5 Best CPUs For RTX 3070

The RTX 3070 should bring 2080 Ti-like performance for more than half the price. The card sits just under the flagship 3080 model and, once it arrives, the 3070 should be the new sweet spot for 1440p gaming. The card’s still almost a month away from hitting shelves and everyone planning to get one has plenty of time to pick a CPU to pair with their new graphics card.

When it comes to the best CPU to go with the RTX 3070, the favorites are pretty clear. The rest of 2020 will bring a new generation of Ryzen CPUs though. AMD will announce the Ryzen 4000 lineup on October 8, just a few days before RTX 3070’s market debut. If all goes according to the plan, we expect Ryzen 4000 processors to start selling before November 2020.

Since the next Ryzen CPU lineup is slated to debut just a few weeks after the RTX 3070 launch we strongly advise everyone planning to get a 3070 to wait for AMD 4000 reviews. The 4000 series should bring about 10-15% performance increase (maybe even higher), which should place Ryzen CPUs neck to neck with the Intel’s 11th gen CPUs when it comes to gaming performance. If the price is right, AMD Ryzen 4000 CPUs could be the best choice for gaming in 2020. So, if you can wait, wait. If you cannot, read on.

Best CPUs For RTX 3070 – Our Picks

Best CPUs For RTX 3070 – Our Picks
AwardModel 
Best Overall Gaming CPU For RTX 3070Intel Core i9-10900K intel core i9 10900k 1
Best Overall Mixed Use CPU For RTX 3070Ryzen 9 3900X amd ryzen 9 3900x 1
Best Bang For The Buck Gaming CPU For RTX 3070Intel Core i5-10600K intel core i5 10600k
Best Bang For The Buck Mixed Use CPU For RTX 3070Ryzen 7 3700X amd ryzen 7 3700x 2
Best Budget Gaming And Mixed Use CPU For RTX 3070Ryzen 5 3600 amd ryzen 9

What about older CPUs?

If you don’t plan on getting a new CPU don’t worry. The RTX 3070 should work great on a wide range of CPU. Anything from the Core i7-8700K onwards will be more than enough. When it comes to Ryzen CPUs, the R5 2600 could bottleneck this card but the R7 2700 and more powerful CPUs should work excellent when coupled with the RTX 3070.

Best Overall Gaming CPU For RTX 3070

Intel Core i9-10900K
Cores10
Threads20
Base Frequency3.7 GHz
Max Turbo Frequency5.3 GHz
TDP125 W

The fastest gaming CPU at the moment, the Core i9-10900K is the best choice for the RTX 3070, at least on paper. This CPU should provide plenty of headroom for the 3070 to spread its wings but its current selling price is too high for it to be the best deal. Nevertheless, if you want one get it. 10 cores and 20 threads coupled with high boost clocks should work great with upcoming games.

On the other hand, the 10900K demands a high-end Z490 board coupled with a powerful cooling system for you to even think about overclocking. The combined price is just not worth it considering the expected performance and price of the RTX 3070. Still, the 10900K is the fastest gaming CPU on the market right now so if you want the best, this is it.

The Core i7-10700K is a fine alternative to the 10900K. This CPU sells at a pretty solid price and offers almost the same performance as its bigger cousing. You get an 8-core and 16-thread CPU with high boost clocks and performance that just over the i9-9900K. Not bad.

Best Overall Mixed Use CPU For RTX 3070

Ryzen 9 3900X
Cores12
Threads24
Base Frequency3.8 GHz
Max Turbo Frequency4.6 GHz
TDP105 W

The Ryzen 9 3900X is the best CPU you can get right now for the RTX 3070, considering both performance and total price needed for the upgrade (motherboard plus cooling). First of all, the 3900X is at the moment massively cheaper than the 10900K, while offering almost the same gaming performance at 1440p and 4K resolutions.

Next, the productivity performance is noticeably better than on the Intel flagship. You also get 12 cores and 24 threads that will work great with next-gen games. Finally, the 3900X doesn’t demand a top-notch motherboard. Also, it can work fine with a relatively affordable cooling solution. Overall, at the moment this CPU is the best buy for the RTX 3070. If you really need a new CPU right now and you also plan to get the RTX 3070 once it comes out, this the Ryzen 9 3900X is the one to get.

Best Bang For The Buck Gaming CPU For RTX 3070

Intel Core i5-10600K
Cores6
Threads12
Base Frequency4.1 GHz
Max Turbo Frequency4.8 GHz
TDP125 W

With its great OC potential, six core and twelve thread design, and relatively competitive price, the Core i5-10600K is the best bang for the buck CPU for the RTX 3070, if you plan on building a gaming-only machine. It packs enough punch for any game on the market and it shouldn’t bottleneck the GPU, even at 1080p resolution.

