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Best CPU for RX 7800 XT in 2024 – our top picks

We've got the best CPUs for the RX 7800 XT right here!
Last Updated on July 2, 2024
RX 7800 XT from a distance
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If you’re looking for the best CPU to pair with the RX 7800 XT, then we have you covered right here. Selecting the right processor for your GPU is important, as your whole system relies a lot on the two components. That said, choosing any random processor won’t do you any good, as you might be spending on something you don’t need and might run into bottleneck issues.

This is important to keep in mind as these days, newer and faster processors are appearing almost annually, and everyone wants the best of the best. But ask yourself, do you need an overclockable processor that costs over $500, or can you do with the previous-gen CPU that fits your build? Waiting for a new generation can bring greater value to the lower generations in the form of a price drop.

If you don’t have time to read the full article, we have selected the Ryzen 7 7800X3D as the best overall CPU to pair with the 7800 XT. The 7800X3D is perfect for pire gaming workloads and will support the processor perfectly. If you don’t fancy a bit of the 3D V-cache, we have outlined all the products in this article below for quick browsing.

Products at a glance

How did we pick the best CPU for RX 7800 XT?

Identifying the best CPU for the RX 7800 XT isn’t merely about selecting the latest or the most expensive option available. Our approach is rooted in a combination of real-world performance metrics, user reviews, and technical specifications. Then, we take a step beyond and test the CPUs in-house to get a better idea of the performance.

Firstly, we looked at some of the best CPUs currently out there for 1440p gaming, as well as some of the best CPUs for similarly performing cards, such as the RTX 4070 Super. This way, we could look deeper into the performance of the best-fitting CPUs that will use the full power of AMD’s latest RDNA 3 architecture.

Another important factor to look at is CPU core/thread count. To run the 1440p gaming that the RX 7800 XT promises, you will benefit from a CPU with at least six cores. This will make sure that the experience remains strong under intense loads.

Our main objective is to give the GPU the best fit to perform at full speed without overkilling the machine or bottlenecking the GPU. Furthermore, you’re likely to keep this CPU and GPU combo for a good few years, so we want to make sure you make a future-proof choice.

Best CPU for RX 7800 XT
01
  • Product packaging of an AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D processor featuring 3D V-Cache technology, with an orange and black color scheme.
  • Close-up view of an AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D processor installed in a motherboard socket
  • A close-up of an AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D processor
  • A close-up of an AMD Ryzen 7 processor on a white table
  • 7800X3D facing down showing contact pads on a white table
Excellent
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
  •  3D V-Cache enhancing gaming experience.
  •  Balanced gaming and productivity prowess.
  •  Massive L3 cache for better efficiency
Reasons to Avoid
  •  No overclocking with a locked multiplier.
  •  Carries a premium price tag.

Right at the top, we have the Ryzen 7 7800X3D, which is a gaming powerhouse that runs on the modern AM5 socket, has eight cores, 16 threads, a base clock speed of 4.2 GHz, which can be boosted by up to 5.0 GHz, and a massive 96MB L3 cache. Now, let’s look at what these technicalities mean.

The AM5 socket features the latest PCIe 5.0 connection, which means it supports 5.0 storage devices that are 2.5x to 5x times faster than the previous generation. On top of that, the eight cores and twice the amount of threads means that you should be able to experience top-notch performance regardless of what you throw at it. You could run multiple applications in parallel or games in ultra-definition, and this processor should blitz through those tasks with a smile.

However, if that isn’t convincing enough, its turbo clock of 5.0 GHz should be more than enough to handle resource-intensive tasks such as rendering if you’re using a CPU render engine. One thing to note is that running at high frequencies can lead to overheating – so ensure you have a cooling system in place. And if you’re wondering if it can go beyond 5.0 GHz, the Ryzen 7 7800X3D cannot be overclocked, but realistically speaking, there aren’t many scenarios where you’ll need to go above 5.0 GHz.

As far as its L3 cache is concerned, it’s one of the biggest we’ve seen.

PC Guide

As far as its L3 cache is concerned, it’s one of the biggest we’ve seen. How the L3 cache works is that it stores data to be shared between different cores; basically, think of it as a library that is accessible by everyone. So, whenever more cores need to be recruited to work on a task, they can access the data and get to work. So, more data is stored, which means more data can be processed, reducing the access time and workload on the CPU and resulting in more efficient performance.

A benefit of choosing team red over blue to pair with your Radeon RX 7800 XT is that when you have a complete AMD build, the AMD Smart Access Memory (SAM) comes into play. That removes the middleman from the picture and gives the CPU direct access to your graphics card. This means better performance, reduced lag, and higher framerates, and we all know a higher FPS makes you a better gamer.

Overall, this amazing CPU delivers a bang for its buck and should stand the test of time. However, if you’re moving up from the previous generation, you should know that most elements can’t carry forward due to the new PCIe 5.0 configuration. This means that you’ll have to get new DDR5 memory to go with it, a better PSU to ensure everything has ample power, and a motherboard that supports and puts everything together.

