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Best CPU for Nvidia RTX 4080 Super – our top picks

Pair your new RTX 4080 Super with its perfect processing match
Last Updated on May 8, 2024
Amd Ryzen processor box and chip on a desk with colorful computer hardware, the best CPU for Nvidia RTX 4080 Super, in the background.
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Fresh out of CES 2024, the upgraded RTX Super has swooped in as the better and improved 4080, so we’re taking a look at the best possible CPU to pair up with your shiny new 4080 Super. The 40 Series has been getting a much-needed refresh with the launch of a lineup of Super variants, with the 4080 Super getting more CUDA cores and GDDR6X video memory, offering a significant upgrade over its non-Super predecessor. All of this has left it just second to the 4090 itself – all of which we dived into in our RTX 4080 Super review where we put the card through its paces.

Needless to say, to make the most out of this GPU, you’ll be wanting to invest in a processor that will enhance its prowess and work alongside it harmoniously for superior performance. So, in this article, we bring you a selection of processors for your RTX 4080 Super, no matter if you’re looking to work hard or play hard.

Products at a glance

How we picked the best CPU for the RTX 4080 Super

To identify the best CPUs for pairing with the RTX 4080 Super, we delve into extensive research, examining publicly available benchmarks and user reviews. This approach allows us to understand how different CPUs perform in real-world scenarios, particularly in gaming and professional applications, scouting out those with the best price-to-performance ratio. After all, you’re likely to keep the same processor for at least a couple of years before you next decide to upgrade.

Of course, while we mentioned our 4080 Super review above, it’s also worth knowing that we’ve done our fair share of CPU reviews too. Where we can, we always make sure to recommend processors that we’ve had hands-on experience with, and that we’ve given our personal seal of approval. Our wide range of reviews also helps with positioning other alternatives on the performance podium.

By synthesizing data from our own benchmarks, reviews from in-house and online, and expert analysis, we ensure that our recommendations for the best CPU for the RTX 4080 Super are well-informed, trustworthy, and cater to a wide range of needs; whether it’s for high-end gaming or demanding professional work. This includes taking budget into account, as at $999 this GPU has a high starting price. So, we’ve included options for both high-end and more affordable CPU picks for those not to completely break the bank. 

However, if you are looking more specifically at the lower end of the price range, we’ve got you covered with some picks of the best budget CPUs. Furthermore, given that the RTX 4080 Super graphics card will excel in gaming scenarios, it could be worth checking out the best CPU for gaming too.

Our top picks

Best CPU for the RTX 4080 Super
01
  • Blue and white box of an Intel Core i7-13700KF 13th gen unlocked CPU, labeled "discrete graphics required.
  • An Intel Core i7-13700K processor box on a desk with a blurred background.
  • An Intel Core i7-13700K processor in its packaging, displayed in front of a blurred background with blue hues.
  • Intel Core i7-13700K CPU on a white background.
Best in ClassHighly Recommended
4 /5
Editor’s Rating
How We Review
Specifications
  • Cores: 16
  • Threads: 24
  • Platform: Raptor Lake-S
  • Base Clock Speed: 100 MHz
  • Boost Clock Speed: 5.4 GHz
  • L3 Cache: 30 MB (shared)
  • TDP: 125 W
Reasons to Buy
  • Excellent price-to-performance ratio
  • Great for gaming and content creation, and can be overclocked too
  • Future-proof with DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 support
Reasons to Avoid
  • Requires a high-quality cooler, as it’s known to run hot
  • High power consumption
  • Might be overkill for casual users, but well paired with the 4080 Super

The Intel Core i7-13700K stands out as an ideal choice for users seeking a high-performance processor that delivers on demanding tasks without straining the wallet. Its innovative hybrid architecture, which merges Performance-cores (P-cores) and Efficient-cores (E-cores), brilliantly balances power and performance, making it a multitasking powerhouse. Speaking of cores, you’ve got 16 cores and 24 threads, so there are potent multi-thread capabilities combined with a max turbo speed of 5.4GHz (over 5.0GHz for the Core i7-12700K).

This processor is a dream for gamers and content creators alike, offering outstanding game frame rates and effortlessly managing video editing and rendering tasks. For those passionate about tinkering and overclocking, the i7-13700K provides ample opportunity to enhance performance even further. Its support for DDR5 RAM and PCIe 5.0 positions it as a future-ready investment. It might not have as much multithreaded processing power as its i9 counterpart, but at its price point, it’s a strong value proposition – especially considering the 14th gen hardly added a performance upgrade.

