly a single-core activity. So, considering the architecture and number of cores of your CPU is very crucial. In accordance with this, each brand is better at some aspects than the other.

To perform more well-nigh-perfect AAA games, AMD’s architecture is better capable of dealing with video game rasterization. On the other hand, while Intel is better at coping with serious game platforms thanks to its multi-thread architecture, this efficacy difference changes depending on the CPUs and the price point.

This leads us to the next point. The 3070 Ti is a mid-level GPU, so the build will be based on a budget that can always allow for the fanciest features. With this in mind, you must consider value-to-performance productivity. One of the best sensations when building a budget rig is knowing that you got the best piece at the best possible price.

What is the best CPU for 3070 Ti gaming performance?

The AMD Ryzen 5 7600X is a great choice for optimal gaming performance. It has 8 cores and 16 threads, making it powerful enough to handle demanding gaming tasks. The Ryzen 5 7600X is also built on the advanced Zen 2 architecture and manufactured using 7nm process technology, which gives it a competitive edge in terms of performance and efficiency.

Camilo is a contributor for PC Guide. He's been into tech since he was a teen, surfing through the web and local stores trying to find the cheapest way to play the latest Half-Life on his old Windows