Best CPU for NVIDIA RTX 3060 in 2024

It's certainly not the most up-to-date graphics card, but the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 can still handle 1440p gaming at 144Hz with suitable games. Plus, as I'm checking in February 2024, the 3060 sells as low as $314 at Newegg. I know this because it's the card I chose for my gaming desktop PC, and finding the best CPU for RTX 3060 cards was my next step. Here are my top picks to fit a range of budgets for your next build!

Choosing the best CPU for NVIDIA RTX 3060

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I specifically built a modest gaming desktop with NVIDIA's RTX 3060 graphics card because I don't play anything too demanding. My monitors don't exceed 1440p resolutions, though they can reach up to 240Hz. However, I kept it locked to my preference at 144Hz and planned to stick with the best overall pick of AMD's Ryzen 5 5600X. The only reason I sprung a little more for the Ryzen 7 5800X is because it happened to be discounted to the same price.

The only downside to my pick is that the 5800X runs a little hotter, but I already had a selection of capable (and gigantic) all-in-one liquid coolers to handle that. Still, I stand by my pick for the best overall and maintain that the Ryzen 5 5600X makes the most sense for an RTX 3060 build and has incredible value for money at the start of 2024.

When we wrote our NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 review, it was a little hard to find, but times have moved on, and stocks are, thankfully, plentiful, making it one of the best graphics cards in terms of sheer value and respectable performance. Pair it with a motherboard to match the 5600X alongside a mid-range, 5600X-compatible cooler, and you're well on your way to building an affordable PC gaming rig.

Ben Wilson
Channel Editor

Ben is the channel editor for all things tech-related at Windows Central. That includes PCs, the components inside, and any accessory you can connect to a Windows desktop or Xbox console. Not restricted to one platform, he also has a keen interest in Valve's Steam Deck handheld and the Linux-based operating system inside. Fueling this career with coffee since 2021, you can usually find him behind one screen or another. Find him on Mastodon to ask questions or share opinions.

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