The RTX 4090 is undoubtedly one of the best GPUs out there right now. Having this GPU won’t be enough is you want to play the latest games at their best though. Every good PC build should have a GPU that’s accompanied by a powerful CPU as well.
A good processor will let your RTX 4090 run the latest games and most demanding apps smoothly. There are lots of formidable CPUs that will make the RTX 4090 even more of a beast than it already is. If that’s what you’re after, you’ve come to the right place. The best CPUs for RTX 4090 might cost you an arm and a leg but this will ensure that you’re going to run every amazing game and software without any problem.
When it comes to top tier CPUs, it’s really tough to look elsewhere other than Intel. They’ve provided a ton of great CPUs over the last couple of years but in our opinion, the best CPU for the RTX 4090 is the Intel iCore i9-13900K.
The i9-13900K is the frontrunner in the 13th-gen Core-series, also called Raptor Lake. As of this writing, the i9-13900K serves as the pinnacle for the chip design of Intel considering that they’ll be moving toward the new Meteor Lake architecture in the future. The i9-13900K is very generous in power which is a good thing considering just how power-hungry the RTX 4090 really is. In terms of processing power, the i9-13900K provides a raw and unprecedented output that will help you enjoy your games at their very best at all times. Of course, this is just one reason why we’re so in love with this chip.
The i9-13900K is a potent CPU that outperforms all chips on the market right now. Considering that it comes with 24-cores and 32-threads, you’re basically getting unmatched performance through and through. The i9-13900K dominates in both single and multi-core workloads which is perfect for heavy gaming software like today’s most recent titles. It seems unlikely that another CPU will outperform the i9-13900K, at least not in the next year or so.
Intel has drastically improved the single-core performance of the i9-13900K. As per benchmark tests, the i9-13900K has seen improvements of up to 15%. As for its multi-core performance, the i9-13900K delivers around up to 41% which is a major upgrade from the previous CPU. What’s even better is that the i9-13900K is compatible with a wider range of motherboards so an upgrade isn’t always necessary.
The i9-13900K might be a bit pricey but if you’re looking for a CPU that can match the power needed for the RTX 4090, then this is arguably the best CPU on the market right now.
- Price $599.98
- Chipset Compatibility and Socket Intel 600 and 700 Series Chipset, LGA1700 Socket
- Processor Cores (P-cores + E-cores) 24 cores (8 P-cores + 16 E-cores)
- Onboard Processor Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 770
- Maximum Memory Speed DDR5 5600, DDR4 3200
- CPU Frequency Speed 5.8 GHz
Intel’s main competitor will always be AMD and its Ryzen CPUs. While Intel CPUs are geared toward general high-end use, AMD Ryzen CPUs are mostly primed toward gaming. With that, the best CPU from AMD that can work best with the RTX 4090 is the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X.
The Ryzen 9 7950X is a great CPU in its own right. It’s one of the best CPUs from AMD right now. With 16 cores and 32 threads, the Ryzen 9 7950X is capable of a maximum boost clock all the way up to 5.7 GHz, which makes it very formidable when it comes to single-core performance needs. The Ryzen 9 7950X is also built with the new 5 nm architecture, which allows for a higher IPC increase as compared to other generations of AMD Ryzen chips. As it’s the top-tier AMD chip right now, it’s definitely more than fitting to be partnered with the RTX 4090.
Diving into the performance upgrades, the Ryzen 9 7950X is 15% faster in gaming as compared to their previous chips. With the RTX 4090, you’re getting a ton of power in a chip. With that performance, you’re guaranteed to be able to play the latest games with ease. The reliable power isn’t without the right supporting features, though. Don’t worry about overheating problems, as with the right cooling system, the Ryzen 9 7950X can still perform pretty well, making it very reliable even when you’re playing the most in-demand games on the market right now.
The Ryzen 9 7950X is also 21% faster in single-threaded work and 45% faster in threaded work as compared to its predecessor. This sets a new bar for the highest-end mainstream chips out there. To make things even better, the Ryzen 9 7950X is able to beat the i9-12900K in various aspects of performance.
The new architecture of the Ryzen 9 7950X brings next-level performance to high-end gaming GPUs like the RTX 4090. It’s not as powerful as the Intel i-13900K overall, but you’re still getting sufficient power to support your gaming needs nonetheless.
- Price $600.73
- Chipset Compatibility and Socket AMD Socket AM5
- Processor Cores (P-cores + E-cores) 16 cores
- Onboard Processor Graphics Radeon Graphics
- Maximum Memory Speed DDR5
- CPU Frequency Speed 5.7 GHz
If the Ryzen 9 7900X is a bit out of your league in terms of price, then you should consider getting the Ryzen 9 7000X instead. It might not be up to par in terms of performance, but the Ryzen 9 7000X is still very good in its own right.
As the predecessor to the Ryzen 9 7900X, the Ryzen 9 7000X is expectedly a bit lacking in terms of overall performance, including for gaming. However, when partnered with the RTX 4090, you’re still getting a pretty decent output which will allow you to play the latest games without any issues whatsoever.
