Every year NVIDIA puts a great deal of engineering and resources into inventing its top-notch GPUs. The RTX 4080 is another powerful iteration of the NVIDIA graphics card that requires an equally or more powerful CPU to be paired with. You can estimate the power of this GPU by just looking at the specs it comes with. There are 9728 CUDA cores for parallel computation, and it comes with a GDDR6X memory of 16 GB.
Got a higher budget? Read: Best CPU For RTX 4090
Our RTX 4080 CPU Selections, all compared with each other, and different types:
Last update on 2023-12-09
Whether you are building a spectacular gaming rig or a high-end productivity app station, you will need an excellent-performance CPU. In this article, I will provide you with the top CPUs you can pair with the RTX 4080 without bottlenecking.
Best CPU For RTX 4080
Here are my top 6 picks for the best CPU to pair with the RTX 4080:
- AMD Ryzen 7 7700X
- Intel Core i7-13700K
- Ryzen 7 7800X3D
- Intel Core i5-13600k
- Intel Core i9-13900K
- Ryzen 7 5800X3D
AMD Ryzen 7 7700X
Best AMD CPU for RTX 4080
Specifications: Socket: AM5 | Architecture: Zen 4 | Cores: 8 | Threads: 16 | Base Clock: 4.5 GHz | Boost Clock: 5.4 GHz | TDP: 105 W
If you are in search of a high-end AMD setup, we present to you the latest addition to the Ryzen family – the AMD Ryzen 7 7700X. Built on the advanced “Zen 4” architecture, this CPU is the perfect match for your RTX 4080. I have thoroughly tested and reviewed it to confidently recommend it as the best AMD CPU for RTX 4080.
Comprising 8 cores and 16 threads, the AMD Ryzen 7 7700X can quickly render high-end graphics. In my testing, the octa-core CPU stood up in single-core performance and was also competitive in its multicore performance. Coupled with the RTX 4080, it nails your intensive gaming needs. With this beast, I had no issue playing triple-A games at 1440p and even 4K. Its performance at this high resolution fascinated me so much that I can confidently say this is one of the best CPUs for RTX 4080.
Furthermore, the AMD Ryzen 7 7700X supports the latest DDR5 RAM and PCI 5.0 slots, making it future-proof. You can easily equip this performance pack with the newest hardware for around five more years.
Similarly, the operating frequency of the AMD Ryzen 7 7700X is suitable for your high-end needs. The default base clock speed of the Zen 4 AMD CPU is 4.5 GHz, with a potential max boost clock speed of 5.4 GHz. However, it repeatedly touched even 5.5 GHz in my testing while boosting, which is a definite bonus. This frequency range further solidifies that the AMD Ryzen 7 7700X is the best CPU to pair with the 4080.
Expectedly, an enormous amount of heat generation follows all these excellent performance specs. The default TDP of the AMD Ryzen 7 7700X is 105W which is not light. So, you will need premium cooling solutions to prevent this octa-core beast from thermal throttling. But the good thing is, it comes with an “eco” mode. Unlike other CPUs, it runs perfectly fine with a very slight performance fall at the eco mode while generating only 65W of heat. Similarly, if you run it at its maximum capacity, the TDP will be elevated to 170W.
What We Liked
With the Ryzen 7 7700X, the RTX 4080 can truly achieve its maximum performance. Plus, the processor doesn’t cost nearly as much as other flagship CPUs.
What We Disliked
Although it is an excellent choice, the Ryzen 7 7700X runs quite hot, making it necessary to use a high-end cooler.
Who Is It For?
If you are looking for a future-proof AMD CPU that gives you a complete performance pack, you should confidently opt for Ryzen 7 7700X.
What Makes It The Best AMD CPU For RTX 4080?
The Zen 4 Ryzen 7 7700X has everything needed to run your RTX 4080 at its full potential. Moreover, it can also support upcoming GPUs for at least a few years, saving you from replacing your CPU anytime soon. Its all-in-one performance bundle undoubtedly makes the Ryzen 7 7700X the Best AMD CPU For RTX 4080.
