6 Best CPU for RTX 2070 builds (Top Reviewed) in 2020

We all know that RTX 2070 got a significant spot in Turing based graphics cards as a mid-range GPU with excellent performance. This GPU is capable of maxing out some of the latest titles at 1440p resolution, but you might need to compromise on in-game settings. But you might already know that pairing high-end graphics cards with some low-end processor can limit its performance, thus we may not get the performance that CPU is made to offer, and we call this bottlenecking. Suppose you got an i3 9100 paired with RTX 2080 Super, this combo can only give you performance the CPU can provide, ignoring the performance of the graphics card.

Best CPU for RTX 2070

This matter seems absurd, especially if you don’t know what hardware you need for your PC, so taking care of this, we have compiled a list of the best CPU for RTX 2070. We got some choices from budget level processors to high-end enthusiasts hardware, and you can choose them according to your budget. All these processors can be used with both RTX 2070 and 2070 Super, and we have options from Intel and AMD side. So without doing any further ado, let’s start the list with our first processor.  


Best CPU for RTX 2070 – My Recommendations

There are some of the options you can consider getting for your upcoming RTX 2070 builds, but the main thing is the best performance for the price. You can check out reviews of each processor there and can get an idea of which one will be best for you. In general, I would say consider AMD processors if you consider gaming as well as non-gaming, too, while Intel processors are built for pure gaming and raw performance. 

AwardCPUsCores / ThreadsBoost Clock
Price
Economic Intel CPU6 / 64.6 GHz
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Performance Intel CPU8 / 84.9 GHz
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Premium Intel CPU8 / 165.0 GHz Check Price
Economic AMD CPU6 / 124.2 GHz Check Price
Ideal AMD CPU6 / 124.4 GHz Check Price
Beast AMD CPU8 / 164.4 GHz
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Award: Economic Intel CPU

Intel Core i5-9600k

Intel Core i5-9600k

The first on our list is Intel Core i5 9600k, which seems controversial between the Ryzen 5 3600 and Intel i5 9700k because of its price and performance ratio. Ryzen 5 3600 is slightly cheaper than this and has a stock cooling solution, but the I5 9600k got a significant advantage in single-core performance. However, Ryzen 3000 series processors are somewhat better in multi-core applications, especially if you prefer streaming along with gaming.

Intel cut off hyperthreading from their 9th generation I5 processors, but you don’t have to worry about this because these extra cores and threads are enough to handle applications other than gaming. Also, it’s a perfect match for RTX 2070 if you got a 200-250 USD budget for the processor and eliminates every possible bottleneck. I found this processor better for pure gaming, and raw performance; otherwise, R5 3600 is a compelling option.

There we are getting 6 cores and 6 threads clocked at 3.70 GHz, which is good, but on boost, it reaches up to 4.6 GHz. I5 9600k has excellent headroom for overclocking, and you can enjoy a better gaming experience with it if you consider pushing its clocks. But as it doesn’t come with a stock cooler, you might need some aftermarket cooling solution (AIO or Air cooler).

You are good to go with this processor if looking for something great for RTX 2070 under a price tag of 200-250 USD, and of course, it offers excellent value for its price. As there we are considering it for RTX 2070, and if you don’t want to overclock it, I would recommend you to go with the F-series CPU because they lack iGPU and are slightly cheaper than K and non-f versions. 

Specifications

CoreSix
ThreadsSix
SocketLGA 1151
Base Frequency3.7 GHz
Turbo Frequency4.6 GHz
L1 L2 L3 Caches9 MB
Architecture size (nm)14 nm
Pros
  • Best raw performance.
  • A compelling option for pure gaming.
  • Excellent headroom for overclocking.
Cons
  • Lacks bundled cooler.

Award: Performance Intel CPU

Intel Core i7-9700k

Intel Core i7-9700k

The best bang for buck processor you can get for RTX 2070 might be Intel i7 9700k as it’s more appealing because of additional cores and threads and reasonable price tag. Likewise above mentioned CPU, there are also two options available in this processor, one if with k suffix and the other one is f-series. You can save a few bucks if you don’t need an integrated graphics card.

This processor offers eight cores and threads and best for raw performance while it also performs well in multi-core applications. I’ve reviewed several Intel and AMD processors but found this one more appealing over Ryzen 3000 series in pure gaming. Under the budget category, this one is good over i9 9900k because of its price, but you need to compromise on performance.

The overclocking power of this processor is impressive as it can easily hit 4.9 GHz on turbo boost while the base clock is 3.60 GHz. The thing where this processor disappoints its users is the lack of a bundled cooler, and you have to get an aftermarket cooler. Also, lack of hyperthreading and high price doesn’t seem reasonable, and from my point of view, a price cut would be appreciated.

