Best CPUs For RTX 2070 (2022)

Finding a great CPU/GPU combo can be tedious, so we’ve compiled a list of great compatible CPUs with their own unique uses for the 2070 & 2070 SUPER. By the end of this post, you should know exactly what you need for your specific type of build. Whether you’re gaming, streaming, or video editing, we’ve got you covered.

The RTX 2070 & 2070 SUPER are between mid & top tier when it comes to graphics performance, the 2070 SUPER obviously being closer to top-tier. They’re part of the NVIDIA RTX 20 series which is essentially the successor of the NVIDIA GTX 10 series.

Performance-wise, the RTX 2070 SUPER is a mid-top tier graphics card that competes with the RX 5700 XT. It can game at 1440P pretty easily achieving 144 FPS in most games and depending on the game, it can handle 4K too. The RTX 2070 closely competes with the RX 5700 which are both mid-tier GPUs that are both great at 1440P.

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Ryzen 5 5600xRyzen 7 5800xIntel I5 12600KIntel I5 12400
Cores & Threads6 Cores/12 Threads8 Cores/16 Threads10 Cores/16 Threads6 Cores/12 Threads
Max Clock Speed4.6 GHz4.7 GHz4.9 GHz4.4 GHz
OverclockableYesYesYesNo
TDP65W105W125W Base/150W Turbo65W Base/117W Turbo

If you’re in a hurry, here’s a quick summary of the best processors on this list.

Budget-Pick
Intel Core i5-12400 Desktop Processor 18M Cache, up to 4.40 GHz
Professional Pick
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 8-core, 16-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor
Enthusiasts Pick
Intel Core i5-12600K Desktop Processor 10 (6P+4E) Cores up to 4.9 GHz Unlocked  LGA1700 600 Series Chipset 125W
Intel Core i5-12400 Desktop Processor 18M Cache, up to 4.40 GHz
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 8-core, 16-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor
Intel Core i5-12600K Desktop Processor 10 (6P+4E) Cores up to 4.9 GHz Unlocked  LGA1700 600 Series Chipset 125W
Best Budget Gaming Chip
Best All Purpose CPU
Best Processor For Enthusiasts
-
-
Budget-Pick
Intel Core i5-12400 Desktop Processor 18M Cache, up to 4.40 GHz
Intel Core i5-12400 Desktop Processor 18M Cache, up to 4.40 GHz
Best Budget Gaming Chip
-
Professional Pick
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 8-core, 16-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 8-core, 16-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor
Best All Purpose CPU
-
Enthusiasts Pick
Intel Core i5-12600K Desktop Processor 10 (6P+4E) Cores up to 4.9 GHz Unlocked  LGA1700 600 Series Chipset 125W
Intel Core i5-12600K Desktop Processor 10 (6P+4E) Cores up to 4.9 GHz Unlocked  LGA1700 600 Series Chipset 125W
Best Processor For Enthusiasts

Ryzen 5 5600x

Decent bang for your buck processor for gaming, decent to pair with the RTX 2060 and 2060 super

TECH SPECS:

  • Core Clock Speed: 3.7 GHz(base) 4.6 GHz(boost)
  • Core Count: 6(cores), 12(threads)
  • Microarchitecture: Zen 3
  • Socket: AM4
  • Max Memory Support 128GB
  • Integrated Graphics: No
  • TDP: 65W

BENCHMARK RESULTS:

  • Cinebench Single-core Score: 1564
  • Cinebench Multi-core Score: 11871

WHAT WE LIKE & DON’T LIKE ABOUT IT: 

We really like the fact that AMD has made technological advancements into making a more efficient processor, this is evident through the 15% IPC increase compared to the Intel 10th gen CPUs. This huge IPC increase means that the Ryzen 5 5600x is able to compete with some pretty powerful CPUs such as the I9 10900K in gaming scenarios.

Also, let’s take into consideration that the Ryzen 5 5600x is a budget CPU, so this makes the Ryzen 5 5600x an amazing performing CPU for a budget gaming build. The Ryzen 5 5600x will definitely keep up with the RTX 2070 and 2070 SUPER in many gaming scenarios.

Also, the fact that the Ryzen 5 5600x comes with a free stock cooler only makes this a better bang for your buck. Even though it’s a stock cooler, it’s plenty enough to cool the 65W TDP the 5600x is asking for. So, in intensive CPU stations, you really shouldn’t hit a thermal throttle even with the stock cooler.

One downside to the Ryzen 5000 series CPUs is that AMD has cranked up the prices compared to the Ryzen 3000 series chips, this could be due to the IPC increases.

