Best CPUs For RTX 3060 Ti And RTX 3060

best CPUs for RTX 3060 Ti

In this buying guide, we have listed the best CPUs for RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3060 that will help the GPU reach its maximum potential.

The GeForce RTX 3060 and RTX 3060 Ti are currently two of the most “affordable” GPUs in NVIDIA’s Ampere lineup. Both cards deliver a sweet spot between price and performance. They also have significantly better raytracing and image upscaling capabilities (DLSS) thanks to NVIDIA’s second generation of RT and third generation of Tensor cores.

The 3060 Ti offers performance slightly better than a previous-gen RTX 2080 Super on higher resolutions. On the other hand, the non-Ti 3060 performs remarkably close to an RTX 2070 Super and gets you 12 GB of video memory. Both GPUs crush 1080p and make gaming at 1440p finally relevant in the mid-range segment.

Although the RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3060 are not the most capable 30-series graphics cards from Team Green, the massive increase in graphics performance means users have to pair it with a fairly powerful CPU to ensure zero bottlenecks.

If you have recently secured an RTX 3060 Ti or RTX 3060 from a raffle or a queue at retail price, congrats for being one of the lucky owners. However, it’s important that you pair the card with the best processor to get the most out of it. After all, a weaker CPU can cause stutters and noticeably slow down the framerates in the most resource-intensive AAA PC games out there.

Here, we have listed some of the best CPUs For RTX 3060 Ti And RTX 3060. You can go through the list below and pick up what suits you the best.

The Best CPUs for RTX 3060 Ti and 3060 (Reviews)

The following list contains some of the best processors that will pair up with either of the RTX 30-series cards well. We have included options from both Intel and AMD to diversify the selection, but it’s ultimately up to you to make the choice.

1. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

  • Core & Thread Count: 6C / 12T
  • Base Clock Frequency:7 GHz
  • Boost Clock Frequency:6 GHz
  • L3 Cache: 32 MB
  • TDP: 65 W
  • Socket: AM4
  • Overclocking Support: Yes

The Ryzen 5 5600X is currently one of the most affordable chips in AMD’s Zen 3 processor lineup, yet it manages to offer staggering performance in both gaming and productivity benchmarks. This six-core multithreaded CPU is slightly more expensive than its predecessor, but the significant increase in raw processing power over the Ryzen 5 3600X does justify the premium.

The overall boost in benchmark numbers is a result of AMD’s Zen 3 architecture, offering a 19% IPC (Instructions Per Clock) gain over its previous-gen counterpart. It makes a stunning improvement in both single-threaded and multi-threaded benchmarks.

In terms of gaming, the 5600X matches its higher-end and more expensive 8C/16T sibling, the Ryzen 7 5800X. It also performs similarly to a 10C/20T Intel Core i9-10900K in gaming, which is incredible considering the mid-range pricing. That makes the R5 5600X the best CPU for RTX 3060 Ti, offering top-notch gaming performance with high refresh rate monitors and ample for day-to-day productivity workloads.

The Ryzen 5 5600X has a base clock of 3.7 GHz and a boost clock of 4.6 GHz. With a capable B550 or X570 motherboard and a decent cooling solution, the chip can easily sustain higher clocks at all times. TSMC’s 7nm fabrication process also makes the processor power-efficient, with a TDP rating of 65W.

If you already are on the Ryzen platform, the good news is that you can drop the 5600X right into any B450 or X470 motherboard after updating to the newest BIOS version. However, you won’t get PCIe 4.0 connectivity, which is something the RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3060 uses. Note that you can still use the cards over the older PCIe Gen 3 interface without a noticeable performance loss.

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Pros Cons
Impressive performance for the price Priced higher than its predecessor
Fantastic for gaming
Bundled Wraith Stealth cooler
Works with 500-series and 400-series AM4 motherboards


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2. Intel Core i5-11600K

CPU For RTX 3060

  • Core & Thread Count: 6C / 12T
  • Base Clock Frequency:9 GHz
  • Boost Clock Frequency:9 GHz
  • L3 Cache: 12 MB
  • TDP: 125 W
  • Socket: LGA 1200
  • Overclocking Support: Yes

If you are Team Blue, the Core i5-11600K is currently one of the best budget-oriented options in Intel’s 11th-gen processor lineup. It shares the same core configuration as AMD’s Ryzen 5 5600X and performs almost equally in modern games and day-to-day applications.

Based on the 14nm Rocket Lake architecture, the Core i5-11600K offers solid performance in multi-threaded workloads. It reaches a max turbo frequency of 4.9 GHz on two cores and can sustain a 4.6 GHz all-core frequency. Unlike the Ryzen 5 5600X, the Intel chip has integrated graphics, enabling Quick Sync technology and offering better video encoding/decoding performance.