The Intel Core i7-13700K stands out as an ideal choice for users seeking a high-performance processor that delivers on demanding tasks without straining the wallet.

PC Guide

However, it’s worth noting that the i7-13700K demands a solid cooling solution, especially under heavy use, a key factor for those assembling a new PC or updating an existing setup – user reviews are a testament to this thing running hot. Additionally, its higher power consumption is something to consider for those prioritizing energy efficiency. Nonetheless, for a CPU for your 4080 Super, it’s fair to say that the 13700K can’t be ignored as one of the best options currently out there on the market, and can often be found far below the $400 mark.

What users say

User reviews of the i7-13700K on Amazon are a testament to its flawless out-of-the-box performance and excellent value, although there’s mixed feedback on thermal throttling and power consumption: it will no doubt require “beefy cooling”. However, that’s not the be-all or end-all, as plenty of users picked up on how it excels at “handling everything I throw at it”.

Best gaming CPU for the 4080 Super
02
  • Product packaging of an AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D processor featuring 3D V-Cache technology, with an orange and black color scheme.
Specifications
  • Cores: 8
  • Threads: 16
  • Boost speed : up to 5 GHz
  • Base speed: 4.2 GHz
  • L3 Cache: 96 MB
  • TDP: 120 W
  • Platform: AMD (AM5)
Reasons to Buy
  • Enormous 96MB L3 cache enhances gaming
  • Top-tier gaming performance
  • Supports PCIe 5.0 and DDR5
Reasons to Avoid
  • Not ideal for productivity tasks
  • Requires high-end cooling solutions
  • Limited support for older DDR4 RAM

The AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D redefines the gaming experience, emerging as the prime choice for gamers who demand unparalleled performance in their setups. Boasting the advanced Zen 4 architecture with 8 cores and 16 threads, this CPU is engineered to smoothly run the most current and demanding games. Its impressive base clock of 4.2 GHz guarantees smooth gameplay, providing an immersive experience at high resolutions and settings, and a boost up to 5 GHz is no joke either.

A key highlight of this CPU is its massive L3 cache, which significantly boosts gaming performance by enabling quicker data access – benefitting from the 3D V-cache technology from AMD too. For gamers whose main concern is top-tier gaming performance, the Ryzen 7 7800X3D stands as the undisputed leader. Additionally, its compatibility with PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 RAM solidifies its position as a future-ready choice, ensuring a gaming system that remains cutting-edge for years.

A key highlight of this CPU is its massive L3 cache, which significantly boosts gaming performance by enabling quicker data access – benefitting from the 3D V-cache technology from AMD too.

PC Guide

However, the Ryzen 7 7800X3D does present certain challenges. Its high-performance nature necessitates investing in costly cooling solutions. Moreover, this CPU’s specialization in gaming implies that it might not be the optimal choice for those seeking a more versatile CPU that excels equally in gaming and productivity tasks.

What users say

The impressive performance of the Ryzen 7 7800X3D is highly praised in its Amazon user reviews, in which it received an astounding average of 4.8 stars – someone even went as far as to describe it as “the perfect gaming CPU”. Efficiency is also a commended feature, with users saying that the “7800X3D stays extremely efficient during all workloads”, especially when compared to power-hungry Intel alternatives.

Best high-end CPU for the RTX 4080 Super
03
  • An Intel Core i9-13900K processor installed in a motherboard socket, surrounded by circuits and components.
Highly Recommended
Reasons to Buy
  • Unmatched performance in gaming aside from the current flagship
  • Significant overclocking potential for extreme speeds
  • Supports DDR5 and PCIe 5.0
Reasons to Avoid
  • Expensive, despite being part of the previous gen
  • Requires advanced cooling, and has high power consumption too

The Intel Core i9-13900K is a juggernaut in the realm of high-end gaming and professional workloads, offering blistering speeds and unmatched multitasking capabilities. It’s particularly suited for users who engage in intensive gaming, 3D rendering, and video editing, providing the raw power needed for these demanding tasks. Overall, it stands as a well-rounded processor that’s still one of the very best from Team Blue!

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

Specs-wise, it’s clear that we’ve got a previous flagship on our hands, as the i9-13900K comes equipped with a 24 core (8 performance and 16 efficiency) and 32 thread architecture, with 32 MB L3 cache and a boost speed of 5.7 GHz. Needless to say, its performance across gaming and productivity is shadowed only by its successor, the 14900K, and that’s something proved in our in-house benchmarks in our 13900K review. Paired alongside a 4080 Super, you should have no problem breezing through the likes of Cyberpunk 2077, CS2, or Days Gone at averages of 342 FPS, 185 FPS, and 261 FPS at 1080p respectively. Single and multi-core performance for synthetic tasks was found to be equally impressive.