Next, this CPU doesn’t require a high-end Z490 board and top of the line cooling system to stay cool and reach 5GHz. Yes, it will run a bit warm if you couple it with a mid-range AIO liquid cooling system or top of the line air cooler but thermals will be fine, even with moderate OC. And since the 3070 should bring performance of the 2080 Ti (although with less memory, don’t forget that if you plan on getting a 3070 for 4K gaming) you probably won’t need anything stronger than the 10600K for this particular card.

Best Bang For The Buck Mixed Use CPU For RTX 3070

Ryzen 7 3700X
Cores8
Threads16
Base Frequency3.6 GHz
Max Turbo Frequency4.4 GHz
TDP65 W

The Ryzen 7 3700X is an excellent CPU for the price and the best bang for the buck for everyone who plans on doing anything on their PC other than gaming. It has comparable gaming performance to Intel’s flagship gaming processors while it beats the entire Intel lineup when it comes to most productivity workloads.

It also packs 8 cores and 16 threads, which is the sweet spot for gaming at the moment. This processor also has excellent power optimization and you can run it without issues on affordable motherboards. The 3700X works fine on the stock cooler but if you want better thermals you won’t have to spend a fortune on a quality CPU cooler for this CPU. Even mid-range air coolers work great with the 3700X.

Since the 10600K and the 3700X sell at very similar price points, our vote goes to the 3700X. It can keep up in games with the 10600K but it’s way better in most productivity apps. Next, it can run great with a mid-range cooler and affordable board, bringing the total price for the upgrade noticeably down compared to the 10600K CPU and MoBo combo.

Best Budget Gaming And Mixed Use CPU For RTX 3070

Ryzen 5 3600
Cores6
Threads12
Base Frequency3.6 GHz
Max Turbo Frequency4.2 GHz
TDP65 W

Users on a budget shouldn’t go lower than the Ryzen 5 3600. The 3300X bottlenecks any GPU more powerful than the RTX 2070 Super and it won’t age well with its 4 core and 8 thread design. The 3600, on the other hand, should work fine with next-gen titles, at least the first wave of true next-gen games that won’t come out for at least a couple of years.

This CPU can keep up with the big boys when it comes to gaming. On the other hand, it fares excellently in productivity tasks considering its price. It could bottleneck the 3070 just a bit at 1440p (we’re talking about maybe five percent here, less than 10 in the worst case) but the performance should be just fine.

How much faster is the RTX 3070 compared to the RTX 2070?

Well, since the RTX 3070 should offer RTX 2080 Ti performance, it’s safe to say that the card will be about 30-35 percent faster than the RTX 2070.

Does the RTX 3070 support PCIe 4.0 and will it work on a PCIe 3.0 motherboard?

Yes, the RTX 3070 supports PCIe 4.0 technology. No worries though because the card will run fine on a PCIe 3.0 motherboard. When it comes to performance differences, there is virtually no difference in gaming performance between PCIe 3.0 and 4.0 when it comes to the RTX 3080. And since the RTX 3080 is more powerful than the 3070, you shouldn’t expect any performance impact if you plan to hook up the card to a PCIe 3.0 x16 slot.

Does the RTX 3070 support HDMI 2.1 and will it work on older HDMI standards?

Yes, the RTX 3070 offers full HDMI 2.1 support. The thing is, no gaming PC monitors are supporting the HDMI 2.1 standard at the moment. The first model with HDMI 2.1 support should come in early 2021. Some TVs support HDMI 2.1 and on these models, you can game at 4K and 120Hz.

The RTX 3070 will work fine on older HDMI standards. But, depending on the standard, your max framerate and resolution may vary. You should see which HDMI port you have on your monitor and then consult this handy guide explaining each version of the HDMI standard and specs it offers.

Which resolutions RTX 3070 is best for?

The RTX 3070 targets 1440p resolution. You will be able to play any game at max settings and about 70-100fps at 1440p. Lowering some visual settings in select AAA titles a bit and you should reach 144Hz at 1440p in almost every current title. When it comes to esports titles this card should run them great at 1440p and 240Hz.

When will the RTX 3070 be released?

The RTX 3070 is slated for October 15, 2020.

Goran Damnjanovic
Goran Damnjanovic
Goran is Levvvel's senior hardware writer. He studied psychology but found that video games and PC hardware were much more interesting. Over the years he's developed expertise in everything gaming tech related.
Goran Damnjanovic
Goran Damnjanovic
Goran is Levvvel's senior hardware writer. He studied psychology but found that video games and PC hardware were much more interesting. Over the years he's developed expertise in everything gaming tech related.