Paired to an RTX 3060 Ti or an RTX 3060 GPU and some fine memory tuning, the Core i5-11600K manages to deliver the same level of gaming performance as the Ryzen 5 5600X on stock speeds. The fact that it supports PCI Express 4.0 makes the 11600K similar in features to the 5600X.

Additionally, the i5-11600K has an unlocked multiplier, so you can drop the chip into an older Z490 or a newer Z590 board to overclock it to its maximum limits – as long as you have an effective cooling solution and a high-wattage power supply. Even after a few small tweaks from the BIOS, you can get the 11600K to outperform a previous-gen Core i7 or Ryzen 7 CPU.

The only caveat of the Core i5 11600K is its relatively high power consumption. Compared to the R5 5600X’s 65W TDP, the 11600K comes with a whooping 125W TDP rating. It also means that you will need a beefy air cooler or an AIO liquid cooler to avoid running into the thermal constraints of the chip. Plus, Intel’s K-series processors don’t come with a stock cooler, so you will have to buy one anyway.

Still, if you are looking for the best CPU for 3060 Ti and want to push quality 1440p gaming performance, the Intel Core i5-11600K is an excellent budget-friendly choice for a mid-range system.

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Pros Cons
Exceptional price-to-performance ratio Runs especially warm and consumes a lot of power
It won’t hold you back in games No bundled cooler
Unlocked multiplier for overclocking
Supports Intel Quick Sync Video


We would also recommend keeping an eye on the Core i5-11600KF, which is the same chip as the 11600K but without the integrated graphics. While its availability is very limited due to the ongoing supply shortage at the time of writing, it’s an absolute steal for the price.

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3. AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

  • Core & Thread Count: 8C / 16T
  • Base Clock Frequency:8 GHz
  • Boost Clock Frequency:7 GHz
  • L3 Cache: 32 MB
  • TDP: 105 W
  • Socket: AM4
  • Overclocking Support: Yes

The Ryzen 7 5800X from AMD is an incredible performer available at a reasonable price. Compared to the previous-gen Ryzen 7 3800X, this Zen 3 chip shows by far the most considerable gen-to-gen performance uplift in the Ryzen processor lineup.

The 5800X can handle almost everything you throw at it, whether it’s gaming, streaming, editing, or rendering workloads. It gets you eight cores and sixteen threads, with a base and boost clock frequency of 3.8 GHz and 4.7 GHz, respectively. Even with all the horsepower, the 5800X only has a 105W TDP rating, thanks to TSMC’s 7nm FinFET technology.

Pairing a Ryzen 7 5800X with an RTX 3060 Ti or an RTX 3060 doesn’t make much sense, given the cheaper Ryzen 5 5600X offers the same level of performance in games. But seeing what the current-gen PlayStation and Xbox consoles use, the extra core/thread count makes the 5800X far more future-proof, also leaving slight overhead for GPU upgrades later down the road. Plus, the Ryzen 7 chip performs beastly in multi-threaded applications.

Zen 3 doesn’t offer much in terms of overclocking. But with the right X570 motherboard, high-speed memory kit, cooling solution, and some patience, you can squeeze a lot more performance out of the Ryzen 7 5800X. The chip even runs on less expensive motherboards with a B550 chipset, which retains PCIe 4.0 support. Those who currently have an X470 or B450 board can simply update the BIOS to get it working with the 5800X.

Sure the Ryzen 7 5800X has a slightly higher retail price than its predecessor, but the premium seems well-justified for the significant gen-to-gen improvements. However, if your primary intention is to play games, the Ryzen 5 5600X would give you a much better value in that regard.

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Pros Cons
All-rounder for both gaming and productivity It’s pricey
Powerful but efficient Requires beefy cooling
Works with a variety of AM4 boards
Decent overclocker


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4. Intel Core i7-10700KF

Intel Core i7-10700KF

  • Core & Thread Count: 8C / 16T
  • Base Clock Frequency:8 GHz
  • Boost Clock Frequency:1 GHz
  • L3 Cache: 16 MB
  • TDP: 125 W
  • Socket: LGA 1200
  • Overclocking Support: Yes

If you are in search of an 8-core, 16-thread processor that costs less than a Ryzen 7 5800X but offers very similar gaming performance, you should consider picking up the Core i7-10700KF from Intel. It’s a cheaper version of the 10700K without the integrated graphics.

When it launched in the second quarter of 2020, this 14nm Comet Lake chip was deemed the best for gaming, but it got overshadowed by AMD’s Zen 3-based Ryzen 7 5800X just after a few months. It still is a very capable chip nonetheless, offering nearly the same level of performance as the 5800X in the latest AAA games.

