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Best CPU for RX 6800 XT in 2024 – our top Intel and AMD picks

Here are our CPU picks for the RX 6800 XT.
Last Updated on May 9, 2024
Best CPU for RX 6800 XT
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Selecting a CPU to go with previous-generation hardware can be tricky as there are so many options that you’re left confused. Should you opt for a CPU released at the same time as the RX 6800 XT or go for the newer ones? What would be the trade-off? Will there be bottleneck issues? And the questions keep coming. 

That said, to make your buying journey easier, we’ve put together this guide that lists multiple options from different generations, their details, and pros and cons so you can make an informed decision.

How we picked

There are various aspects you need to consider while pairing any CPU with a GPU. As for the RX 6800 XT, it requires a CPU that complements its prowess as a high-end card. We take the brand, architecture, cores, threads, base and boost frequencies, motherboard compatibility, and other important factors into account. 

However, other than specifications anyone can read, we take a more hands-on approach by thoroughly testing the CPUs for synthetic and real-world performance. If you’re interested in learning more about that, we recommend you head to our PC Guide Testing Lab, which will show the process in detail. You can also check out all of our CPU reviews for an even better understanding.

Best CPU for RX 6800 XT

Best CPU for RX 6800 XT overall
  • AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D 8-core processor retail box.
Best in Class
  • Cores: 8
  • Threads: 16
  • Boost speed : Up to 4.5 GHz
  • Base speed: 3.4 GHz
  • L3 Cache: 96 MB
  • TDP: 105W
  • Platform: AMD (AM4)
Reasons to Buy
  • Excellent gaming performance
  • Massive 96MB L3 cache
  • Low TDP of 105W
Reasons to Avoid
  • It will require a good CPU cooler
  • It can’t be overclocked
  • Performance other than gaming is just okay

For our top pick for the best CPU for RX 6800 XT, we went with the best gaming CPU from the previous AMD generation, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D.

For starters, this CPU has eight cores, 16 threads, a base clock of 3.4GHz, and a boost clock of 4.5GHz. The hardware this CPU is packing is more than impressive, enabling it to perform at a level that helped crown it as the best gaming CPU. 

It should be able to handle gaming at any level, whether you’re gaming at 1080p or 1440p. We didn’t 4K because the higher you go, the more GPU-dependent the game becomes. At lower resolution, the GPU is able to process the requests quickly and ask for the next instruction. If the CPU can’t handle the number of calls being made, it turns into a CPU bottleneck, and you can see this if the utilization is 100%. 

However, with the 5800X3D, gaming at lower resolutions shouldn’t be an issue due to its fast clock speeds and massive 96MB L3 cache. This processor also has the 3D V-cache technology, which stacks more cache memory on the CPU. This allows for more data to be stored on the CPU die, meaning that the CPU won’t have to make frequent requests for data to be called and then processed. This additional availability of data allows for reduced access times, better resource allocation, and more efficient processing. 

In gaming, this means that when game elements are already available, they won’t need to be fetched, resulting in better in-game performance. 

Despite its gaming prowess, it has a low Thermal Design Power or TDP of 105W. This means that the thermal output should be relatively controlled, but under heavy loads, it shouldn’t be surprising if the temperature is high, especially if the ambient temperature is high. In this case, we recommend using the best CPU cooler with it to keep it tame and performing optimally. 

Opting for this CPU should deliver great in-game results paired with the RX 6800 XT. It should be able to handle GPUs more powerful than the 6800 XT, allowing for upgradability. Besides that, using the AM4 platform means that you won’t have to change your motherboard or memory, which will save cost. However, there wouldn’t be many options to upgrade to in the 5000 series CPU lineup other than moving to the 7000 generation.

What users say

According to the Amazon reviews of the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, they all praise its smooth gaming performance and the difference the extra L3 cache makes. One reviewer said, “The 5800X3D is well worth the purchase. The 3D cache makes such a big difference in performance.” However, there was a lot of mention of the CPU running hot, so investing in a robust cooling solution is recommended.