- AMD Ryzen 7 7700X Review
- Best Cooler for AMD Ryzen 7 7700X
- Best Motherboard for AMD Ryzen 7 7700X
- Best RAM for AMD Ryzen 7 7700X
Intel Core i7-13700K
Best Intel CPU for RTX 4080
Specifications: Socket: FCLGA1700 | Architecture: Raptor Lake | Cores: 16 (8E+8P) | Threads: 24 | Base Clock: 2.5 GHz, 3.4 GHz | Boost Clock: 4.20 GHz , 5.30 GHz | TDP: 125W ,253W
Are you looking for an Intel CPU for your competitive build? Well, the latest Intel Core i7-13700K is here to amaze you with its spectacular performance. I can confidently present it as the best Intel CPU for RTX 4080. Wait no further, and let’s briefly explore the fantastic specs of Intel’s latest Core i7 iteration.
Intel’s Alder Lake architecture went so well with the individual performance and efficient cores that they extensively continued this feature in the latest Raptor Lake. As a result, you get 8 performance and 8 efficiency cores with the latest Raptor Lake Core i7. That makes a total of 16 cores equally impressive in performance as on paper.
The Intel Core i7-13700K also offers a total thread count of 24. The performance cores have the hyper-threading capability, contributing to making 16 threads, whereas the other 8 come from efficient cores that do not support multithreading.
Similarly, the Intel Core i7-13700K offers competitive frequency ranges. By default, the base clock speed of performance cores is 3.40 GHz, which is 2.50 GHz for efficient cores. Moreover, it can reach a turbo frequency of 5.30 GHz for performance and 4.2 GHz for efficient cores. The Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0 frequency allows it to go up to 5.40 GHz. However, the efficient and performance cores were running at the advertised turbo frequencies out-of-the-box in my testing. I also reached the Max Technology 3.0 Frequency of 5.40 GHz under a single-threaded load.
Unsurprisingly, Intel CPUs demand high power. Similarly, the Intel Core i7-13700K is a power-hungry CPU that accompanies a lot of generated heat. Usually, running at its base speed, it withdraws around 125W power, which reaches an enormous amount of 253W at the turbo frequency, as stated by Intel. However, when I continuously operated the performance and efficient cores at their maximum frequency, it drew only 210.768W power, which is a definite performance bonus.
Regarding suitable cooling solutions, Intel recommends an AIO liquid cooler (or air equivalent) of 280mm or greater. It means you will have to spend good money to fulfill the premium cooling requirements of the Intel Core i7-13700K.
Lastly, despite the decent price difference, the Intel Core i7-13700K only falls slightly short of performance compared to the Intel Core i9-13900K. We tested the two side-by-side, and the i7-13700K was only behind ~5.7% in FPS. Another advantage of the Intel Core i7-13700K is that it does not force you to upgrade your RAM to DDR5, saving you some money.
What We Liked
The gaming performance of the Core i7-13700K is truly exceptional, especially considering its price tag.
What We Disliked
Intel CPUs maintained their reputation of being power-hungry in Raptor Lake as well. As a result, we see extreme power requirements in the Intel Core i7-13700K.
Who Is It For?
Anyone planning to build an excellent-performance Intel rig around the RTX 4080 that outperforms in various areas should opt for the Intel Core i7-13700K.
What Makes It The Best Intel CPU For RTX 4080?
The Intel Core i7-13700K offers good performance in every aspect. If you can fulfil its power and cooling requirements, you can efficiently run your RTX 4080 at its maximum conditions with this CPU, and that’s why we have picked it as the Best Intel CPU For RTX 4080.
- Intel Core i7-13700K Review
- Best Cooler for Intel Core i7-13700K
- Best Motherboard for Intel Core i7-13700K
- Best RAM for Intel Core i7-13700K
Ryzen 7 7800X3D
Best Overall Gaming CPU for RTX 4080
Specifications: Socket: AM5 | Architecture: Zen 4 | Cores: 8 | Threads: 16 | Base Clock: 4.2 GHz | Boost Clock: 5.0 GHz | TDP: 120W
Ryzen 7 7800X3D has unlocked new performance levels not seen in the gaming world. When it comes to sheer gaming performance, the Ryzen 7 7800X3D conquers not only Intel’s flagship, the Core i9-13900K, but even the Ryzen 9 7950X3D. Such a marginal performance lead qualifies the Ryzen 7 7800X3D as the best overall gaming CPU for RTX 4080.
