It’s 2023, and the Nvidia RTX 3070 STILL making waves, especially in budget PC builds. The burning question in every Budget PC builder’s mind is: What is the best CPU for my RTX 3070 Build?
As someone who’s spent years piecing together some powerful rigs, I can tell you that picking the right CPU to pair with a powerful GPU is an art. And if you’re also wondering which CPU can keep pace with the RTX 3070 this year, I’m here to help you with my top CPU picks for the RTX 3070.
AMD Ryzen 7 5800x – Best AMD Pick within Budget for 3070 Build
The AMD Ryzen 7 5800X is arguably one of the best CPUs to pair with Nvidia’s RTX 3070 for a number of reasons. This 8-core, 16-thread chip offers top-tier gaming and productivity performance, making it an ideal partner for the RTX 3070’s raw graphics power.
Historically, AMD is known for delivering excellent performance at a more affordable price point. When compared to Intel’s counterparts in the same performance range, the 5800X generally comes in at a more accessible price. This offers builders an opportunity to invest the savings into other PC components, such as faster storage or more RAM.
Talking about RAM, Ryzen 7 5800X only supports up to 128 GiB of DDR4 RAM and doesn’t support DDR5 RAM. Now this may be a downside for some But I personally don’t see it as such.
Thanks to the Zen 3 architecture, the Ryzen 7 5800X boasts efficient power usage. Previous gen Intel chips or even the 13th gen (we’ll talk about that next), often consume more power (even while running idle), which can lead to higher electricity bills over the lifespan of a PC.
Ryzen 5800X is built using a 7nm process which gives the 5800X an edge in thermal efficiency over intel proccessors. While Intel has made strides with its Alder Lake and Raptor Lake series, those CPUs still typically run a lot hotter under load, requiring more robust cooling solutions.
So, if you’re thinking about getting the RTX 3070 graphics card and want a CPU that’s powerful, doesn’t use too much electricity, and doesn’t get too hot, the Ryzen 7 5800X is the best choice in my opinion.
Intel Core i5 13600k – Best Price-to-Performance Intel CPU for RTX 3070
For someone who is looking to build a powerful RTX 3070 PC and leans towards Intel, the Core i5 13600K should be high on your radar. Let me tell you why.
This chip is a multi-tasking champ. With its 14 cores, imagine seamlessly toggling between a demanding game, streaming to your fans, and having a bunch of browser tabs open, all without a hiccup. That’s the power we’re talking about which isn’t going to cause any bottlenecks for your Nvidia RTX 3070 graphics card.
Its turbo speed of up to 5.1 GHz is impressive. To put that in perspective, during intense gaming sessions or those final moments of a video render, this CPU responds swiftly, ensuring no frustrating lags. Also, the generous CPU cache system means faster data access.
Now, there’s the power consumption and heat. While yes it’s a bit thirstier and warmer than the AMD Ryzen 7 5800x, those committed to Intel know that this is a trade-off for performance. Just make sure you’ve got a solid cooling solution, and you’re golden (obviously that means spending more money on the cooling solution and electricity bills).
One of the standouts is its memory support. It’s ready for future tech, supporting the latest DDR5 memory, which, in everyday language, means lightning-fast responsiveness and smooth multitasking. That also makes this CPU a future-proof investment.
In my opinion, the Intel Core i5 13600K, even with its warmth, is a powerful choice for those gunning for an Intel-centric RTX 3070 build. It’s all about high-end performance wrapped up in one chip.
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
The Ryzen 5 5600X is a fantastic CPU to pair with an RTX 3070, especially if you’re on a budget and can’t afford 5800x or Intel’s 13600K. I am now going to compare the Ryzen 5 5600X with my next budget Intel pick the Core i5 12600K because both of these are in the same sort of bracket.
Here’s why many folks lean towards 5600X when building a budget PC compared to the Intel i5 12600K:
First up, the cost. The 5600X is generally cheaper than the 12600K. If you’re trying to save money, this is a pretty big deal. Every dollar counts, especially when you’re trying to get the best bang for your buck.
"Ryzen 5600X is the Best AMD CPU for an Nvidia RTX 3070 based Build on a Tight Budget."
But it’s not just about the upfront cost. Let’s talk power. The 5600X sips power at just 65 watts. While the core i5 12600K is a bit thirstier, pulling in nearly double at 125 watts.
Performance-wise, both CPUs are strong contenders, but when you factor in the upfront cost and power bills, the 5600X becomes a clear favorite for budget 3070 builds if you arent loyal to Intel as a brand.
I’ll put it this way, It’s like getting a great deal on a fuel-efficient car: saves you money up front and keeps on saving as you use it. A total win for the wallet!
Intel Core i5 12600K
The Intel Core i5 12600K is also a strong choice when teaming up with the Nvidia RTX 3070. It has a tiny edge over the Ryzen 5 5600X, making things run just a bit smoother. But this comes with a couple of caveats to think about.
First, it uses more power, Saying just more doesn’t tell you that it is almost double the amount of power that an AMD 5600X needs. In my builds, this has meant a tad more warmth inside the case. It’s nothing a seasoned PC builder can’t handle but be prepared to think a bit more about your cooling strategy and spending more money on cooling.
Second, it’s a bit more expensive, coming in at $220. Some folks might pause at the price, especially when the Ryzen 5 5600X is a bit cheaper. But if you’re chasing that slight boost in performance, it might be worth the extra 50-70 bucks.
In my opinion, the 12600K is a solid CPU, especially for the RTX 3070. It has its ups and downs, but it’s a worthy choice for those looking to build an Intel-based PC and don’t have a budget for the Intel Core i5 13600k.
Is a Higher TDP or Hotter Running CPU Bad for My PC?
It may be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your particular situation and what you want from your setup. Let’s talk about what it exactly means.
A couple of things:
- Heat: Using less power generally means a more efficient chip and that means producing less heat. A cooler-running CPU might let you get by with the stock cooling system. That’s more savings right there!
- Electric Bill: Over time, a CPU that uses less power can also mean a slightly lower electric bill. Might not be a lot each month, but it does add up to a lot over 2-3 years, especially if you have to add more cooling to your PC for all the heat your chip is producing.
Wrapping things up, if you’re looking to pair up with an Nvidia RTX, there’s a CPU out there for every type of PC builder. The Ryzen 7 5800x offers great performance with cooler runs, making it a solid pick for most. If you’re an Intel enthusiast and willing to handle a bit more heat, the i5 13600K is feature-packed and will help you futureproof your 3070-based PC Build.
On a budget? The Ryzen 5 5600X gives a lot of bang for fewer bucks, while the i5 12600K stands as a middle-ground, balancing price and power. Whatever you choose, be sure it fits your needs.
I’d also like to mention that I’ve also considered some other CPUs on the market as well but most of those are literally overkill for an RTX 3070-based PC build, so in my opinion, you would be wasting money if you buy one of those.
Nonetheless, if you think you have a better and more affordable option in mind or if you’ve used one with your 3070 and it works perfectly, comment down below and share your thoughts with me, Let’s talk about it.