FEATURES:

As previously stated, the free stock cooler means you’re not required to pick up an aftermarket CPU cooler, this will save money. Considering this is a $200 CPU, you’re not expected to pay anything more than this price, aftermarket coolers can be quite expensive too.

Also, since the Ryzen 5 5600x can run pretty cool even with the stock cooler, the overclocking feature will only be more useful. For gamers, you will want to do this as you will see huge FPS increases if you overclock right. But, you can expect performance gains across the board, so whatever you’re doing will perform better.

ALTERNATIVES:

The competitor to Ryzen 5 processors are the Intel I5 processors, and they’re both budget/gaming processors. The Ryzen 5 5600x will outperform the I5 10600K in gaming scenarios pretty easily, this is due to the IPC gains. For this reason, we will not be recommending the I5 10600K as it loses in most areas.

The Ryzen 5 5600x does have a better version, but you will have to take a leap to Ryzen 7 processors where you can buy the 5800x. If you’re looking for more gaming and multi-core performance, the Ryzen 7 5800x is a great alternative. You will notice better performance whilst streaming, and video editing.

Pros
  • Decent single-core peformance for gaming
  • Great bang for your buck (performance & stock cooler)
  • Entry level multi-core performance for streaming
  • Beats Intel 10th generation processors (IPC Wise)
Cons
  • Slight price increase from 3000 series

Ryzen 7 5800x

ryzen processor that is able to game and stream well

TECH SPECS:

  • Core Clock Speed: 3.8 GHz(base) 4.7 GHz(boost)
  • Core Count: 8(cores), 16(threads)
  • Microarchitecture: Zen 3
  • Socket: AM4
  • Max Memory Support 128GB
  • Integrated Graphics: No
  • TDP: 105W

BENCHMARK RESULTS:

  • Cinebench Single-core Score: 1617
  • Cinebench Multi-core Score: 15425

WHAT WE LIKE & DON’T LIKE ABOUT IT: 

Taking the performance up a notch, the Ryzen 7 5800x is more of a multipurpose processor being that it can perform well in multiple areas. If you’re gaming, the Ryzen 7 5800x has the single-core performance for you. If you want to stream or video edit, you have the 8 cores and 16 threads to handle that for you, this is our favorite aspect about the Ryzen 7 5800x. This is a great CPU to balance with the RTX 2070 and 2070 SUPER, not too overkill and pricey.

Due to the multi-core performance, the Ryzen 5800x is often the processor that we’d pick if we were to stream and game at the same time. We recommend 6 cores for streaming, but the extra two cores will make sure we have the multitasking for smoother streams. This is we’d only pick the 5600x if we were only strict gamers, but if you want to do a little more with your PC, the Ryzen 7 5800x is the CPU for you.

There are quite a few downsides, but it’s often down to interpretation, but the Ryzen 7 5800x has a TDP increase compared to the Ryzen 5 5600x. This is probably due to the extra cores, but this warrants the use of an aftermarket cooler which would increase the spend on this PC. Also, AMD has increased the prices compared to the 3000 series CPUs, this is probably due to AMD becoming more competitive with Intel.

FEATURES:

With Ryzen processors, they mostly come unlocked, and this has not changed with the Ryzen 7 5800x. Despite the TDP increase, with a decent aftermarket cooler, you can receive huge thermal headroom like you would with the 5600x. This means you can receive huge FPS and performance gains for your games and multithreaded applications.

Unlike Intel processors, Ryzen processors are able to benefit from having faster RAM, this is why many people that go with Ryzen are often picking XMP RAM that can overclock pretty high. The reason why Ryzen benefits from faster RAM has something to do with Infinity fabric which has its own individual clock speed.

ALTERNATIVES:

Ryzen 7 processors are mid-top tier processors often reserved for people looking for multipurpose builds. Ryzen 7 competes with Intel I7 processors for the same target audience, but the Ryzen 7 5800x is meant to compete with the 10700K. The problem is that the Ryzen 7 5800x is superior to the 10700K in most scenarios.

Since the Ryzen 7 5800x beats the 10700K in most scenarios, we would have to recommend the stronger version which is the Ryzen 9 5950x. If you really want an Intel processor, then the Ryzen 7 5800x technically competes with the I7 11700K, they have similar performance in single and multi-core tests.