Built on AMD’s “Zen 4” architecture, Ryzen 7 7800X3D supports the latest DDR5 and PCI 5.0 slots, just like its younger brother AMD Ryzen 7 7700X. However, you cannot continue to use your DDR4 RAM with it, whereas Intel’s Raptor Lake takes the lead here by supporting both the DDR4 and DDR5.
While the Ryzen 7 7800X3D is the best overall gaming CPU, it does not mean it outperforms Intel in every aspect. The top-performing Ryzen CPU does not come top in single-threaded and multithreading productivity applications when compared to Intel’s Raptor Lake Core i9. However, if only gaming is your concern, you can go for Ryzen 7 7800X3D without second thoughts.
The key reason for the remarkable performance showdown by the Ryzen 7 7800X3D is its L3 cache memory. Already there was adequate L3 cache available, but AMD further boosted the L3 cache to 96MB with its second-generation 3D V-Cache technology. The 3D V-Cache makes frequently accessed instructions readily available. It further solidifies Ryzen 7 7800X3D as the best CPU to pair with 4080.
Moving on to the operating frequencies, the Ryzen 7 7800X3D has a default base clock frequency of 4.2 GHz. The maximum clock speed it can reach is 5.0 GHz which is enormous. It comprises a total of 8 cores and 16 threads. Unlike Intel’s Raptor Lake, this Zen 4 beast does not have separate performance and efficiency cores.
Regarding thermal management, it generates 120W of heat. Despite the better gaming performance, the TDP and power consumption are impressive and far better than any of Intel’s processors. But it does not mean you will be saved from spending a good amount on your CPU cooler. AMD recommends a liquid cooler to prevent the Zen 4 masterpiece from bottlenecking.
Lastly, the Ryzen 7 7800X3D fully lives up to its reputation as the best gaming CPU to date. You will not regret investing in it. It can run your RTX 4080 at its full potential without any interruption. But you must ensure you provide it with adequate power and thermal support.
What We Liked
The Ryzen 7 7800X3D benefits from the 3D V-cache technology, which unlocked new performance levels in gaming. The gaming performance backed by an enormous L3 cache is what impressed me the most.
What We Disliked
The impact of the 3D V-cache is only limited to gaming applications. Therefore, the productivity performance is quite underwhelming.
Who Is It For?
If you want an unbeatable gaming CPU for your RTX 4080, Ryzen 7 7800X3D should be your top pick without any second thoughts.
What Makes It The Best Overall Gaming CPU For RTX 4080?
In gaming performance, Ryzen 7 7800X3D crossed all its competitors significantly. The key reason for this extraordinary gaming performance is the 3D V-cache, which can only impact gaming applications. Therefore, the unmatched gaming performance of the Ryzen 7 7800X3D makes it the Best Overall Gaming CPU For RTX 4080.
Intel Core i5-13600k
Best Budget CPU for RTX 4080
Specifications: Socket: FCLGA1700 | Architecture: Raptor Lake | Cores: 14 (8E+6P) | Threads: 20 | Base Clock: 2.6 GHz, 3.6 GHz | Boost Clock: 3.90 GHz , 5.10 GHz | TDP: 125W ,181W
- Reasonable price
- Decent performance for mid-range setups
- Supports both DDR4 and DDR5
- Nothing significant
Looking for a budget-friendly option but do not want to compromise performance to a significant extent? Look no further because Intel has an excellent budget deal that can run your RTX 4080 smoothly. The Intel Core i5-13600k offers superior performance for its value and also has some improvements over its previous Alder Lake iteration. I have listed it as the best budget CPU for RTX 4080 due to its impressive performance bar at a reasonable price.
Like the rest of Raptor Lake CPUs, it supports the latest PCI 5.0 and the newest DDR5 RAM modules. Although, it also carries on supporting the old DDR4 RAMs, which is good to hear if you are already a bit tight on budget. Similarly, based on the Raptor Lake architecture, the Intel Core i5-13600k has separate performance and efficiency cores.
