Best CPU for NVIDIA RTX 4070 in 2024

NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 4070 graphics card (GPU) was announced in April 2023, with promises of near-RTX 3080 performance with far more efficient running. It's a stalwart choice for 1440p PC gaming, especially with extra goodies like DLSS 3, strong ray tracing support, and much more. It's a very popular GPU thanks to a fine balance of price and performance, and a few people here at Windows Central rely on one for a great gaming experience.

If you aren't building an entirely new PC, there's a good chance that you're upgrading one or two parts at a time. Let's say you've already decided on the RTX 4070 as your next upgrade, or it's already in your system. Choosing the best processor (CPU) for NVIDIA's RTX 4070 really comes down to how much you can spend and what sort of hardware is otherwise in your PC.

Some users can't live without the Core i7 or Ryzen 7, whether for overclocking or other high-performance reasons, while others find that the Core i5 and Ryzen 5 options have more than enough power for smooth 1440p gaming. We've included a collection of new and aging Intel and AMD chips here, allowing all users to get exactly what they need to best complement the NVIDIA RTX 4070.

Choosing the best CPU for NVIDIA's RTX 4070 GPU

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NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 4070 GPU was only released last year, and it's expected to remain a powerful option for 1080p and 1440p gaming at high framerates for years to come. That's especially true thanks to NVIDIA's DLSS 3 technology and strong ray tracing support.

The RTX 4070 comes with 12GB of GDDR6X VRAM to set you up nicely for most game requirements, and it boasts 67 TFLOPS of ray tracing power and 29 TFLOPS of shader core power. It even has 466 TOPS of AI acceleration power thanks to its Tensor cores.

If you're looking to pair the RTX 4070 with a capable CPU, any of the options I've listed above will do the trick. However, there is some nuance to be aware of.

Intel's Core i7-14700K and AMD's Ryzen 7 7800X3D are the modern picks for enthusiasts who need more cores, higher clocks, and overall stronger performance for CPU-heavy games. While the 7800X3D runs on the AM5 socket and won't work with AM4 motherboards, the i7-14700K is still compatible with the LGA1700 socket for compatibility with older systems.

Most people, however, are going to have great success with the Core i5-14600K (or Core i5-13600K if you can get a better deal) and AMD Ryzen 5 7600X chips. I've never used anything beyond a Core i5/Ryzen 5 for my own PC builds, and I've never had problems gaming at 1440p on an ultrawide display. The mid-range chips are more affordable than their Core i7/Ryzen 7 siblings, making them even more desirable for an RTX 4070 PC build.

You'll still have to upgrade to an AM5 motherboard for the Ryzen 5 7600X, and if that doesn't work for you, you can always check out the Ryzen 7 5800X3D as an AM4 alternative.

Is NVIDIA's RTX 4070 GPU good for 4K gaming?

NVIDIA designed its RTX 4070 to target 1440p PC gaming, and that's where it excels. You'll be able to enjoy high framerates in modern, demanding titles, all for quite a bit less than NVIDIA's stronger GPUs. Sure, it will also crush a 1080p resolution, but you could buy a cheaper GPU that's still well-suited to FHD gaming.

On the other hand, the RTX 4070 can run games at a 4K resolution but is not recommended as the go-to card for the extra pixels. You'd be much better off buying a high-end GPU with a wider bus and more VRAM; something like the RTX 4080 Super or AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX immediately comes to mind.

Cale Hunt

Cale Hunt brings to Windows Central more than eight years of experience writing about laptops, PCs, accessories, games, and beyond. If it runs Windows or in some way complements the hardware, there’s a good chance he knows about it, has written about it, or is already busy testing it.