Pros
  • Great single-core peformance for gaming
  • Top tier streaming & video editing processor
  • Beats Intel 10th generation processors (IPC Wise)
  • Multipurpose processor – good at most things
Cons
  • Slight price increase from 3000 series
  • TDP increase & doesn’t come with stock cooler

Intel I5 12600K

the i5 12600k is a beefy mid-tier processor that punches well above its weight, it can pair well with the rtx 2060 and 2060 super

TECH SPECS:

  • Core Clock Speed: 3.7 GHz(base) 4.9 GHz(boost)
  • Core Count: 10(performance + efficiency cores) 16(performance + efficiency threads)
  • Microarchitecture: Golden Cove
  • Socket: LGA1700
  • Max Memory Support 128GB
  • Integrated Graphics: Yes
  • TDP: 125W(base) 150W(turbo)

BENCHMARK RESULTS:

  • Cinebench Single-core Score: 1915
  • Cinebench Multi-core Score: 17468

WHAT WE LIKE & DON’T ABOUT IT:

The I5 12600K is another budget/gaming tier processor, but if we take a look at the specifications, the I5 12600K is actually able to do much more. This is why we like the 12600K, even though I5s are traditionally made just for gaming, the 12600K has the multicore performance to do much more. Honestly speaking, the 12600K is more than enough to handle the RTX 2070 and 2070 SUPER, you will have no worries about bottlenecking.

10 Cores and 16 threads is absolutely insane for I5s, this is because I5s traditionally have very low core and thread counts. But this extra multi-core performance can serve as an entry point if you’re looking to get into streaming and more professional workloads. But for a strict gaming PC, you can never go wrong with I5s.

One aspect we really dislike is the fact that the I5 can get pretty hot, we understand this is due to the massive number of cores, but I5s are meant to be cool relative to the performance they offer. With budget/mid-tier chips, you don’t expect them to require a huge TDP of 125W and 150W turbo.

FEATURES:

With the introduction to the golden cove architecture, most processors in this lineup of CPUs will have an asymmetrical architecture. What we mean by this is that they have two different types of processing cores, performance and efficiency cores. The I5 12600K has 6 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores making a total of 10 cores.

Despite the huge TDP, with a sufficient cooler such as a 360MM AIO or a beefy NH D15, the I5 12600K could overclock pretty well. This serves as a huge benefit if you’re looking for extra performance when gaming and streaming.

ALTERNATIVES:

The main competitor to I5 processors is the Ryzen 5 processors, and they’re both meant to be budget/mid-tier chips meant for single-purpose uses. There is no direct competitor to the I5 12600K, but it does slightly beat the Ryzen 7 5800x in multicore tests, as for single-core performance, the I5 12600K has no AMD competitor.

But, if you’re looking for a really cheap alternative to the I5 12600K, the Ryzen 5 5600x could be the perfect choice for you. If you’re looking for a strict gaming build for the cost of $200, then the Ryzen 5 5600x is a great bang for your buck, it also comes with a free stock cooler and lower TDP.

Pros
  • Decent single-core peformance for gaming
  • Great bang for your buck (performance & stock cooler)
  • Entry level multi-core performance for streaming
  • Beats Intel 10th generation processors (IPC Wise)
Cons
  • Slight price increase from 3000 series

Intel I5 12400

best affordable CPU for the RTX 2060 and 2060 super, decent single-core performance.

TECH SPECS:

  • Core Clock Speed: 2.5 GHz(base) 4.4 GHz(boost)
  • Core Count: 6(cores) 12(threads)
  • Microarchitecture: Golden Cove
  • Socket: LGA1700
  • Max Memory Support 128GB
  • Integrated Graphics: Yes
  • TDP: 65W(base) 117W(turbo)

BENCHMARK RESULTS:

  • Cinebench Single-core Score: 1730
  • Cinebench Multi-core Score: 12187

WHAT WE LIKE & DON’T ABOUT IT:

If we’re looking for the best bang for your buck, our favorite budget processor would have to be the I5 12400, it’s almost like the 12400 is meant to save you money. This serves as an amazing processor for firs time builders not looking to break the bank.

If we’re looking for traditional single-purpose processors, the I5 12400 is that exact CPU being great at just gaming, this is mostly due to the low core count. While we do recommend 6 cores for streaming, this is more of an entry point, so the 12400 is great for getting into streaming. In terms of gaming performance, the single-core performance is most definitely enough to handle the RTX 2070 and 2070 SUPER.

Keeping it traditional with budget single-purpose CPUs, the I5 12400 doesn’t get hot like the 12600K thanks to its low 65W TDP and 117W boost. This is ideal as you don’t need a lot to cool it, and the best part is that it comes with a stock cooler which means you save more money from purchasing an aftermarket cooler.

One downside is that the I5 12400 doesn’t come with the performance and efficiency cores like the other Alder Lake processors have. This is a slight downside as it lacks the latest innovation as we’re moving towards more efficient performing processors. Also, you’ve noticed it doesn’t have a ‘K’ at the end, this means it’s not overclockable, so you can’t push your CPU to the limits for more performance.