For overclocking enthusiasts, the i9-13900K is a dream come true, presenting substantial scope to enhance performance beyond its already formidable base. Its support for the latest DDR5 memory and PCIe 5.0 empowers users to create a top-of-the-line system equipped with the most advanced components available.

For gamers, the i9-13900K ensures that the CPU will not bottleneck even the most powerful GPUs, ensuring smooth and immersive gaming experiences at the highest settings. Overall, the versatility of this premium CPU earns it its prestigious spot as one of the best processors for the RTX 4080 Super.

What users say

Just as you might expect from a previous flagship, user reviews of the i9-13900K on Amazon are complimentary to say the least, with 88% of buyers rating the CPU 5 stars. Highlighted features are its performance and versatility, but there’s a bit of a mixed reception of the processor’s thermal management. For example, one user commented that “its 24 cores offer a level of processing power that’s perfect for gamers, content creators, and professionals seeking exceptional performance”, but another did mention that “like all the reviews you see online say, it puts out some serious heat” so that’s worth bearing in mind.

Best CPU for the RTX 4080 Super for the money
04
  • 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.
Excellent
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
  • Excellent value for performance
  • Supports PCIe 5.0 and DDR5
  • Eco mode to manage power and heat
Reasons to Avoid
  • Generates significant heat
  • Requires effective cooling, so you may end up needing to make an additional investment

The RTX 4080 Super is a powerful GPU, and if you want to go the budget path, you will still need to invest; otherwise, you’ll end up with a CPU that can’t follow the pace. In this case, the Ryzen 7 7600X is the perfect match; it’s the most economical choice from the list and still has enough power to handle the powerhouse – it’s proof that 6 cores can still go a long way even in 2024.

Built on the Zen 4 architecture, the 7600X boasts 6 cores and 12 threads, with a base clock of 4.7 GHz and an impressive boost clock of up to 5.3 GHz – high considering its price point. From gaming to productivity, this is a formidable choice. It’s especially suited for users who need a reliable and powerful CPU but are also conscious of their budget. Our Ryzen 5 7600X review was a testament to this too, with our synthetic benchmarks finding it nearly on par with the 7900X: CPU-Z benchmarks found the 7600X bringing fantastic single-core performance of 766 points, and the 7900X only scores 778 in the single-core testing, and that has a core speed 0.3GHz higher than the 7600X. Of course though, its fewer cores means it won’t be as good for heavy workstation tasks as other alternatives.

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

Furthermore, its support for the latest PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 RAM is a significant advantage if you want to future-proof your system for upcoming technological advancements. This CPU is an ideal choice for those looking to build a high-performance system that remains relevant for the foreseeable future.

What users say

Similarly to us, users on Amazon reviewing the Ryzen 5 7600X have picked up on its performance, value, and how good it is for gaming in particular. With its 6 cores and 12 threads, it’s no wonder buyers found the 7600X “providing a perfect balance for gaming and multitasking”, and it’s been referred to by some as a “gaming powerhouse”. One user summarised it well, stating that “7600X stands out as an excellent choice for gamers seeking a powerful and cost-effective desktop processor”.

Features and considerations

The ideal CPU should not only match the GPU’s high performance but also ensure that it doesn’t become a bottleneck in your system. A key feature to consider is the processor’s clock speed, as a higher clock speed can handle tasks more quickly and efficiently, making it ideal for gaming and heavy workloads.

Another essential aspect is the compatibility with your existing system, especially the motherboard. Opt for a CPU that fits your motherboard’s socket type to avoid unnecessary upgrades. Also, TDP ratings play a significant role in managing the system’s heat output, as CPUs with higher TDP ratings might require more robust cooling solutions. Luckily for you, we’ve got 4080 Super PC builders covered with the variety of content we’ve covered surrounding the latest Super series, and you won’t have to worry about compatibility by going with some of our selections for the best motherboard for the 4080 Super as well as the best PSU for the 4080 Super – not to mention, we’ve looked at the best case, too.

What CPU will not bottleneck an RTX 4080 Super?

A minimum of a Ryzen 5 or Core i5 is required to avoid bottlenecking with the RTX 4080 Super. These processors provide a baseline of performance that ensures the GPU can operate at its full potential. The key is to have a CPU that can keep up with the high demands of the RTX 4080 Super, particularly in graphics-intensive tasks.

Marla writes across a wide range of topics across PC Guide, including AI, PC hardware, and news on the latest tech releases. She's a passionate writer that's interested in the future of technology.