One improvement is that it has double the number of efficient cores than its predecessor. The Intel Core i5-13600k has 8 efficient and 6 performance cores. Similarly, it has a total thread count of 20, twelve of which come from the P-cores, and the remaining eight come from the E-cores.
Furthermore, the Intel Core i5-13600k has a base clock speed of 2.60 GHz for its efficiency cores and 3.50 GHz for its performance cores. Additionally, you can operate its efficient cores at the turbo frequency of 3.90 GHz and its performance cores at the turbo frequency of 5.10 GHz. Keeping in mind that the i5-13600K is aimed at the budget segment, the turbo frequency is quite a powerful punch.
It continuously operated at its advertised turbo frequencies during my testing. Therefore, after thorough tests, I can confidently say you will have no trouble running this CPU at higher frequencies, provided the rest of the hardware is adequate. Another impressive feature I discovered in my tests is that the i5-13600K is quiet efficient. While running gaming benchmarks, the processor took up around 160W to 180W. Given that it is a Raptor Lake processor, the power efficiency is quite good.
Overall, if you want to stay within your budget and choose a CPU for your RTX 4080, you can certainly go with the Intel Core i5-13600k. The latest Raptor Lake iteration of Core i5 exceeds the minimum CPU requirements for RTX 4080. It can offer a heavy performance while staying light on the budget.
What We Liked
It is truly fascinating how the Intel Core i5-13600K has decent enough performance specs to run your RTX 4080 at a reasonable price.
What We Disliked
Apart from the unimpressive productivity performance, I didn’t dislike anything about the Core i5-13600K.
Who Is It For?
If you are looking for a budget-friendly CPU to run your RTX 4080 without bottlenecking, the Intel Core i5-13600K is the CPU you should go with.
What Makes It The Best Budget CPU For RTX 4080?
The Intel Core i5-13600K offers all the essential features to run your RTX 4080 efficiently at a reasonable price. Given its exceptional price-to-performance ratio, I have crowned the Intel Core i5-13600K as the Best Budget CPU For RTX 4080.
- Intel Core i5-13600K Review
- Best Cooler for Intel Core i5-13600K
- Best Motherboard for Intel Core i5-13600K
- Best RAM for Intel Core i5-13600K
Intel Core i9-13900K
Best High-end CPU for RTX 4080
Specifications: Socket: FCLGA1700 | Architecture: Raptor Lake | Cores: 24 (16E+8P) | Threads: 32 | Base Clock: 2.20 GHz, 3.0 GHz | Boost Clock: 4.30 GHz, 5.40 GHz | Max Frequency: 5.80 GHz | TDP: 125W ,253W
- Unmatched single-core and multi-core performance
- Enormous core count
- Supports both DDR4 and DDR5
- Very expensive
- Extremely power hungry
- High thermals
A while ago, AMD Ryzen 9 7950X was the best CPU known to the planet. But here we are with Intel’s top-performance CPU that secures the top place for Intel again. Meet the best high-end performance CPU, i.e., Intel Core i9-13900K. While it may fall slightly short of gaming performance compared when pitched against the Ryzen 7 7800X3D, it is still one of the fastest gaming processors.
As I said in previous sections, Ryzen 7 7800X3D is undoubtedly the best gaming CPU, but it might not do well in other high-end productivity applications. This is where Intel’s latest Raptor Lake iteration of Core i9 steps up and amazes us with its excellent single and multi-core performance.
Another key feature that adds to the marginal lead of the Intel Core i9-13900K is its split-core functionality. It has separate performance and efficiency cores. As a result, you get 8 performance and 16 efficiency cores. Similarly, the number of threads that the Intel Core i9-13900K offers is 32, which is enormous.
The 8 P-cores offer 16 threads by enabling hyper-threading, while the other 16 threads come up from the remaining 16 E-cores. A total of 32 threads helps this Raptor Lake wonder achieve excellent single and multi-core performance. As promised by Intel, it is approximately 15% faster in its single-threaded performance and 41% faster in its multi-threaded performance than its predecessor, 12900K.