That said, we’ve got you covered with our guides for the best motherboard for Ryzen 7 7800X3D and the best DDR5 RAM. This should help make your journey easier and result in the best possible build within your budget.

What users say about the 7800X3D

One verified purchaser of the 7800X3D had this to say on Amazon: “Simply put this is the best cpu for gaming. The uplift in performance is enormous. This works well with a 4080 and above. Would not buy this unless u have a 7900xt or above maximum. Runs hot but nothing a aftermarket cooler can’t solve.”

Best Intel CPU for 7900 XT
02
  • 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
  • Outstanding single-threaded performance.
  •  Ample overclocking potential.
  •  Dual DDR4 and DDR5 memory support.
Reasons to Avoid
  •  Noticeably high power consumption.
  •  Comes at a premium price point

The Core i9-13900K features Raptor Lake architecture, is compatible with the LGA 1700 socket, and has a total of 24 cores divided between eight performance cores (P-Cores) and sixteen efficient cores (E-Cores), totaling 32 threads. This works because performance cores are physically larger and more powerful as they handle the heavy lifting of real-time processing, whether running multiple applications or encoding videos.

That said, if the performance cores are running all the time, this will lead to more power draw, and that is where efficient cores come in. These cores handle basic but important tasks that are running in the background and call in P-Cores when something big comes along.

This processor also comes unlocked from the manufacturer, as denoted by the “K” in its name. However, it has a maximum turbo frequency of 5.80 GHz, which is overkill, to say the least, and should be more than enough for gaming. That said, if you’re a hardcore PC enthusiast and want to see what this CPU is capable of, you can take it to 9.00 GHz, as claimed by Intel. Realistically speaking, there is no scenario where you’d need 9.00 GHz for any amount of gaming, coding, or general processing.

While it has a base power draw of 125w, it can go even lower if it is idle and the E-Cores are in play.

PC Guide

While it has a base power draw of 125w, it can go even lower if it is idle and the E-Cores are in play, as they have a base clock speed of 2.2 GHz. This means you’re saving up on energy bills when not utilizing your build’s full potential. On the other hand, if you’re overclocking it or using the max turbo frequency, it might even cross the 200w threshold on the power draw.

In addition, it has a 36MB L3 cache and a 32MB L2 cache. Before we get into what this means in terms of performance, the lower the number of the cache, the faster it is and the less data it holds. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, the i9-13900K’s difference between L3 and L2 cache comes down to 4 MBs.

It doesn’t end there. The Intel i9-13900K also has a 4.0 and 5.0 PCI express configuration. This means that you can run DDR4 and DDR5 RAM with this chipset and stack 192 GB of RAM. This future-proofs your build, as you can always upgrade your storage devices and RAM to increase the overall performance of your PC.

What users say about the 13900K

One user had this to say about the 13900K: “The Intel Core i9-13900K Gaming Desktop Processor is a powerhouse that caters to both gamers and professionals, offering exceptional performance and flexibility.”

Best AMD CPU for 7800 XT
03
RX 7800 XT from a distance

Reasons to Buy
  • Next-gen gaming with 3D V-Cache.
  •  Multi-core monster for professionals.
  •  Versatile across varied tasks.
Reasons to Avoid
  • Puts a dent in your wallet.
  •  High power consumption
  •  Not for the budget-conscious.

The 7950X sits atop the AMD 7000 series, as we noted in our review, and it has the specifications to back that up. It features the latest Zen 4 architecture and is compatible with the AM5 socket. This means it can be coupled with the PCIe 5.0 storage drives and RAM, which should significantly boost the overall performance of the system whether you’re gaming, editing, or rendering 3D models.

In addition, it has a base clock speed of 4.2 GHz, which can be turbo-boosted to 5.7 GHz. This means that if you feel like your build could be taken to the next level or overclocking would eliminate any bottleneck issues, you can easily take it beyond the 5.0 GHz mark and watch it tackle any tasks you put in front of it with ease.

It also sports 16 cores with 32 threads, which means it can handle pretty much any task that comes its way. Its single-core performance should go well with the RX 7800 XT’s capabilities. To put things into perspective, its Cinebench R23 score only differs by 9 points when compared with i9-13900k, and this difference is negligible.

The Ryzen 9 7950X3D also sports 3D V-Cache technology, an innovation that dramatically amplifies its gaming prowess.

PC Guide

That said, to even the playing field, it has a massive 128 MB L3 cache, which we haven’t seen in any other CPU. This, for you, means faster processing and better gaming performance. The 7950X3D also uses Smart Access Memory, which reduces any barriers between the CPU and GPU. This decreases the processing time and results in the best gaming performance and the high framerates.

If that wasn’t enough, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D also sports 3D V-Cache technology, an innovation that dramatically amplifies its gaming prowess. The Precision Boost 2 ensures that the processor is churning out exactly the level of performance you require for varying tasks. Sensors inside it detect the condition and amplify or reduce its output to give you efficient processing and reduced power draw.

