The Core i7-9700K lacks hyper-threading unlike the latest, 10th gen Intel CPUs. With that said, this processor is still great for gaming if you already own it or find a cheap deal on the used market. On the other hand, getting a new i7-9700K in 2022 is a bad idea. And hey, if you happen to own a 10th gen Intel CPU you can visit our graphics cards section to find out the best GPUs for those CPUs.
Nevertheless, if you already have one you can pair it with almost any graphics card available on the market. The 9700K won’t induce CPU bottleneck even if you pair it with the RTX 2080Ti. You’ll lose less than five percent of performance when running the RTX 2080Ti compared to the best gaming CPU on the market, the 10900K. But, as always, the best graphics card for i7-9700K is the one that fits best for your particular needs.
Since the 9700K can’t induce CPU bottleneck no matter which GPU you pair it with, obviously the best overall GPU for the 9700K is the RTX 2080 Ti. However, its price and performance advantage over the next best thing, the RTX 2080 Super, makes the Ti version a bad pick for everyone sans those who don’t know what to do with more than $1,000.
Further, with the imminent release of new GPU lineups from Nvidia and AMD, getting a card like the RTX 2080Ti months before beasts sporting anything from 30 to 60 percent better performance than the RTX 2080 Ti is not a smart thing to do. So, if you need a powerful graphics card for playing games at 4K, it’s better to go with the card featured below.
2. EVGA RTX 2080 Super KO Gaming: Best Core i7-9700K graphics card for 4K gaming
Sporting a price that’s relatively normal and offering about 90 percent of gaming performance compared to its bigger cousin, the RTX 2080 Super is the best 4K graphics card for the 9700K. Yes, it cannot achieve stable 60 frames per second in several games with all settings cranked to the max, but at least it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to get one.
It’s still capable of running virtually any game at 60fps and with most settings set to high, which isn’t that bad. Of course, you can play esports titles at high refresh rates with this card without issues. If you’re interested in playing multiplayer games at high refresh rates we recommend visiting our guides for the best 1440p 240Hz monitors and best 4K 144Hz gaming monitors.
3. EVGA RTX 2070 Super Gaming: Best Core i7-9700K graphics card for 1440p gaming
If you need a graphics card capable of running games at 60fps on 1440p resolution the RTX 2070 Super is the best GPU for the 9700K. This card is capable of running most games way above 60 frames per second, even with max details. The thing is, system hogs such as RDR 2, AC: Odyssey, Metro Exodus, or Control will run around 60fps or lower, even with something like the RTX 2070 Super.
4. EVGA RTX 2070 Super Gaming: Best Core i7-9700K graphics card for 1080p high refresh rate gaming
When it comes to 1080p high refresh rate gaming, the situation is very similar to what we have in the 1440 60fps gaming part of this guide. If you want to play games at 120fps or higher without reducing details get the RTX 2070 Super. This card’s very capable at 1080p and can churn out lots of frames at this resolution, especially in esports titles. This is why the RTX 2070 Super is the best 9700K graphics card for 1080p high refresh rate gaming.
5. EVGA RTX 2080 Super KO Gaming: Best Core i7-9700K GPU for 1440p high refresh rate gaming
When it comes to high refresh rate 1440p gaming the RTX 2080 Super is the best choice for a zero-compromise gaming experience. With this card, you can play almost any game at or near 100fps without lowering the details. On the other hand first-person games, as well as esports titles, will run like a charm at 144Hz or above.
Some games (RDR 2, Control) will have a hard time running at high refresh rates. But those are all single-player titles where 60fps experience is more than fine. So, at the end of the day the RTX 2080 Super is the best 1440p GPU for the Core i7-9700K.
6. GTX 1660 Super OC: Best eSports graphics card for 9700K
If you mostly play esports and multiplayer games you don’t have to buy an expensive card for a high refresh rate experience.
The GTX 1660 Super OC is the best choice for playing esports titles, both at 1080p and 1440p. The card’s capable of running any esports titles, even Apex Legends, at three-digit frame rates. You’ll need to turn some settings down to reach stable 120 or 144 Hz at 1440p but that’s fine for the money. The GTX 1660 Super is also great if you occasionally play AAA and single-player games.
At 1440p resolution, the 1660 Super is fine for playing esports titles. Some games will work great with all settings cranked to the max. Others will require lowering some settings. But all of them will be able to reach 120 or 144Hz. And the card is capable of running almost every game at 60fps with tweaked visual settings. That’s great for the price.
7. XFX RX 570 RS Black: Best stop-gap GPU for 9700K
If you just need a decent graphics card that’s not too expensive to bridge the gap until Nvidia and AMD release their new graphics cards, get the RX 570. This is the best stop-gap GPU for the 9700K. It’s cheap new and even cheaper used while being able to provide more than decent experience in any game at 1080p.
8. Zotac Gaming RTX 2070 Super Mini: Best Core i7-9700K GPU for SFF builds
In case you want to build a small form factor gaming PC, the best 9700K GPU at the moment is the Zotac RTX 2070 Super Mini. It’s compact. It has a dual-fan design. It should offer the same level of performance as regular RTX 2070 Super cards. And, it’s not selling for a premium compared to other RTX 2070 Super models.
Best graphics card for Core i7-9700K on the used market
Finally, if you’ve bought a used 9700K and want to pair it with a used GPU, there are some solid choices on the used market. First of all, get ready to see a ton of overpriced listings. The current situation in the world affected the supply of new PC components. It also led some people to seriously overprice the value of their used graphics cards.
But if you have the patience, there are some nice deals to be found. We recommend the GTX 1080Ti. Just be ready to comb through a ton of overpriced listings.