This processor is slightly more expensive than the AMD Ryzen 7 3700x, which in multi-core performance AMD beats it. I would rather say if this processor comes with a stock cooler and has a price cut down, there might be no other better choice to go with. Right now, I would say that this is a high-end CPU to pair with the RTX 2070 for future games and for getting high resolutions. 

Specifications

CoreEight
ThreadsEight
SocketLGA 1151
Base Frequency3.6 GHz
Turbo Frequency4.9 GHz
L1 L2 L3 Caches12 MB
Architecture size (nm)14 nm
Pros
  • Excellent gaming performance.
  • High boost clock speed.
  • Raw performance is impressive.
Cons
  • Lacks bundled cooler.
  • Very high price.
  • No hyperthreading.

Award: Premium Intel CPU

Intel Core i9-9900k

Intel Core i9-9900k

If you are a hardware enthusiast and looking for a processor more powerful than I7 9700k, ignoring the budget there, we have something for you. Intel Core i9 9900k is no doubt a great gaming processor but a bit expensive than the one mentioned above while there is not much gaming performance difference. The multiplier of this processor is factory unlocked, and you can overclock it to push clock rates and can get better gaming experience.

This CPU has eight cores and sixteen threads, which are enough for any modern game and application, but it’s targeted explicitly if you like to stream or render other than gaming. The extra cores are enough for any modern game and applications, and that’s the thing for which you are paying the extra money.

These high-end processors don’t work with older models or entry-level motherboards unless you do a BIOS upgrade. Though this processor is compatible with Z370 chipset motherboards out of the box but for a few models, you might need a BIOS upgrade. This CPU lacks a bundled cooler like other Intel 9th generation processors, and you might need a powerful aftermarket cooler with it if you want to hit 5 GHz. 

Specifications

CoreEight
ThreadsSixteen
SocketLGA 1151
Base Frequency3.6 GHz
Turbo Frequency5.0 GHz
L1 L2 L3 Caches16 MB
Architecture size (nm)14 nm
Pros
  • Impressive performance in gaming.
  • Excellent in multi-threaded workloads.
  • It can hit 5 GHz with a good aftermarket cooler.
Cons
  • Very high price.
  • Consumes much power under high loads.
  • Lacks stock cooler and need a high-end aftermarket cooler.

Award: Economic AMD CPU

AMD Ryzen 5 2600X

AMD Ryzen 5 2600X

We are done with Intel processors and heading towards AMD on the top of the list, with having the Ryzen 5 2600x. There we have two options where one is R5 2600, and the second one is R5 2600x, and both of them are very identical to each other. The only difference you might find between them is improved clock speed and better-bundled cooler, and I would recommend you the X version if you prefer overclocking.

Getting an AMD processor and ignoring overclocking on it doesn’t make sense because most users get AMD CPUs because of their unlocked multiplier. The AMD Ryzen 5 2600x offers six cores and twelve threads along with the hyperthreading support, and it gives you the best performance in single as well as in multi-core applications. If you are on a budget and want a processor for gaming and streaming, there might be no other option than this.

The thing which disappoints me a lot about this processor is its in-game performance as if you pair it with some high-end GPU, i5 8400 will outperform it. If you are getting it for non-gaming purposes, it will be the best piece of product for you. Also, with its performance, you might need some aftermarket coolers for it because the stock cooler doesn’t support serious overclocking with it.

Those users who are looking for CPUs for Nvidia Geforce RTX 2070 under a budget category there might be no other choice for you. There are two options, and you can choose them according to your budget, but the main difference between them is overclocking power and clock rates. 

Specifications

CoreSix
ThreadsTwelve
SocketAM4
Base Frequency3.6 GHz
Turbo FrequencyUp to 4.2 GHz
L1 L2 L3 Caches576KB, 3MB, 16MB
Architecture size (nm)12nm 
Pros
  • Great multi-traded performance.
  • Supports high overclocking.
  • Reasonable price with a stock cooler.
Cons
  • Slightly performance difference from i5 8400.
  • Gaming performance is not that great.
  • Limited overclocking potential with the stock cooler.

Award: Ideal AMD CPU

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X

The second CPU from AMD there is Ryzen 5 3600x, which is much identical to the R5 3600 but has slightly higher clock rates and TDP. Also, with some performance difference, there is a 50 USD price difference too, which doesn’t seem much, but for its performance, it’s worth it. The reason to consider this is its price, performance, and Wraith Spire cooler, which is an advantage over i5 9600K.

