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The best CPU to pair with the RTX 4070 or 4070 Ti

AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D
AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D
Best CPU for the RTX 4070 and 4070 Ti
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Intel Core i5-13600K Desktop Processor 14 cores (6 P-cores + 8 E-cores) 24M Cache, up to 5.1 GHz
Intel Core i5-13600K
Best Intel CPU for the 4070 and 4070 Ti
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AMD Ryzen™ 9 7950X3D 16-Core, 32-Thread Desktop Processor
AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D
The most powerful AMD CPU
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AMD Ryzen 5 7600X
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X
Best budget CPU for the RTX 4070 and 4070 Ti
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The Nvidia RTX 4070 and RTX 4070 Ti are among the best graphics cards you can buy for high frame rate gameplay at 1440p, and even a little 4K in the right title. But you'll only be able to make the most of these graphics cards if you pair them with a powerful processor.

Matching CPUs with GPUs can be tricky. When upgrading your PC, you might have a certain GPU in mind based on price and performance, but knowing what CPU to pair with isn't always as obvious. For the RTX 4070 or 4070 Ti, these are your best options to consider.

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amd ryzen 7 7800x3d review 4
Jacob Roach / DigitalTrends

AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D

Best CPU for the RTX 4070 and 4070 Ti

Pros
  • Chart-topping gaming performance
  • Great value
  • Solid multi-core and productivity performance
  • AM5 is getting cheaper
Cons
  • Weak single-core performance

The AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D is a true unicorn of its generation. It offers competitive gaming performance with the most expensive processors available today -- the Ryzen 7950X3D and the Intel Core i9-14900K -- but it does so at a fraction of the price and a fraction of the power draw. Thanks to its massive 96MB of L3 cache, this CPU punches well above its weight in games, and because it's got eight Zen 4 cores, it's perfectly suited for modern gaming. With an RTX 4070 or 4070 Ti working in tandem with it, this CPU can help your games run smoother and faster, with much faster load times.

The additional cache is particularly good in heavy simulation games, so if you like to play expansive strategy titles with long load screens and complicated AI turns, this CPU is a great pick.

You do have to take a hit on productivity with this chip, as the 3D V-Cache demands that the CPU run at a lower clock speed than the comparable eight-core 7700X. It also falls well behind the top Intel and AMD CPUs on that front, because they simply have more cores to work with.

But for pairing with a powerful graphics card? The 7800X3D is the best CPU for the job. It'll help you make the most of your 40-series graphics card

AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D
AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D
Best CPU for the RTX 4070 and 4070 Ti
intel core i9 13900k i5 13600k review raptor lake 5
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Intel Core i5-13600K

Best Intel CPU for the 4070 and 4070 Ti

Pros
  • Cheaper than AMD competition
  • Support for 600-series motherboards and DDR4
  • Solid multi-core improvements
  • Surprising gen-on-gen improvements
Cons
  • High power demands
  • Small gaming performance gains

The Intel Core i5-13600K might not be the most cutting-edge of Intel processors, but when it comes to cost, efficiency, and performance, it's one of the best CPUs Team Blue has to offer. With 14 cores in total (6 performance plus eight efficiency), it offers impressive multitasking and gaming performance, with its high 5.1GHz boost clock speed ensuring this chip really flies when it's put under pressure.

Unlike the top-tier CPUs from the 13th and 14th generation, though, the 13600K does not overheat or draw incredible amounts of power just to run. It is still less capable and less efficient than our 7800X3D, but it's not far behind and it's equally affordable. You can pair it with DDR4 memory and older motherboard designs too, if you want to save a little more money.

When paired up with an RTX 4070 or 4070 Ti, this chip will deliver excellent performance in games. It won't be as impressive as the 7800X3D, especially at lower resolutions and in more demanding sim games, but if you want an Intel CPU for the job, especially if you're upgrading from a compatible 12th generation CPU, then the 13600K is a great pick.

Intel Core i5-13600K Desktop Processor 14 cores (6 P-cores + 8 E-cores) 24M Cache, up to 5.1 GHz
Intel Core i5-13600K
Best Intel CPU for the 4070 and 4070 Ti
amd ryzen 9 7950x3d review 1
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D

The most powerful AMD CPU

Pros
  • Chart-topping gaming performance
  • More efficient than base Ryzen 9 7950X
  • Productivity performance keeps pace
  • Unlocked for overclocking
Cons
  • Expensive
  • AM5 is still a costly upgrade

If you're looing for the best pure bang-for-the-buck CPU to pair with the 4070 or 4070 Ti, there's no question that the Ryzen 9 7800X3D CPU is what you need. But for raw power? The 7950X3D is the better processor. It's much more expensive, and in some games even performs slightly worse, but it does have more cores -- 16 versus 8 -- and it can boost higher on individual cores sometimes, making it generally slightly faster at gaming.

With its 16 cores, it's also far more capable at productivity tasks. Especially since those additional eight cores don't have the extra cache, so can operate at their full boost clocks. This is the kind of CPU that can truly go toe-to-toe with Intel's best and come out competitive, or on top -- and do it with far less power draw, too.

It is more competitive, rather than a blowout, compared to the 7800X3D, though. So only get this if you want the additional productivity performance, and don't mind increasing your budget to include it.

AMD Ryzen™ 9 7950X3D 16-Core, 32-Thread Desktop Processor
AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D
The most powerful AMD CPU
The Ryzen 5 7600X sitting among thermal paste and RAM.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

AMD Ryzen 5 7600X

Best budget CPU for the RTX 4070 and 4070 Ti

Pros
  • Affordable price
  • Six high-power Zen 4 cores
  • Very efficient
  • Long upgrade path
Cons
  • Slightly more expensive than Intel counterparts
  • Requires DDR5 memory

If you want a more affordable CPU to pair with your RTX 4070 or 4070 Ti, the Ryzen 5 7600X is your best bet. At around $230 at the time of writing, it represents excellent value for the money, with a long upgrade path ahead of it where you'll be able to swap it out for a faster CPU for years to come, without upgrading your motherboard.

You will need DDR5 memory for it, and the 600-series AMD motherboards are still expensive compared to their previous-generation counterparts, but overall this represents the best budget CPU for gaming or productivity with a 4070, at a low, $200-ish price.

The Intel equivalent would be an Core i5-13400, but while it is slightly cheaper, it's performance is worse, and there's a much more limited upgrade path.

AMD Ryzen 5 7600X
AMD Ryzen 5 7600X
Best budget CPU for the RTX 4070 and 4070 Ti

Editors' Recommendations

Jon Martindale

Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to guides, best-of lists, and explainers to help everyone understand the hottest new hardware and software in desktops, laptops, and on the web.

Jon also writes for Forbes, Lifewire, and Microcenter, has authored two novels, and provided back story and dialogue for a handful of games.

 

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