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When it comes to PC building, selecting the graphics card and CPU will take most of your time. They’re probably the most important components in a PC and having a not so suitable CPU-GPU combo will make your PC perform less than optimal, which (as you can expect) is not so good.
RTX 2070 and 2070 Super are the high-end graphics cards by the Nvidia.
The former was introduced last year as part of the earlier RTX GPUs, but due to slower than expected sales (because of relatively higher price) and release of AMD RX 5700 cards, Nvidia released 2070 Super which offers 20-25% performance increase overall at the similar price.
3 Best CPUs For RTX 2070 And RTX 2070 Super Builds – My Recommendations
But still, both of 2070 cards are excellent choices for $1100-$1200 PC builds and are ideal for playing 1440p games at max settings. Moreover, they also offer a good performance in productivity-based apps compared to their prices.
Best CPU For RTX 2070 And RTX 2070 Super
But in order to extract most of their power, you must have a good CPU as well. And for that purpose, we have written this article: best processors for RTX 2070 and 2070 Super.
1. AMD Ryzen 5 3600: Check Price On Amazon
Best Budget CPU For RTX 2070 And 2070 Super
The first CPU we’ll discuss today is Ryzen 3600.
Being a part of the 3rd-Gen Ryzen 5 Series, it shares more or less same specs with its pricier sibling, the 3600X. Both of them offer 6 cores, 12 threads, 32 MB of L3 cache, and access to 24 PCIe 4.0 lanes.
The only thing you’ll miss in Ryzen 3600 is the slightly higher clock speeds, and the 95W Wraith Spire cooler coming with 3600X because of higher TDP.
In 3600, you’ll only get a 65W Wraith Stealth Cooler.
It offers a large performance boost over its predecessor, Ryzen 2600, due to 7nm architecture, dual-channel DDR4-3200, and double L3 cache.
Like many other AMD 3rd-Gen processors, you also get Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO) here which automatically overclocks the ryzen 3600 based on your motherboard and the cooling solution you’ve implemented.
When we compared its performance with 3600X, we found the difference to be almost 5% without PBO, across a variety of games. And when we activated PBO on both of these processors, the difference was further reduced to only 2-3%.
As far as downsides are concerned, there is very little headroom for overlooking available in 3600 due to its TDP of just 65W, and the lack of integrated graphics because of it being a non-X AMD CPU.
The first issue isn’t a deal-breaker because the lower TDP also makes it a viable option of SFF PC builders who don’t want to dive deep into overclocking.
The lack of integrated graphics isn’t a big issue as well, because if you’re reading this post, there’s a high chance that you either own an RTX 2070 & 2070 super GPU already, or intend to buy one in the future.
All in all, Ryzen 3600’s gaming performance more or less matches that of 3600X despite of having slightly slower base and boost clock speeds.
It means Ryzen 3600 is a pretty attractive option for frugal PC builders/gamers. You can get it for 50 bucks less than the 3600X, and use that to upgrade your other PC components (get an extra RAM stick, maybe).
In short, it is the best budget CPU for RTX 2070 and 2070 Super cards.
2. Intel Core i7-9700K: Check Price On Amazon
Best Intel CPU For RTX 2070 And 2070 Super
The past year has been tough for Intel.
Not only they haven’t been able to move past 12nm architecture, the Ryzen 3rd Gen has been released and well-received by the reviewers as well as PC builders.
Since the Ryzen 1st Gen, these processors were considered as the budget alternative to the more expensive and powerful Intel offerings.
Not anymore. In fact, it’s the Ryzen CPUs that offer more CPU cores and more power for similar price now.
For the last few years, i7 has been the flagship CPU series.
But this trend was changed by Intel in late 2018 when they launched i9 processors. Other than this, 9700K is the first i7 to not feature hyperthreading. Intel has decreased the thread-count from 12 in 8700K to 8 in 9700K, but you do get 8 cores here, instead of 6 in 8700K.
The other improvements made in 9700K is the max turbo frequency of 4.9 GHz. It means you won’t have to much difficulty in achieving the 5.0 GHz mark.
One big complain I have here is that 9700K doesn’t come with a CPU cooler out of the box, and it takes the overall cost a bit even further if you buy one of your own.
That being said, we think that Core i7-9700K is a good choice to pair up with RTX 2070 cards.
It’s because of its excellent single-thread performance (even slightly better than Ryzen 3700x), which is what matters most in gaming. But in case you want to run some productivity apps as well, Ryzen 3700x will serve you better because of more threads.
3. AMD Ryzen 7 3700X: Check Price On Amazon
Best CPU For RTX 2070 And 2070 Super Overall
The last CPU of this roundup is Ryzen 3700X.
Its 8 cores and 16 threads for more than enough to handle any game out there. Moreover, its 32MB L3 Cache is significantly better than that of 9700K.
Although its predecessor 2700X had same 8 cores and 16 threads, Ryzen 3700X is more power efficient due to new 7nm architecture, and offers latest features like PCIe 4.0.
In terms of single-thread performance, it performs almost 5% below 9700K across a number of 1080p games, which further reduces to 2-3% in 1440 gaming. In productive apps, however, it performs almost 20% better than 9700K thanks to its extra threads.
Another big advantage 3700x has over 9700K is that it offers wraith spire cooler out of the box (a lot better than Intel stock fans) which means you don’t have to buy one of your own.
The only (minor) issue I have this processor is that it has relatively low overclocking potential. You can use Precision Boost Overdrive here to extract more power, but then you must have a better cooling solution installed (in the form of an AIO unit) as well as a good quality x470/x570 board.
All in all, this is the best suited processor for RTX 2070 super GPU right now. It has far-better multi-threaded performance than 9700K, and is actually cheaper as well – which means you get a lot of bang for your buck here.
So that was it. RTX 2070 and 2070 super are very powerful GPUs that can serve you well in 1440p gaming, provided that you pair them up with good-quality gaming CPUs. Luckily, all the models we featured in our roundup are capable of handling the power of those GPUs.
In case you have any other processor in your mind that you want us to include in this list, feel free to comment down below.