Best CPU for NVIDIA RTX 4080 in 2024

NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 4080 is a huge improvement compared to the last-gen RTX 3080 all thanks to a more energy-efficient node and and some key architectural changes. It's more affordable than the RTX 3090 Ti, yet it delivers better performance. The RTX 4080's "Super" variant is our favorite graphics card in 2024.

PC gamers who want a stellar 4K experience — with the potential to slay 1440p (QHD) as well — can find what they need with the RTX 4080, especially thanks to extras like DLSS 3 and strong ray tracing support. Finding the perfect processor (CPU) to pair with your RTX 4080 ultimately comes down to your preference for Intel or AMD, as well as how much you want to spend.

I've collected six top CPUs for the RTX 4080 right here to get you started, all of which we've reviewed at Windows Central or have ample experience with to make a proper recommendation.

Best CPUs for your NVIDIA RTX 4080

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Finding the best CPU for your NVIDIA RTX 4080

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Intel's Core i7-13700K is a great companion for the RTX 4080 (Image credit: Future)

The Intel Core i7-13700K and the AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D are the top two choices for the RTX 4080 based on price and performance. 

On Intel's side you're looking at the last-gen model, but Intel's 14th Gen hardware isn't a huge upgrade for the asking price. Former Windows Central Senior Editor Rich Edmonds reviewed the Core i7-13700K, calling it "all you need for a powerful PC." It uses the LGA 1700 socket, it supports DDR5 RAM and PCIe 5.0, and you can usually find it for much less than $400.

The Ryzen 7 7800X3D is a strong AMD alternative to the Core i7-13700K. It won't match the raw performance of Intel's chip, but you might be able to find it for less money if Intel's chip isn't on sale. It's priced at about $399 even without a discount, but you might be able to find it for less with Prime Day savings on PC upgrade parts.

Any of the other GPUs in this collection can pair well with your RTX 4080, and the range of prices should accommodate most users. Enthusiasts and power users will likely be OK with spending more on something like the Intel Core i9-13900K or AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D, while budget shoppers who spent it all on the RTX 4080 might want to check out the Ryzen 5 7600X.

What about AMD Ryzen 9000 'Zen 5' chips?

We're still waiting for concrete details surrounding Intel's 15th Gen 'Arrow Lake' CPUs, which are now expected to launch late 2024 after a serious delay.

AMD, however, has officially revealed its next-gen 'Zen 5' chips. The new Ryzen 9000 hardware uses the AM5 socket (just like the previous generation), it supports DDR5 RAM, and it supports PCIe 5.0. There are so far four Ryzen 9000 chips announced for desktop PCs.

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Ryzen 9 9950X16 cores / 32 threads5.7 GHz boost170W TDP
Ryzen 9 9900X12 cores / 24 threads5.6 GHz boost120W TDP
Ryzen 7 9700X8 cores / 16 threads5.5 GHz boost65W TDP
Ryzen 5 9600X6 cores / 12 threads5.4 GHz boost65W TDP

AMD's Ryzen 9000 chips are expected to launch at the end of July, though prices are not yet confirmed. If you can wait to upgrade your PC, you might want to hold out to see how good the new AMD chips are compared to the previous generation.

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.