As the Ryzen 9 7900X is understandably pricier and a bit harder to source, the Ryzen 9 7000X serves as a great alternative that really doesn’t cause serious problems when it comes to gaming performance, but the overall appeal of the Ryzen 9 7000X is its affordability and accessibility.
The Ryzen 9 7000X only has 12 cores and 24 threads. This means its multi-core performance over the Ryzen 9 7900X is definitely lower. However, the difference isn’t night and day. Games will still load pretty quickly. Additionally, most games are also going to be compatible with the CPU too, so you don’t have any game requirement issues to worry about. Unlike the Ryzen 9 7900X, the Ryzen 9 7000X can’t beat the i9-12900K in any way. However, it can match up to the Intel chip in terms of performance, making it a great alternative nonetheless.
The CPU is still very capable when it comes to handling other workloads, such as digital content creation and more. It’s a great CPU overall. Overall, the Ryzen 9 7000X is still a great buy despite being a generation lower than the Ryzen 9 7900X. The Ryzen 9 7000X still works great with the RTX 4090, after all.
- Price $542.89
- Chipset Compatibility and Socket AMD Radeon™ Graphics
- Processor Cores (P-cores + E-cores) 12 cores
- Onboard Processor Graphics Radeon Graphics
- Maximum Memory Speed DDR5-5200, DDR5-3600
- CPU Frequency Speed 4.7 GHz
Understandably, you’re already spending a lot of money when getting the RTX 4090. However, you’ll still need to buy other parts too. If you’re on a budget, consider going last-gen and pick something more affordable, like the Ryzen 7 5800X3D.
The Ryzen 7 5800X3D is AMD’s top-tier chip from the last gen. It decimated the competition when it launched during the 12th generation of chips. In terms of gaming performance, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D has been touted again and again as one of the best out there, making it truly desirable for a GPU like the RTX 4090. It has been praised again and again for being an affordable gaming CPU which is why it more than deserves a spot on this list of the best RTX 4090 CPUs. Reliable, fast, and definitely powerful, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D still holds its own in today’s CPU market.
The Ryzen 7 5800X3D is a wonder when it comes to Ryzen 7 5800X3D. Aside from being considered the best gaming CPU, the chip even outperforms the Intel i9-12900K, which is a lot more expensive than this one. Despite its lower specs, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D holds its ground in various performance aspects, including gaming, content creation, and professional work. Considering that the price is marked down heavily today, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D is the best budget-friendly option for those building a PC with the RTX 4090 in mind.
The Ryzen 7 5800X3D has lower core speeds, with 3.4 GHz as its base and 4.5 GHz as its max. This is because the Ryzen 7 5800X3D is equipped with 3D V-cache instability at higher clock speeds. The only downside for this chip is that overclocking is disabled on it.
Last-gen it may be, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D is still an amazing CPU for your RTX 4090. It’s definitely a must-have for those on a budget, so keep this CPU under your radar still.
- Price $344.89
- Chipset Compatibility and Socket AMD 300 Series*, AMD 400 Series, AMD 500 Series
- Processor Cores (P-cores + E-cores) 8
- Onboard Processor Graphics AMD Ryzen
- Maximum Memory Speed DDR4-3200, DDR4-2933, DDR4-2667
- CPU Frequency Speed 4.5 GHz
Last but not least, we have another CPU from Intel. The i9-12900K is not up everyone’s alley when it comes to budget. However, a good alternative still lies within the i7-2700K.
The i7-2700K is the only generation i7 processor right now, and that should speak a lot about how well this CPU really is. Of course, the i7-2700K is a bit underpowered compared to the likes of the Ryzen 9 7900X. It even has half the cores of that CPU. However, the dependability of the i7-2700K is still pretty high, and it works surprisingly well with the RTX 4090 still when you’re looking at gaming performance. Your games and the rest of your software are still going to perform fast and well with the i7-2700K, so you don’t have to worry about anything in this regard.
The i7-2700K is also more affordable than AMD’s top Ryzen offering. That’s because the Ryzen 9 7900X undoubtedly has better specs than this CPU overall. Despite the specs difference, a lot of reviews say that the i7-2700K is still a pretty good choice for gaming with the RTX 4090. Today’s recent games are still compatible with the i7-2700K as the CPU, so there’s not much you need to worry about in terms of PC requirements. Of course, the performance is far from what you’d get from high-end CPUs, but if you want a more affordable Intel CPU, then this is the one to get.
What we love most about the i7-2700K is that it still holds its own pretty well against other CPUs on the market right now.
In conclusion, the i7-2700K is one of the best budget-friendly options that you can get from Intel right now. What it lacks in specs, it makes up for in performance for the RTX 4090, and that’s more than enough for your gaming needs.
- Price $293.92
- Chipset Compatibility and Socket Intel® HD Graphics 3000
- Processor Cores (P-cores + E-cores) 3.6P-core / 2.7E-core
- Onboard Processor Graphics Intel® HD Graphics 3000
- Maximum Memory Speed DDR4 DDR5
- CPU Frequency Speed 3.90 GHz