Paired with a mid-range graphics card like the RTX 3060 Ti or the RTX 3060, the Core i7-10700KF achieves almost identical frame rates in most games at 1080p/1440p as its Ryzen competitor. With that said, the latter remains the best for professional applications.

Power consumption is also where the i7-10700KF falls behind the competition. On max load, the Comet Lake chip draws over 200W, despite Intel’s suggested 125W TDP rating. The use of older 14nm process and aggressive turbo frequencies are to blame. However, as long as you got a good power supply unit, you have nothing to worry about.

The i7-10700KF doesn’t come with a stock cooler, and it generally runs on the hotter side. Keeping it cool requires a beefy cooling unit, which would also benefit the chip to hold its astonishing 5.1 GHz turbo frequency for longer periods. With a featured Z490 or Z590-chipset board, overclocking the 10700KF can yield extremely well results.

Even though the Ryzen 7 5800X offers slightly better performance in most cases, the Intel Core i7-10700KF is a great alternative if you are looking to save some money.

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Pros Cons
High-performance gaming No PCIe 4.0 support
Great overclocking potential Hot and power-hungry
Cheaper than the competition


We can recommend the i7-10700KF as the best CPU for 3060 Ti over the newly-released 11th-gen Rocket Lake flagship, the Core i7-11700KF, which is not only costlier than its predecessor but also doesn’t offer a whole lot of improvement.

The only big difference between the 10th-gen and 11th-gen versions is the support for PCI Express 4.0. However, as we mentioned earlier, running the mid-range Ampere cards on PCIe 3.0 speeds will unlikely cripple their performance in most cases.

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5. Intel Core i5-11400F

Intel Core i5-11400F

  • Core & Thread Count: 6C / 12T
  • Base Clock Frequency:6 GHz
  • Boost Clock Frequency:4 GHz
  • L3 Cache: 12 MB
  • TDP: 65 W
  • Socket: LGA 1200
  • Overclocking Support: No

The Intel Core i5-11400F is the best CPU for RTX 3060 Ti in the sub-$200 price segment. It’s a six-core, twelve-thread Rocket Lake chip launched in Q1 2021 to compete with AMD’s most successful mid-ranger, the Ryzen 5 3600.

In fact, the i5-11400F not only has a cheaper retail price but also performs marginally better than the R5 3600 in games, and is dangerously close to matching 5600X’s gaming performance. It even takes the lead in most productivity applications, largely because of its higher single-threaded capabilities. With the power limits lifted, the 11400F outperforms the 3600 in multi-threaded workloads.

The Core i5-11400F reaches a maximum turbo frequency of 4.4 GHz. Unfortunately, overclocking the chip is out of the question since it’s a feature exclusive to Intel’s K-series processors. The good news is that Intel didn’t lock the DDR4 memory frequency for its entry-level CPUs to 2666 MHz this time around, so you can play with higher DRAM clocks to achieve better performance.

Power consumption is also where the i5-11400F doesn’t disappoint. It has a 65W TDP rating, which is the same as the Ryzen 5 5600X. It still draws close to 125W on max load, but only when it hits the turbo clocks. Of course, lifting the power limit from the BIOS will cause the chip to consume almost double the suggested TDP at all times. If you plan to do that, make sure to budget for a better cooler instead of using the bundled heatsink and fan combo.

Unlike its 10th-gen counterpart, the Core i5-11400F supports PCIe 4.0. You can pair it with any affordable B560 motherboard, which allows users to tinker with memory and power limits. There’s no reason to go for a Z-series board since the 11400F doesn’t support overclocking.

If you can find the Intel Core i5 11400F close to its MSRP, it’s a stellar deal given its gaming performance. Though if you prefer Intel’s Quick Sync over NVIDIA’s NVENC for some reason, the non-F i5-11400 (w/ integrated graphics) is still a good pick.

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Pros Cons
Solid gaming performance on a budget Locked multiplier means no overclocking
PCIe 4.0 support
Very affordable


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Things to Consider when choosing the best CPU for RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3060

Whether you are building a new PC featuring the RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3060, or a different NVIDIA or AMD graphics card, you must always consider the following factors before buying the best CPU:


Within a processor, there are smaller independent processing units called cores that work together in harmony. Modern consumer-grade CPUs have somewhere between 2 to 16 cores, each capable of handling different tasks simultaneously. The more cores the CPU has, the better the multitasking performance it offers.

Quad-core processors are now considered the bare minimum, with hexa-core chips becoming the new standard. While six cores are currently more than enough for gaming, eight cores will likely be the standard in the next few years, considering its presence in the current-gen video game consoles.


Think of the CPU as a computer’s brain, where each core represents different lobes. Similarly, the threads are the nerves, joining the cores or the lobes together. Most modern PC applications now utilize several threads, which is why a processor needs to have as many of them as it can.