Both of these processors are best for RTX 2070, but of course, R5 3600x has some advantages over its sibling. The clock and boost rates of R5 3600 and R5 3600x are 3.6/ 4.2 GHz and 3.8/4.4 GHz, respectively. One more significant difference between them is R5 3600 has 65W TDP while the other one has 95W TDP while both of these CPUs are excellent for gaming and multi-core applications.

I would call this processor a powerhouse in the right way because of its performance and overclocking headroom. You might already know that AMD processors are known because they have factory unlocked multipliers, and you can overclock them at very high potentials. Ryzen 2000 series processors are known for their multi-core performance, but with the third-generation, you can get impressive single-core performance too.

This processor is best for mid-range users who either don’t need entry-level hardware nor the most expensive and feels them okay with the mid-range machine. Comparing it with the processor mentioned above, it has some significant advantages in performance and cooler but, of course, for the high price value. In the end, I would say that it’s the best CPU to pair with the RTX 2070 for 2020.

Specifications

CoreSix
ThreadsTwelve
SocketAM4
Base Frequency3.8GHz
Turbo FrequencyUp to 4.4GHz
L1 L2 L3 Caches384 KB, 3MB, 32MB
Architecture size (nm)7nm 
Pros
  • Excellent single and multi-core performance.
  • Compatible with PCI 4.0 motherboards.
  • Have a great bundled cooler.
  • Factory unlocked multiplier.
Cons
  • Needs x570 chipset motherboard.
  • Limited headroom for overclocking.

Award: Beast AMD CPU

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

Ryzen 7 3700x has a significant advantage over R5 3600 as it has two extra cores and four additional threads, which of course going to give you significantly improved performance. This processor is best for single-core as well as a multi-core application, but it’s favorable in non-gaming applications. The competitor of this processor from the Intel side can be i7 9700k, but this CPU comes with a higher price point and lacks CPU cooler, as mentioned above.

Ryzen 7 3700x has eight cores and sixteen threads, which is enough for gaming and non-gaming applications. The base clock of this processor is 3.6 GHz, while on max boost, it reaches up to 4.4 GHz, and it’s factory unlocked so you can hit higher clock rates with it. The thermal solution you will get with this processor is Wraith Prism, which has RGB lights and a great combo for RGB builds. Its stock cooler can be used if you are not going to do some serious overclocking with it while you can easily push it to new limits with any good cooler.

The best thing in Ryzen 3000 series processors, especially in high-end models, is simultaneous multithreading, which gives you a great experience in editing, rendering, and streaming applications. Also, this processor is best to pair with RTX 2070 and even some high-end models, and you are not going to experience any bottleneck with it. In the end, I would say that this processor is best for RTX 2070 if you got a high budget.

Specifications

CoreEight
ThreadsSixteen
SocketAM4
Base Frequency3.6 GHz
Turbo FrequencyUp to 4.4GHz
L1 L2 L3 Caches512 KB, 4 MB, 32 MB
Architecture size (nm)7nm 
Pros
  • Outperforms Intel i7 9700k in every way.
  • Very affordable price point.
  • Comes with a Bundled cooler with RGB lights.
  • Compatible with older Ryzen motherboards (BIOS upgrade required).
Cons
  • Lacks integrated graphics.
  • Limited headroom for overclocking.

Conclusion

We all know that RTX 2070 and 2070 Super are mid-range graphics cards and give an excellent performance in games at high resolutions. Our writing team did excellent research and compiled a list of the best CPU for RTX 2070, so you can eliminate every possible bottleneck. The best budget processor you can get for RTX 2070 is the AMD Ryzen 5 2600/x, and it gives the best in games as well as in non-gaming performance. The mid-range processor you can get is Ryzen 7 3700x and Intel i7 9700k, while both of them support overclocking and offer excellent performance.

In the high-end category, we have the i9 9900k, which is no doubt a great addition on this list and future proof for the upcoming several years. The thing about AMD processors is that it considers the overclocking power of the processors because AMD processors are known for OC potential, and it’s not good to find it if you don’t want to overclock. So that’s all that you need to know, and you can select the best GPU according to your budget. 


FAQ

Does the X370 motherboard support the latest Ryzen 7 3700X?

Yes! Any X370 chipset motherboard will support any Ryzen 3rd gen processor. Perhaps the B350 chipset motherboards will also support this lineup.

Which thermal compound would be best to cool down a core i9 9900k CPU?

Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut is considered the best thermal compound to cool down chips under a good CPU cooler with copper base. However, Thermaltake TG-7 is also useful for overclocking intensions.

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