FEATURES:

The best feature the I5 12400 has is the fact it comes with a stock cooler which further enhances the budget aspect of this CPU. The latest stock coolers with the Intel 12th gen processors are slightly different from previous stock coolers. They’re beefier and renovated resulting in superior cooling performance.

ALTERNATIVES:

Alternative-wise, the I5 processors are budget/mid-tier processors reserved for single-use, and they compete with the Ryzen 5 processors. The direct competitor to the I5 12400 would have to be the Ryzen 5 5600x. In terms of raw performance, the I5 12400 is 1.9% faster so we’d recommend the 12400 for gamers.

Pricing-wise, the 12400 is also cheaper than the Ryzen 5 5600x, so you’re probably wondering what the point is going with the 5600x. Well, the 5600x is able to overclock, so you may be able to close the 1.9% performance gap between the two competing CPUs.

If you’re looking for a little more performance, perhaps you want to overclock, then the I5 12600K takes it a step up in the core count, clock speeds, and overclockability. It may be a huge jump considering it’s pricier, and a more beefy CPU, but it’s enough for multithreaded applications.

Pros
  • Best for extreme budget builds
  • Great bang for your buck (performance & stock cooler)
  • Entry level multi-core performance for streaming
  • 1.9% faster than the 5600X
Cons
  • No performance and efficiency cores

Quick CPU Buyer’s Guide

We’ve compiled some of the most important aspects of a processor into a quick buyers guide to help you make the right choice. This should help you pick the right processor whether you’re going to be gaming, streaming, or video editing. We understand picking the right processor is hard, so we intend to make it easier for you.

In this buyer’s guide, we’re going to go over single-core, multi-core, and overclockabilitiy, these are the most important aspects of how a CPU performs. As for Gamers, they’re more concerned about FPS, so single-core and overclockability would be their main buying decisions. For video editors, and streamers, you will want to focus more on multicore performance as they’re multithreaded applications.

For AMD, their processors mostly come unlocked with some exceptions, unlocked means overclockable. With Intel processors, some of their processors are unlocked, and these are the ‘K’ variants. So if you’re really looking for the right processor, it’s quite easy to pick up the wrong one.

Single-Core Performance

Single-core performance on a processor can be seen as the clock speed as this is the most obvious aspect of it. The clock speed defines how fast each core is, not how fast all the cores run simultaneously. So if you have a 4.5GHz processor, each core will individually run at 4.5GHz. As you could imagine, having a higher clock speed will translate into more performance.

Whenever you see GHz, always remember it’s just a unit of frequency, and it defines how many times a core will cycle per second. So, if you have a 5GHz processor, your CPU cores will actually cycle 5 billion times per second which can seem pretty insane. However, just looking at the clock speed isn’t a good idea to get an idea of the single-core performance, this is because there is another metric that you need to consider.

So while having higher clock speeds is better for gaming, there is a hidden metric called IPC or instructions per cycle. It refers to how much work can be done per clock cycle, so having higher IPC means your CPU is technically faster. Older processors which higher clock speeds will perform slower than newer processors with lower clock speeds because of huge IPC gains.

Multi-Core Performance

Moving onto multi-core performance, this is another aspect of how fast a CPU can perform, and to get insight on it, we just have to look at the core count. The more cores your CPU has, the faster it will perform with multi-core/multithreaded applications. Unfortunately, gaming isn’t one of these applications which means more cores won’t increase the frame rate.

When looking at multi-core performance, the core count, and whether the CPU has SMT capabilities determine how fast it will perform with multithreaded workloads. SMT or Hyperthreading refers to the processor’s ability to split a single physical core into two logical cores, this is to increase their efficiency of them. Despite the efficiency increase of a single core, this won’t result in higher frame rates.

The main workloads that benefit from multicore performance are applications that are easily parallelized, this includes x264 software encoding, video editing, and photo editing. The reason why these programs benefit from more cores is that certain parts of them are able to be split up into two or more parts for simultaneous execution.

Overclocking Capabilities

If your processor supports overclocking, this is great as it means you have the capabilities to push it past its limits. This usually results in more performance across the board, so higher performance in games and faster rendering times for video editing. There is honestly no need to worry about overclocking unless you’re going crazy with the voltages, so it’s pretty safe.

Depending on your motherboard, overclocking can be pretty easy, it usually involves going through the BIOS to manually increase the clock speed modifier. Slowly increasing the clock speed is the best way to do it, no sudden jumps. When you do it like this, you’re less likely to run into instability issues which requires you to increase the voltage. Voltage increases decrease the lifespan, so be careful.

Through sufficient cooling, anything really can be pretty safe, this is because heat is the main cause of failure. So if you have a pretty cool system, to begin with, overclocking shouldn’t be an issue. But if your PC runs pretty hot at around 80C, then overclocking should be the least of your concerns.

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