8 Best CPUs for RTX 3070 Ti in 2021

With the release of the RTX 3070 Ti, Nvidia is filling a gap between the RTX 3070 and 3080 in addition to filling their pockets. All jokes aside, this GPU is a genuine alternative to AMD’s RX 6800. However, it’s closer to the RTX 3070 than the 3080 when it comes to performance. The RTX 3070 Ti is mainly meant for 1440p gaming, but with the right setup, it can offer a smooth 4K experience as well depending on the gaming title. However, to get this performance you will need to pair the RTX 3070 Ti with a good processor. Therefore, we have carefully curated this list of the best CPUs for RTX 3070 Ti.

If you inspect the specifications of the RTX 3070 Ti closely, you’ll see that it has only around 5% more CUDA cores than the RTX 3070. Maximum boost clock speeds have also been increased, but only slightly from 1,725 MHz to 1,770 MHz. The biggest change is the type of memory. Nvidia used the faster GDDR6X memory found in their more powerful GPUs, like the RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3090. All of these changes make the 3070 Ti a very good performing GPU. But, to get the most from this GPU, you’ll need to pair it with one of these CPUs listed below.

Best CPUs for RTX 3070 Ti

1AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 8-core, 16-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor

Verdict

A well-balanced multitasking processor to pair with the 3070 Ti for most applications, including 1440p and 4K gaming, content creation, rendering, and other demanding tasks. However, it is slightly on the expensive side.

Specifications

Architecture: Zen 3 | Socket: AM4 | Cores/Threads: 8 / 16 | Base Frequency: 3.8GHz | Boost Frequency: 4.7GHz | TDP: 105W

Benefits

  • Great for computationally demanding software
  • Supports PCIe 4.0
  • Fairly low power requirements

Drawbacks

  • Doesn’t come with a cooler
  • Gaming performance close to 5600X

The Ryzen 7 5800X is a great CPU that performs well when you’re gaming or working on computationally demanding tasks. However, it’s in a weird spot. Sometimes, depending on the market and availability, it’s significantly more expensive than the 6-core 5600X and not that much cheaper than the 5900X, which is an impressive 12-core CPU. Purchasing it purely for gaming feels somewhat awkward because you can get a similar performance from the 5600X. And if you’re working with demanding software, the 5900X is more appropriate, especially when you consider the value you get for the money you spend.

That said, the 5800X is an 8-core processor that reaches 4.7GHz clock speeds, so it can certainly handle 1440p and 4K gaming alongside the RTX 3070 Ti. If you’re looking for a future-proof gaming setup, the 5800X is a good choice. It supports PCIe 4.0 and it doesn’t demand that much power. As mentioned, the only problem is the fluctuating price when compared to the rest of the 5000s series. It would be best to get the 5800X if you find a special offer that brings its price really close to that of the 5600X. Sometimes, you’ll find it listed for just $50 more than the 5600X. That’s a bargain.

2Intel Core I7-11700K

Intel Core i7-11700K Desktop Processor 8 Cores up to 5.0 GHz Unlocked LGA1200 (Intel 500 Series & Select 400 Series Chipset) 125W

Verdict

The 11700K is still a great choice for gamers to pair with the 3070 Ti due to Intel’s renowned single-core performance. However, when it comes to overall performance and price there are better options.

Specifications

Architecture: Rocket Lake | Socket: LGA 1200 | Cores/Threads: 8 / 16 | Base Frequency: 3.6 GHz | Boost Frequency: 5.0 GHz | TDP: 125W

Benefits

  • Does extremely well in games due to high single-core performance
  • Overclockable up to 5.0 GHz using Turbo Boost Max 3.0
  • Supports PCIe 4.0

Drawbacks

  • Demands a lot of power compared to Ryzen processors
  • Intel still uses a 14nm node

Intel continues designing solid gaming processors, but we still encounter some of the same problems we see in the older 10th and 9th generations. Single-core performance is amazing, as the 11700K can reach 5.0 GHz and it supports 4K gaming. Multi-threaded performance is also great and this CPU will perform well with its 8 cores, however, AMD tends to win in this category.

Unfortunately, Intel continues to stick to the 14nm architecture while AMD is already at 7nm since the launch of the 3000 series of CPUs. Furthermore, the 11700K has high power requirements like the previous generation. Despite a 19% increase in IPC, we still need a more powerful PSU and cooler.

All in all, the 11700K finds itself in a weird spot when comparing it to the Ryzen 5000 processors. The only thing that makes it more attractive is the price, but that might not last long as AMD is soon going to fill this gap with the upcoming 5000G series of processors.

3AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 6-core, 12-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler

Verdict

The 5600X is the best value CPU for most users. It’s powerful enough for a solid 1440p gaming setup when paired with the RTX 3070 Ti. It also allows you to save money on a cooler and PSU.

Specifications

Architecture: Zen 3 | Socket: AM4 | Cores/Threads: 6 / 12 | Base Frequency: 3.7GHz | Boost Frequency: 4.6GHz | TDP: 65W

Benefits

  • Has low power requirements when compared to the performance
  • Supports PCIe 4.0
  • Wraith Prism Cooler is included

Drawbacks

  • Lacks integrated graphics

The Ryzen 5 5600X is one of the most popular processors for a reason. It’s powerful, it has six cores, which is enough for most applications, and it’s highly affordable. It also has a low power requirement, allowing us to buy a cheaper power supply, and it comes with the great Wraith Prism cooler included. In essence, it’s a budget-friendly mid-range CPU that proves you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to enjoy a great gaming experience.

The 5600X offers the biggest bang for the buck when used with the RTX 3070 Ti. This combo is great for 1440p gaming and you can even play games at 4K resolution, though some games will run at higher FPS than others. Beating this 6-core processor for daily use and gaming when considering its price is difficult. It’s probably the best CPU for the average gamer. However, if you also need to work on computationally demanding tasks, you should look for a processor with a higher core count, such as the 5900X.

4Intel i5-11600K

Intel Core i5-11600K Desktop Processor 6 Cores up to 4.9 GHz Unlocked LGA1200 (Intel 500 Series & Select 400 Series Chipset) 125W

Verdict

The i5 11600K is a powerful but affordable gaming CPU that can reach impressive clock speeds. If you are mainly looking to game with your RTX 3070 Ti, this CPU is a very good lower priced option.

Specifications

Architecture: Rocket Lake | Socket: LGA 1200 | Cores/Threads: 6 / 12 | Base Frequency: 3.90GHz | Boost Frequency: 4.90GHz | TDP: 125W

Benefits

  • Overall great value for the price
  • High multithreading performance
  • Supports PCIe 4.0

Drawbacks

  • High power requirements

While the 11th gen i9 seems rather disappointed, especially compared to its predecessor, the i5 11600K is quite impressive. Overall, it’s more powerful with a high 3.90 GHz base clock speed that can be boosted up to 4.90 GHz and it comes with an attractive price tag. When it comes to gaming performance and overall multithreading performance it can be compared to the Ryzen 5600X. They’re both powerful 6-core processors that will work really well with the RTX 3070 Ti.

The i5 11600K is best for the average gamer/PC user. It is an affordable processor that is good enough for 1440p and 4K gaming. It’s also quite impressive when it comes to handling demanding applications, Overall, this is probably the best 11th gen Intel CPU when we consider the price/performance ratio.

5AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 12-core, 24-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor

Verdict

The Ryzen 9 5900X is made for professionals and enthusiasts, so you can’t go wrong with it. It’s great for gaming and even better for computationally demanding tasks.

Specifications

Architecture: Zen 3 | Socket: AM4 | Cores/Threads: 12 / 24 | Base Frequency: 3.7GHz | Boost Frequency: 4.8GHz | TDP: 105W

Benefits

  • Fantastic for computationally demanding tasks
  • Great for high-end gaming setups
  • Supports PCIe 4.0

Drawbacks

  • Doesn’t come with a cooler
  • Somewhat expensive if used just for gaming

The Ryzen 9 5900X is a high-end processor that performs extremely well in most situations. It’s a 12-core processor that can reach 4.8GHz, so it’s great for 4K gaming as well as professional work. If you plan to use this CPU just for gaming and regular tasks like browsing, it’s probably too much. Games can’t take full advantage of so many cores/threads. The 5900X won’t be much better than the 5800X because the GPU will do most of the heavy lifting, especially if you’re playing at 4K resolution.

The 5900X is meant to be used for computationally heavy tasks, like content creation and various programs that rely on CPU rendering instead of GPU rendering. This processor is for professionals. However, if you’re a gamer who wants to build a system that stays relevant for several years, the 5900X is a great investment.

6Intel Core i9-11900K

Intel Core i9-11900K Desktop Processor 8 Cores up to 5.3 GHz Unlocked LGA1200 (Intel 500 Series & Select 400 Series Chipset) 125W

Verdict

The 11900K performs very well in gaming and demanding computing tasks but it falls behind the similarly priced Ryzen 9 5900X when it comes to multitasking.

