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

Last Updated on March 14, 2024
Best CPU for RX 7800 XT - our picks for gaming, a budget, and overall. Image shows the text "Best CPU for RX 7800 XT - our picks for gaming, a budget, and overall" next to an RX 7800 XT GPU with a green arow pointing to an AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D CPU, on a blue yellow gradient background.

If you’re looking for the best CPU for the RX 7800 XT, then look no further.

Selecting the right processor to go with your GPU is an important decision, and even more so when you have so many options from Intel and AMD. That said, choosing any random processor from either company won’t do you any good, as you might be spending your money on something you don’t really need and might run into bottleneck issues.

This is important to keep in mind as these days, newer and faster processors are coming up, and everyone wants to get their hands on the best of the best. But ask yourself, do you really need an overclockable processor that costs over $500, or can you do with the previous-gen CPU that fits your build? We understand that selecting an option in this market filled with different processors can be difficult, and this is where we come in.

We’ve put together this in-depth buying guide that lists different processors that you can pair with your RX 7800 XT. This should help you make an informed decision and spend your money wisely on the right components depending on your budget and requirements. So, without wasting another second, let’s get right to it.

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. Furthermore, understanding the intricacies of gaming requirements is paramount. Some titles are CPU-intensive, demanding more from the processor, while others might lean on the GPU.

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 Ti or 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. An 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. Whether you’re looking for a budget choice, a high-end choice, or a gaming CPU, we’ve made sure to include a range of CPUs in our top picks.

Our Recommended

Product Reviews

1
PROS
  • 3D V-Cache enhancing gaming experience.
  • Balanced gaming and productivity prowess.
  • Massive L3 cache for better efficiency
CONS
  • No overclocking with a locked multiplier.
  • Carries a premium price tag.

If you’re looking for the best CPU for RX 7800 XT, the AMD Ryzen 7 7800x3D might be the option for you.

Let’s kick things off with some general specifications. This gaming powerhouse 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 doesn’t 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, but that shouldn’t be an issue as long as you have ample ventilation and keep the temperatures under control. 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. 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 is an amazing CPU that 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.

 

2
PROS
  • Outstanding single-threaded performance.
  • Ample overclocking potential.
  • Dual DDR4 and DDR5 memory support.
CONS
  • Noticeably high power consumption.
  • Comes at a premium price point

If you’re looking for the best Intel processor to pair with your RX 7800 XT, we recommend checking out the Intel Core i9-13900K.

First off, this CPU features the Raptor Lake architecture, is compatible with the LGA 1700 socket, has a total of 24 cores divided between eight performance cores(P-Cores) and sixteen efficient cores (E-Cores), and has 32 threads. How this works is that performance cores are physically larger and more powerful as they handle the heavy lifting of real-time processing, whether it’s 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 to make quick work of anything you throw at it, especially in 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, but it is nice to know that you can take it to the next level should the need ever arise.

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. On top of that, 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 lesser amount of 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. What this means is that you should expect fast and efficient processing as a good chunk of data is being stored and readily available to be used by different cores to be worked on.

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 should result in super-fast performance and add a bit of versatility, as you can use previous-gen memory sticks and don’t have to spend a lot on newer memory. This also future-proofs your build, as you can always upgrade your storage devices and RAM to increase the overall performance of your PC.

All in all, this is one of the best CPUs for RX 7800 XT that you can buy. If you’re looking to upgrade your memory sticks to match your build and increase performance, we’ve got you covered there as well, with our best RAM for Intel 13th Gen guide that has top picks.

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

Were you looking for the best AMD CPU for RX 7800 XT, check out the Ryzen 9 7959X3D.

First things first, this processor sits atop the AMD 7000 series, 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.

On top of that, it has a base clock speed of 4.2 GHz, which can be turbo-boosted by up to 5.7 GHz. What this means is 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. This means that you could comfortably throw any task its way and watch it make quick work of it, and its single-core performance should go well with the RX 7800 XTs capabilities. To put things into perspective, its Cinebench R23 score only has a difference of 9 points when compared with i9-13900k, and this level of difference is negligible.

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 should result in more efficient data sharing between the cores, and for you, that means faster processing and better gaming performance. The 7950X3D also uses Smart Access Memory, which basically reduces any barriers between the CPU and GPU. This decreases the processing time and results in the best gaming performance and the highest framerates possible.

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.

4
PROS
  • Compatible with PCIe 4.0 and 5.0 connections
  • Higher turbo frequency at lower TDP
CONS
  • Doesn't offer much as compared to the previous generation

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 four out of five 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.

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, there is some good news for gamers who are 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 as you won’t have to change the motherboard and RAM.

It also comes with Intel UHD Graphics 770, just like the i9-13900K and i9-13900KS. To put things into perspective, this is at the same level as an Nvidia GT 770. While this won’t be great for high-definition gaming, you could casually game at 720p resolution, but the performance won’t be the best.

Overall, the Intel i9-14900 K is the talk of the town, as it is the latest high-end Intel CPU. That said, 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 want to play it safe and are willing to spend a good amount of money 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.

An Intel Core i9 CPU, the best for RX 7800 XT, installed on a motherboard, ready for assembly.
The 14900K may be overkill for the RX 7800 XT, but it’s a great option for future-proofing – image © BGFG

How to pick 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.

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.

Temperature

Check the temperature of the CPU under idle and heavy loads by watching stress test videos or reading reviews. This should give you an idea of how well it’ll perform for the tasks you have in mind and whether you can get away with using a stock cooler. However, if the ambient temperature of your region is high, then using a different and more powerful water or AIO cooler is recommended to keep those temperatures in check. Keeping the CPU operating under high temperatures runs the risk of damaging its components and can lead to failure.

Overclocking

While overclocking is something that generally most people don’t do. However, 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 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 safely upgrade to an RX 7800 XT if you have an RX 6800 XT without worrying about whether your PSU will be able to provide adequate power to it.

Our Verdict

Final thoughts

Choosing the right CPU to pair with your RX 7800 XT is vital to ensure you’re harnessing its full potential, and we know what it is capable of as we’ve had a hands-on review of the RX 7800 XT. While all the CPUs mentioned in this list are more than capable of meeting the demands of modern gaming and productivity tasks, the AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D takes the crown for the best CPU for RX 7800 XT. It has a 3D-V cache that enhances the gaming performance of your build, a 96 MB L3 cache, and works with the latest PCIe 5.0 connection. Pairing it with an AMD GPU will result in better performance due to Smart Access Memory technology. So, overall, while it may take a chunk out of your budget, there is no denying that it is an absolute powerhouse that will run through anything you put in front of it.