Moving on, you can see a good range of operating frequencies to fit your requirements. The base clock speed of performance and efficiency cores is 3.00 GHz and 2.20 GHz, respectively. While operating at turbo frequencies, performance and efficiency cores can reach 5.40 GHz and 4.30 GHz, respectively. Furthermore, we see Intel’s Turbo Boost 3.0 frequency of 5.70 GHz and Thermal Velocity Boost frequency of 5.80 GHz. Both of these frequencies depend on the availability of power and thermal headroom.
Intel processors are notorious for their power consumption and heat generation, and the Intel Core i9-13900K is no different. Running normally at its base speed, it will draw a power of 125W, which can go up to 253W during turbo-frequency operation. You will have to spend well on the Core i9-13900K’s high-end cooling requirements to keep it operating under its thermal limit.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a genuinely high-end performing CPU for your workload requirements, especially relevant to productivity apps, then the Intel Core i9-13900K is the best option. However, if only gaming is your concern, you can opt for another CPU like the Ryzen 7 7800X3D. No matter what you choose, it will certainly not bottleneck your GPU.
What We Liked
The Intel Core i9-13900K features 24 cores which ace single and multi-core performance in every aspect, making it one of the best high-end CPUs on the planet. Its unmatched high-end performance is what fascinated me.
What We Disliked
Apart from being an extremely expensive processor, the Core i9-13900K also consumes a ton of power while generating lots of heat.
Who Is It For?
The Intel Core i9-13900K provides top-notch high-end performance, which is especially beneficial for productivity apps. Therefore, if you’re looking for the most top-tier processor that nails both gaming and productivity, then the Core i9-13900K is for you.
What Makes It The Best High-End CPU For RTX 4080?
The Intel Core i9-13900K is one of the most top-performance CPUs found on the planet. It can efficiently run your RTX 4080 and even higher GPUs. Its enormous number of cores and increased operating frequencies make it the Best High-End CPU For RTX 4080.
- Best Cooler for Intel Core i9-13900K
- Best Motherboard for Intel Core i9-13900K
- Best RAM for Intel Core i9-13900K
Ryzen 7 5800X3D
Best Value CPU For RTX 4080
Specifications: Socket: AM4 | Architecture: Zen 3 | Cores: 8 | Threads: 16 | Base Clock: 3.4 GHz | Boost Clock: 4.50 GHz | TDP: 105W
- Tremendous L3 cache
- Great Gaming Performance
- Value for money
- No DDR5 and PCI 5.0 support
- No overclocking support
- Okay productivity performance
If you want to weigh your money against what you are getting, then AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X3D strikes the perfect balance. Given its excellent value for money and impressive gaming performance, it is undoubtedly the best CPU for RTX 4080. Let’s further explore what this value-for-money CPU has to offer us.
Like its elder sibling Ryzen 7 7800X3D, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D also benefits from the 3D V-cache technology to provide a 96MB of L3 cache. The 3D V-cache is the main reason these AMD giants excel in gaming performance. Applications other than gaming may not benefit much from this 3D V-cache. But if only gaming is your concern, you are at the right spot.
Furthermore, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D has 8 cores and 16 threads. It operates at a default base clock speed of 3.4 GHz and can reach a maximum boost frequency of 4.5 GHz. One benefit of AMD CPUs over Intel CPUs is their power consumption and heat generation. As a result, we see a TDP of 105W, less than most of Intel’s CPUs. But still, you will have to use a good CPU cooler for the Ryzen 7 5800X3D.
One of the downsides of the Ryzen 7 5800X3D is that it is based on the “Zen 3” architecture. Therefore, it only supports PCI 4.0 slots and DDR4 RAM modules. But still, it offers better gaming performance than its direct Intel competitor, i.e., Intel Core i5-12600K. Furthermore, it also lacks integrated graphics, unlike its Intel rival.