Best Intel CPU for RX 6800 XT
  • Intel Core i5-12600K processor in front of its packaging box with "core" and "unlocked" visible on a blurred blue background.
  • An Intel Core i5-12600K processor with its retail box displayed on a desk with a blurred background.
  • An Intel Core i5-12600K processor chip on a plain, light-colored background.
4.5 /5
Editor’s Rating
How We Review
  • Cores: 10 (6P + 4E)
  • Threads: 16
  • Boost Clock Speed: 4.9 GHz P / 3.6 GHz E
  • Base Clock Speed: 3.7 GHz P / 2.8 GHz E
  • L3 Cache: 20 MB (shared)
  • TDP: 125W
  • Platform: Intel (LGA 1700)
Reasons to Buy
  • Good single- and multi-core performance
  • Support for DDR5 memory
  • Good headroom for overclocking
Reasons to Avoid
  • High TDP of 150W
  • It doesn’t come with a CPU cooler

Next, we have the Intel Core i5-12600K from Team Blue, and we think this pairing is more than enough to handle various gaming and productive tasks thrown their way. 

This CPU has ten cores, 16 threads, a base clock of 2.8GHz, and a turbo clock of 4.9GHz. It also has 20 MB of Intel Smart Cache, which allows all cores to access the data stored on the last level, meaning that no barricades or additional requests are being made from cores. 

This, combined with the other hardware, should allow faster and more efficient processing. The ten cores are divided between six performance cores (P-cores) and four efficient cores (E-cores). The E-cores handle background and minor tasks, whereas the P-cores are called in when a heavy task comes along. Once it’s done, the E-cores take over again. 

This dynamic allows for better resource allocation and balance between performance and power saving. The E-cores consume less energy and should have a lower thermal output. Regarding productive workflows and gaming, you should get the best performance when the task calls for it and an efficient system that will help save electricity costs when heavy lifting isn’t required. 

The 12600K has a maximum TDP of 150W, which is okay for an unlocked CPU, but it could be higher or lower depending on the intensity of the workload. We recommend using a high-end CPU cooler to keep temperatures under control. If you’re interested in exploring some options, check out our best AIO CPU cooler guide for the best picks.

Lastly, this CPU is compatible with the 4.0 and 5.0 express standard. This means that if you ever plan on upgrading to a different platform or installing PCIe 5.0 components like DDR5 memory, you should be able to do so without any compatibility or stability issues.

What users say

According to the Amazon reviews of the i5-12600K, the users are more than happy with their purchase. One user stated, “for now the 12600k is nice for my rx 7800xt.” This should give you an idea of how this CPU will perform with the RX 6800XT. There were also reviews of how well it performs and keeps cool during heavy workloads.

Best budget CPU for RX 6800 XT
  • 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.
4.5 /5
Editor’s Rating
How We Review
Reasons to Buy
  • Excellent performance at an affordable price point
  • It has a low TDP of 105W
  • Similar performance to the 7900X in Blender
Reasons to Avoid
  • The AM5 platform is expensive to shift to
  • Requires DDR5 RAM
  • It isn’t the best option for super-heavy workloads

Our next selection shows Team Red returning with their Ryzen 5 7600X, based on Zen 4 architecture. In our Ryzen 5 7600X review, it had a great in-game and synthetic performance. 

In Days Gone and Cyberpunk 2077, the 7600X managed 236 and 295 FPS, respectively. In the Cinebench R23 single- and multi-core tests, it scored 1,923 and 13,729 points, respectively. This showcases its gaming and professional performance, and it should be able to run anything you throw its way. 

In gaming, the 7600X is more than enough to support the RTX 4070 Ti super in real-world scenarios. 

PC Guide

If you’re looking for next-gen components that complement this CPU, we recommend checking out our best AM5 motherboard, DDR5 RAM, and the best Gen 5 SSD guides for the top picks.

Another interesting aspect that we found during our testing was that it has similar performance in Blender to the 7900X, a CPU with more cores and threads than the 7600X. This should give you an idea of how powerful the Zen 4 architecture is. Regardless of the tasks you want to run paired with the RX 6800 XT, this processor should face them head-on and come out on top. 

The 7600X has a TDP of 105W, which is great considering its abilities and maximum operating temperature of 95°C. The next-generation CPUs are powerful, so it shouldn’t be surprising if they run hot. So, to keep them from throttling, it’s recommended to invest in a good CPU cooler. If you’re interested in exploring some options, we recommend checking out our best CPU cooler guide for the best picks.  