If you’re planning to partner this with the RX 7800 XT, expect a performance beast capable of chewing through the latest AAA titles and heavyweight applications with ease. But, while its offerings are lavish, its cost and power draw match its grandeur, making it more suitable for enthusiasts and professionals willing to invest in top-tier performance.

What users say about the 7950X

A customer who purchased the Ryzen 9 7950X had this to say: “I can run every core at 5500mhz, for hours, with just a little overclocking, core tuning, and a good 360mm AIO. This is just an amazing amount of computational power for a home computer. The best part, I have it tuned such that I can do this while it runs at 65c (vs 95c).”

Most overkill CPU for 7800 XT
04
  • A close-up of an Intel Core i9-14900K CPU installed in a motherboard socket.
  • Close-up of an Intel Core i9-14900K CPU installed on a motherboard, surrounded by RAM slots and a PCIe slot.
Highly Recommended
4 /5
Editor’s Rating
How We Review
Reasons to Buy
  • Compatible with PCIe 4.0 and 5.0 connections
  •  Higher turbo frequency at lower TDP
  • 6GHz native
Reasons to Avoid
  • Doesn’t offer much as compared to the previous generation
  • Very expensive

The fourth option on our list is the latest powerhouse from Intel, the i9-14900K, and this is definitely overkill if you’re not a PC or tech enthusiast who wants to push their build to the absolute extreme. In our hands-on review of the Intel Core i9-14900K, we gave it a rating of 4/5 stars, and this is what we have to say about it.

The specifications of this processor don’t vary much from those of its predecessor, the i9-13900K, and they are virtually the same on paper. However, it has a higher turbo boost frequency of 6.0 GHz at a lower TDP of 125W. This speaks towards better efficiency and performance overall, but it isn’t enough to make a whole lot of difference.

It has a higher turbo boost frequency of 6.0 GHz at a lower TDP of 125W.

PC Guide

Once again, there was not much difference between multi- and single-core performance. While the i9-14900K did take the most victories home, the i9-13900K managed to snag a couple of them as well, specifically in the Cinebench R23 and CPU-Z single-core tests. So, there was nothing revolutionary that would put it leagues apart from the high-end model of the previous generation.

However, some good news exists for gamers still using previous-generation motherboards. This CPU is compatible with PCIe 4.0 connections and the LGA 1700 socket. This means that if you have a 12th or 13th-generation Intel processor, you can swap those out with this one. While we didn’t find much performance difference during our gaming tests, the backward compatibility should help you save up on cost.

Overall, the performance differences between the last and new generations are minimal, to say the least. So, while you won’t get an absurd amount of increase in performance, you can get the i9-14900K if you are willing to spend on future-proofing your build and avoiding bottleneck issues. If not, we recommend you stick to your 12th or 12th gen Intel processor and wait for the next line of Intel CPUs to upgrade.

What users say about the 14900K

A verified reviewer on Amazon stated: “The Intel i9-14900K delivers impressive performance with its high clock speeds and advanced architecture. It excels in demanding tasks like gaming, content creation, and multitasking, offering smooth and responsive performance. The integrated graphics are decent for light gaming and multimedia tasks. However, it’s power-hungry and may require robust cooling solutions.”

Features and considerations for the best CPU for RX 7800 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.

Compatibility

The first thing you need to look at is whether the CPU in question is compatible with your current motherboard or whether you’ll have to purchase a new motherboard to cater to it. For example, the AMD Ryzen 7 7900X is compatible with the AM5 socket, and if you have Ryzen 9 5900X, which goes with the AM4 socket, you’ll run into compatibility issues and will have to purchase a new motherboard. This will not only cost more but you’ll most likely have to change your RAM as well as if the motherboard isn’t backward compatible with PCIe 4.0 memory sticks.

Budget

The next thing you need to keep in mind is your budget. Going for the highest option does have its appeal, as you’ll get the most powerful CPU and future-proof your build, but at times, the cost you’ll incur isn’t worth it. You might not even use its full capabilities and could’ve gone with a lower or mid-range option and saved some cash that you could’ve invested in another component.

Overclocking

While overclocking is something that most people don’t do, if you’re keen on squeezing every drop of performance from your processor, then opt for a CPU that is unlocked or has a high potential to be overclocked to higher frequencies. Intel “K” processors come unlocked and can be easily overclocked if you have the right expertise, while on the other hand, AMD CPUs also offer this functionality. So, make your decision carefully whether you choose team red or blue.

How much power does the AMD 7800 XT draw?

According to AMD, the Radeon RX 7800 XT’s power draw is around 263W, which is 37W less than the RX 6800 XT. This means that you can upgrade your processor without changing your existing PSU.

Is the RX 7800 XT still good?

Yes! The RX 7800 XT is still very much capable of high FPS 1440p gaming. It’s even able to play some older titles in 4K at around 60FPS, not ideal for FPS games, but it’ll do for those expansive story titles. Further, the CPU can be found for a reasonable price, thanks to the fact it was released some time ago, making it a great GPU for mid – high-end gaming.

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.