Lastly, if only gaming is your concern and you prioritize value-for-money hardware, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D is your best option. The thing that makes this CPU excel in its gaming performance is the 3D V-cache technology. However, the impact of 3D V-cache technology on non-gaming applications is almost absent. So, you might want to consider some other CPU in the same price range if you mainly deal with non-gaming applications.
What We Liked
The Ryzen 7 5800X3D features a 3D V-cache feature that provides a total L3 cache of 96MB, which is highly beneficial in gaming applications.
What We Disliked
Based on the “Zen 3” architecture, Ryzen 7 5800X3D does not support DDR5 or PCI 5.0 slots, which isn’t ideal.
Who Is It For?
Given that it’s a gaming-centric CPU, the productivity performance of this processor is disappointing. Furthermore, the lack of overclocking support and integrated graphics does not help either.
What Makes It The Best Value CPU For RTX 4080?
The Ryzen 7 5800X3D offers excellent features for what you are paying. At a reasonable price, this Ryzen CPU powered with a 3D V-cache can help you ace many games with your RTX 4080. Therefore, it is undoubtedly the Best Value CPU For RTX 4080.
Gaming Benchmarks Of The Best CPU for RTX 4080
What good is a claim that is not backed by actual proof? Therefore, to support my claims and maintain your trust in Tech4Gamers, I tested these CPUs at resolutions of 1080p and 1440p with various triple-A games. Additionally, I also ran a few tests related to productivity apps. Here is what I found in my testing:
Important CPU Key Terms
Here are some essential terms that will help you understand the CPU architecture:
- Core: The individual processing unit inside the CPU which independently executes instructions.
- Threads: The independently executable smallest portions of a computer program.
- Base Clock Speed: The default operating speed of the CPU without any performance boost.
- Boost Clock Speed: The maximum CPU operating speed reached under heavy load.
- TDP: The maximum heat that can be generated by a CPU under certain load conditions.
- Cache: A small memory comprising three levels (L1, L2, and L3) that stores frequently accessed instructions by CPU.
- Socket: The physical interface between the CPU and the motherboard, which enables communication between the two.
How To Choose The Best CPU For RTX 4080
If you have made it this far, you certainly know the importance of weighing your CPU choice on the scale of performance, power requirements, thermal management, budget, and your need. To assist you further, I have provided some key factors to consider while choosing the best CPU for RTX 4080.
You should carefully consider and select the CPU that lies within your budget. Many CPUs can offer exceptional performance, but their price range may only suit professional users. So, opting for a CPU that targets your price range while providing excellent performance is good practice.
Similarly, performance is another critical factor to consider when choosing a CPU. You should know what performance you expect from your CPU, i.e., whether you are looking for high-resolution support, multithreaded productivity app performance, or gaming excellency. For example, the Ryzen 7 7800X3D might be a gaming performance masterpiece but does not prove exceptional in productivity.
Thermal Efficiency and Power Consumption
Thermal efficiency and power consumption of your CPU are something you should properly plan on. If you show reluctance in considering your CPU’s power and cooling requirements, you might have to pay a heavy price. For example, if you buy the Intel Core i9-13900K, you must select an enormous VRM motherboard and a liquid cooler of 280 mm or more, which can be very costly.
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The specific CPU choice for RTX 4080 depends on your needs and resources. For example, if you are not on a budget and want a top-notch gaming CPU, you can opt for the Ryzen 7 7800X3D. But if you are looking for a high-end CPU that excels in productivity apps performance, you should go for the Intel Core i9-13900K.
While there is no distinct answer to this question, I believe the minimum CPU that can run your RTX 4080 without interruption is the Intel Core i5-13600K. Any CPU below the Intel Core i5-13600K benchmark will cause performance issues with your RTX 4080.
The Intel Core i5-13600K meets the minimum compatibility requirements of RTX 4080 and can run your RTX 4080 without bottlenecking.
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Malik Usman is student of Computer Science focused on using his knowledge to produce detailed and informative articles covering the latest findings from the tech industry. His expertise allows him to cover subjects like processors, graphics cards, and more. In addition to the latest hardware, Malik can be found writing about the gaming industry from time to time. He is fond of games like God of War, and his work has been mentioned on websites like Whatculture, VG247, IGN, and Eurogamer.