13 Comments

  1. Hi Goran
    Currently running a 7700k @ 4.6ghz – looking at getting a 3070.
    Do you think it will be fine to run this combo for the meantime, maybe a year/maximum 2.

    Hypothetically if I wanted to upgrade which may come into play, I was looking at either the 10600k or 10700k – in terms of years how much can I get out of either which I am hoping between 3-5 years.

    I play 1080p 144hz – possibly looking at 240hz, CSGO/WOW/CYBERPUNK/COD play mostly.

    Cheers brate

    1. Hi Zoran (I guess),

      Since the 3070 should deliver about the same performance as the 2080 Ti (it’ll probably be a bit slower if we consider the discrepancy between the advertised 3080 performance and what we’ve seen in real world tests) it’ll definitely be bottlenecked by the 7700K at 1080p.

      Just look at this video testing GPU scaling for the 3300X (which has about the same gaming performance as the 7700K): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sq0OHhRQwA8

      The thing is, you should still get great numbers in most games, especially in the games you mentioned. As for Cyberpunk, its recommended requirements are pretty tame CPU-wise so the 7700K should be enough for smooth gameplay. And yeah, the 7700K should remain a solid gaming CPU in the next 12 months.

      Regarding the update, both of those CPUs will probably be more than enough for most games in the considerable future but we cannot confirm anything ’till we see some proper next-gen games and how they work with current CPUs. Finally, don’t limit yourself to Intel, Ryzen 5 5600 (rumored to launch early 2021) should be a great alternative to the 10600K.

      1. haha thanks for the information, really appreciate it and yes my name is Zoran 😉
        I will be watching the 5600 closely also.
        Thank you!

  2. so i have a ryzen 7 2600x and wanna upgrade to the rtx 3070, should I get a different cpu? should I just get a different graphics card? will it work fine with the rtx 3070?

    1. Hi Milan,

      That CPU will definitely bottleneck the 3070, but you still should get more than decent performance in most games.

      As for the upgrades, AMD will reveal their new GPUs on October 28th, so keep an eye on Big Navi. It could offer similar performance for less money. Regarding the CPU, you can wait for a bit and get the R5 5600 (which is rumored to arrive in early 2021) if you have a compatible board, or you could get something like the R7 3700X, new or used if you can find it for cheap.

  3. Hello , i’m planning on buying a new pc for this black friday ,
    Rtx 3070 , 16gb ram 3200 , 750w psu , i was wondering if a i7 9700k could handle it and give me at least 240fps Capped on Fortnite , or i have to buy the i7 10700k wich is very expensive .

    1. Hi Raphael,

      The 9700K can handle Fortnite at 240Hz, depending on the settings and resolution used. You can get the RTX 3070 and it should work fine. Of course, that’s in case you already have the 9700K. If you plan on buying it, don’t. Get the 10600K or one of the upcoming Ryzen 5000 CPUs, which should land in a month or so.

  4. Hey Goran, cool article, thanks. What do You suggest, will I be able to use the 3070 for video editing in Premiere Pro with my 6th gen i5 (4 core @ 2,6 GHz) ? I can’t upgrade my CPU (as this one runs on a passive sink, as it’s 35W only). But I don’t have any GPU yet and the noise is important, though I won’t get into the water cooling idea either.

    1. Hi Luke,

      That i5 will definitely be a bottleneck for the 3070, especially since it runs at only 35W. Now, you could probably get plenty of power out of the 3070 if you use a ton of GPU-accelerated effects. Even then, the weak CPU will probably bottleneck the GPU.

      Also, the RTX 3070 should provide 2080 Ti-like performance in Premiere Pro so if you need a card only for video editing think about getting a cheap 2080 Super on the used market since you could probably get it for cheaper than a new RTX 3070, with the card offering about 90 percent of the 2080 Ti performance. And with the stock issues that plagued the RTX 3080 and 3090 launches, we wouldn’t be surprised if the RTX 3070 gets sold-out momentarily after launch. You could end up waiting a long time for the card and there’s a crapload of used RTX 2080 Super cards on eBay right now.

  5. An Intel i5-8600K would cause bottleneck with a 3070RTX?

    SSDM2 and 32GB 3200Mhz
    Motherboard: MSI Gaming Plus z370

    1. Hi Shlok, these are region-specific models so we didn’t include them on the list. Both are fine at the moment but the lack of hyperthreading will hurt them in the future. The R5 3600 is much better choice for gaming.

    2. well a ryzen 5 3600X or a 3300X which are pretty hard to find are perfect I recommend a ryzen 5 3600X or a 3300X if you can find one or higher if you want more performance on your ryzen that you might upgrade try overclocking if you know how if you don’t just go on youtube and put in this link for the tutorial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yMLKcaFirw

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