Specifications

Architecture: Rocket Lake | Socket: LGA 1200 | Cores/Threads: 8 / 16 | Base Frequency: 3.5GHz | Boost Frequency: 5.30GHz | TDP: 125W

Benefits

  • Overall great gaming performance
  • Thermal Velocity Boost allowing 5.3GHz boost to single-core performance
  • Supports PCIe 4.0

Drawbacks

  • High price for 8 cores
  • High power requirements

As Intel continues focusing on the 14nm node, we end up with fewer cores and higher power consumption to compensate. While the 11900K can perform extremely well in games due to the impressive single-core frequencies, we’re paying a premium price for 8 power-hungry cores. The power requirements are sky-high when the CPU is overclocked, above the Ryzen 9 5900X which is its direct competitor. However, not everything about the 11900K is bad. Intel finally supports the PCIe 4.0 interface and it also adopted better DRAM speeds.

The 11900K is best for gamers who want to stick to Intel instead of building a completely new system. This CPU performs extremely well in games when paired with the RTX 3070 Ti. However, when it comes to computationally demanding applications that require peak multi-core performance, the 5900X is superior.

7AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core, 16-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Prism LED Cooler

Verdict

The 3700X is a last-gen processor that is still up to date and competitive. If you want an 8-core processor without paying new-gen prices, the 3700X is a solid alternative to the 5800X.

Specifications

Architecture: Zen 2 | Socket: AM4 | Cores/Threads: 8 / 16 | Base Frequency: 3.6GHz | Boost Frequency: 4.40GHz | TDP: 65W

Benefits

  • Great overall performance for the price
  • Supports PCIe 4.0
  • Wraith Prism cooler is included

Drawbacks

  • Single-threaded performance isn’t the best
  • Overclocking is somewhat limited

The Jack-of-all-trades of the previous generation of Ryzen processors, the 3700X is still one of the top choices for the average user. It excels at multi-threaded processing with its 8 cores / 16 threads, so you get a lot from it when performing computationally demanding tasks. Price-wise it’s similar to the 5600X, but you get two extra cores. Despite not being the latest generation, it uses the same 7nm architecture, it supports PCIe 4.0 and it has a low power requirement.

The Ryzen 7 3700X is a great alternative for people who don’t mind not having the latest technology. Besides, there isn’t much to lose because this processor, like its entire series, is still competitive and provides plenty of performance and value. That said, the 3700X isn’t the best option for gaming. Its single-core performance isn’t that great compared to Zen 3 CPUs or Intel processors. Additionally, this model has limited overclocking capabilities due to the maximum 4.4GHz boost frequency. So, if your main focus is gaming, you should go with another option like the 5600X or 5800X.

8AMD Ryzen 5 3600X

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core, 12-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler

Verdict

The best mid-range alternative to the Ryzen 5 5600X and i5 11600K. The 3600X has a lot of value to offer for the average gamer.

Specifications

Architecture: Zen 2 | Socket: AM4 | Cores/Threads: 6 / 12 | Base Frequency: 3.8GHz | Boost Frequency: 4.4GHz | TDP: 95W

Benefits

  • Great 1440p gaming performance
  • Supports PCIe 4.0
  • Wraith Prism cooler included

Drawbacks

  • Limited overclocking potential

The Ryzen 5 3600X is still a perfectly valid option for an RTX 3070 Ti setup. It’s a 6-core processor that can reach clock speeds of up to 4.4GHz, so it’s enough for 1440p gaming. However, it might not be enough for a smooth 4K gaming experience due to the limited overclocking headroom. Furthermore, it has a slightly higher power requirement than its Zen 3 equivalent, the 5600X, but the difference is almost negligible.

The 3600X is a good option for gamers on a budget, especially because it also comes with the Wraith Prism cooler included. However, the newer and improved 5600X is only slightly more expensive. The same goes for Intel’s i5 11600K. So depending on the offers you find, you should keep the other two processors in mind and purchase the best deal.

Final Thoughts

Choosing between Ryzen 3000 and 5000 series while also considering Intel’s brand new 11th gen processors can be quite a challenge. Fortunately, there are a lot of options for every budget and they all work well with the RTX 3070 Ti (depending on your needs and expectations). That said, AMD still pulls ahead, especially with its higher-end 5900X, but the 5600X is also a great budget-friendly option. Intel doesn’t manage to find a solid footing as it continues to focus on the outdated 14nm nodes. Although, the i5-11600K is quite impressive and highly affordable.

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