In simple words, more threads equal better performance in multi-threaded workloads like gaming, rendering, and video editing.

Clock Speed

Although the core count determines how many applications the processor can handle at the same time, the clock speed determines how fast the CPU can operate and execute every task. It specifically refers to the electrical pulse frequency the processor generates. This is why clock speeds are as vital as the core count on a processor.

Modern processors can auto-adjust their clock speeds based on the task type and overall temperature. These speeds are often referred to as “base,” “boost,” or “turbo” clocks.


Every processor comes with an onboard temporary cache pool to reduce the average time to access data from the main memory. There are generally three types of cache found inside a modern Intel or AMD CPU: L1, L2, and L3.

L1 has the least storage, but it’s the fastest of the bunch. In contrast, L2 has more capacity but is also slower. L3, on the other hand, is the slowest but can hold the most data. Having more cache capacity across the three levels helps the CPU’s overall performance.


Despite their smaller size, desktop CPUs require a lot of power to function properly. The more power they draw, the higher the heat they generate. TDP (Thermal Design Profile) refers to a processor’s heat output, which is also used to describe the power consumption.

Knowing a processor’s TDP in watts is vital as you will need a capable air or AIO liquid cooler for it to dissipate the generated heat and maintain maximum levels of performance. Additionally, you will need to invest in a proper high-wattage PSU to feed a power-hungry chip.

Overclocking Support

Overclocking a processor involves forcing it to operate faster than it does on factory clock speeds. You can do it from the BIOS menu as long as both the CPU and the motherboard chipset allow the feature. Every AMD Ryzen processor is unlocked for overclocking, while it’s reserved only for K-series Intel CPUs.

To overclock a Ryzen processor, you get to choose between either a high-end X-series board or an affordable B-series board. For Intel, only the Z-series motherboards allow overclocking.

Best CPUs For RTX 3060 Ti And RTX 3060 F.A.Q

Q1. Intel or AMD: Which one would pair well with the RTX 3060 Ti?

The “Intel vs. AMD” debate has caused a lot of heated discussions in the PC community over the years. While the trend seems to continue moving forward, we get to see cutting-edge processors from both brands at various price ranges.

Historically, AMD has always been the underdog in the CPU market for its “value-for-money” options, but it has finally managed to achieve performance parity with Intel’s offerings with its Ryzen and Threadripper processor lineup. Intel has also diversified its lineup with more affordable, high-core-count processors to compete with AMD’s offerings.

In the end, both manufacturers have excellent processors for a variety of applications. Rather than confining yourself to just one brand, we recommend making a purchase decision based on their real-world performance, as well as price.

Q2. Is a Core i3 or Ryzen 3 CPU okay to pair with an RTX 3060?

The best desktop processor in the Intel Core i3 lineup is currently the i3-10100F, based on the 10th-gen Comet Lake architecture. The R3 3300X represents the current king in the Ryzen 3 lineup, based on AMD’s successful Zen 2 architecture.

Both CPUs offer four cores and eight threads, a popular configuration in the budget desktop market. However, now that the latest AAA games have started to take advantage of more cores and threads, multi-threaded quad-core chips are doomed to become a limitation sooner than you expect.

You will most definitely run into CPU bottlenecks when pairing today’s Core i3 or Ryzen 3 processor with a capable GPU like the RTX 3060 and RTX 3060 Ti. Thus, we strongly recommend opting for one of the latest Core i5 or Ryzen 5 processors instead, even if it costs you a premium.

Q3. Which CPUs support PCIe 4.0?

The industry adoption of PCI Express 4.0 has been surprisingly quick, with both Intel and AMD now employing the feature on their processors and motherboard chipsets. The higher bandwidth facilitates significantly faster data transfer from graphics cards and NVMe storage add-ons.

The Ryzen 3000-series Zen 2 CPUs are the first to add PCIe 4.0 support, followed by the 5000-series Zen 3 CPUs. Intel’s latest 11th-gen Rocket Lake processors also support the feature.

On the motherboard side of things, AMD’s B550 and X570 chipsets offer PCIe 4.0 connectivity. Intel’s Z590, B560, and H510 chipsets natively support it as well.

Related Article – Best Motherboard For Ryzen 3 2200G


The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30-series Ampere cards are quite capable, so it only makes sense to pair them with the most powerful processors. This buying guide lists the best CPU for 3060 Ti and 3060 that will make a suitable pair for the aforementioned GPUs.

Any of the above processors on this list will do a good job depending on your requirements. However, if we are allowed to make some suggestions, the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X or Intel Core i5-11600K would be your best bet, considering the strong gaming performance and underlying value.

To see more buying guides like this, be sure to leave your feedback below. Also, we will answer more of your questions regarding this topic and help you make the final decision.

Best CPUs For RTX 3060 Ti And RTX 3060

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