Overall, this is an excellent CPU that showcases what the AM5 CPUs have to offer at an affordable price point. This makes it one of the best CPUs to pair with an RX 6800 XT, and it should be able to handle GPUs even above that. 

What users say

The user reception of the Ryzen 5 7600X has been great as it has a 4.7 out of 5.0 rating, and 86% of its reviews are 5-star. It is praised for its powerhouse-like performance while being efficient and easy to install. One reviewer said: “Chat, this graphics card is magnificent, excels in all the games I play in with my 4060(Roblox, hell divers, red dead, fortnite, etc.) at great fps, Temps are naturally high.”

Best high-end CPU for RX 6800 XT
  • An Intel Core i9-13900K processor installed in a motherboard socket, surrounded by circuits and components.
Highly Recommended
4 /5
Editor’s Rating
How We Review
  • 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
  • Stellar gaming and real-world performance
  • A good number of cores and threads for heavy workloads
  • The overhead for overclocking is impressive
Reasons to Avoid
  • Requires a robust cooler to keep it cool
  • The upgrade path is limited due to the LGA 1700 socket
  • It has a premium price tag

If unrivaled performance is what you want from your setup, we recommend the Intel Core i9-13900K, as it is the most powerful CPU from Intel’s 13th-generation CPUs. 

In our i9-13900K review, it has stellar performance in the gaming and synthetic tests. It managed 342 FPS in Cyberpunk at 1080p low settings and 2,238 and 39,318 in the Cinebench R23 single- and multi-core benchmarks. This should give you an idea about how powerful this CPU is, and it should be able to take care of any resource-intensive applications that are giving you trouble. 

You might wonder if pairing the RX 6800 XT with the 13900K makes sense. Look at it this way: if budget isn’t an issue and you’re looking for the best CPU performance, going for an overkill CPU would be better as it would serve as a long-term investment, and you could also upgrade your GPU to a newer one without worrying about compatibility or bottleneck issues. 

That said, the 13900K and 6800XT should easily handle 1080p and 1440p gaming. However, 4K gaming is dependent on the GPU, and you might get playable framerates with the 6800XT. 

As far as desktop processors go, the Intel Core i9-13900K is incredibly powerful.

PC Guide

As for its specifications, it has 24 cores, 32 threads, a turbo frequency of 5.8GHz, and a maximum TDP of 253W. As you can see, it has excellent performance because it packs impressive hardware under the hood, which also gives it a high TDP. This means it’s also prone to running hot, and in our stress tests, it reached 100°C. We recommend using the best water cooling kit to keep its temperature under control. 

Overall, this CPU is certainly an enthusiastic pick and an overkill for this GPU, but it should power your system through multiple upgrades and keep it running smoothly. 

What users say

In the reviews, users of the i9-13900K painted a similar picture to us. Its performance is great for gaming and professional tasks, and if absolute computing is what you need, this CPU is your choice. One reviewer stated, “The processing prowess of the Intel Core i9-13900K is jaw-dropping,” which sums up everything about this CPU nicely.

How to pick the best CPU for RX 6800 XT

There are a handful of factors that you need to consider before choosing a CPU. We’ve listed some of those factors below so you can make an informed decision on your next CPU, regardless of application.


The first thing you need to consider is what you plan on using your rig for. For example, if gaming is the only thing you’re going to do, you probably don’t need to look at the productivity performance of the CPU, and a gaming processor like the “X3D” chips from AMD would suit you. 

However, if you plan on using software for rendering and editing while doing some gaming, a CPU that offers great gaming and productive performance would be better, like the 13600K or the 7700X from Intel and AMD, respectively. 


Your budget is the most crucial factor in deciding which CPU to get. Regardless of your plans, you will most likely have to operate within your budget and get the best option available.

While getting your hands on the most powerful CPU has appeal, it isn’t worth it if it disrupts your budget for other components or upgrades. So, filter your options based on your usage and then your budget. This should give you a list of CPUs that offer a good balance between performance and value. 


Plenty of options from the next generation of Intel and AMD CPUs could work well with the RX 6800 XT. While these processors have excellent capabilities, they don’t come cheap, and in the case of AMD chips, moving to the AM5 platform will be expensive. That said, the positive side is that you most likely won’t need to change your CPU for a good handful of years and should be able to upgrade to a more powerful GPU without running into performance issues.

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