8 Best CPU For GTX 1080 & 1080 TI 2021 – Top Picks

Since its release in 2016, the GTX 1080 has quickly become one of the best graphics cards for gaming. Upgraded GTX 1080 Ti offers even more performance with at least 120 frames per second for every modern game. Although it is possible to play on a higher resolution, these models are well-known for 1080p gaming.

Aside from gaming, most users use these GPUs for smaller projects without any difficulty.

Our Pick
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12-core, 24-thread unlocked desktop processor with Wraith Prism LED Cooler
Good Choice
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 6-core, 12-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler
Also Consider
Intel Core i5-10400F Desktop Processor 6 Cores up to 4.3 GHz Without Processor Graphics LGA1200...
Don't Miss
Intel BX80684I99900KF Intel Core i9-9900KF Desktop Processor 8 Cores up to 5.0 GHz Turbo Unlocked...
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12-core, 24-thread unlocked desktop processor with Wraith Prism LED Cooler
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 6-core, 12-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler
Intel Core i5-10400F Desktop Processor 6 Cores up to 4.3 GHz Without Processor Graphics LGA1200...
Intel BX80684I99900KF Intel Core i9-9900KF Desktop Processor 8 Cores up to 5.0 GHz Turbo Unlocked...
Our Pick
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12-core, 24-thread unlocked desktop processor with Wraith Prism LED Cooler
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12-core, 24-thread unlocked desktop processor with Wraith Prism LED Cooler
Good Choice
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 6-core, 12-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 6-core, 12-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Wraith Stealth Cooler
Also Consider
Intel Core i5-10400F Desktop Processor 6 Cores up to 4.3 GHz Without Processor Graphics LGA1200...
Intel Core i5-10400F Desktop Processor 6 Cores up to 4.3 GHz Without Processor Graphics LGA1200...
Don't Miss
Intel BX80684I99900KF Intel Core i9-9900KF Desktop Processor 8 Cores up to 5.0 GHz Turbo Unlocked...
Intel BX80684I99900KF Intel Core i9-9900KF Desktop Processor 8 Cores up to 5.0 GHz Turbo Unlocked...

Here we gathered some of the best processors for these graphics cards.

Top CPU For GTX 1080 & 1080 TI

1. Intel i9 – 9900 KF – top performance

Intel i9 – 9900 KF

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Since this processor comes with high overclocking potential, it is the best choice for those who need premium performance.

It can handle every professional software with 8 cores and 16 threads and provides high frames per second for every modern game. While the base clock is 3.6 GHz, a maximum of 5 GHz is available with the boost clock.

To get the best performance for the Intel i9 9900 KF, users also need to get a high-quality motherboard that supports overclocking.

The only downside might be the heat problem, meaning this processor requires an advanced cooling system to avoid throttling.

Specifications

Brand
Intel
Socket
LGA 1151
Base frequency
3.6 GHz
Manufacturing process
14 nm
The number of cores
8
The number of Threads
16
Brand
Intel
Socket
LGA 1151
Base frequency
3.6 GHz
Manufacturing process
14 nm
The number of cores
8
The number of Threads
16

2. Intel i7 – 9700K – best for gaming

Intel i7 – 9700K

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Although this processor cant measure to the i9-9900 KF for professional use, it delivers amazing performance for casual and more experienced gamers.

The base 3.6 GHz base clock can be boosted to 4.90 GHz if needed and it also comes with a 12 MB Cache.

Even though it is a little more expensive than the previous 8700 K, it offers great value for gamers when paired with a high-quality GPU such as the GTX 1080 Ti. Playing any modern game will provide at least 140 frames per second on the 1080p resolution.

Still, when buying this processor, the users should avoid cheap motherboards to avoid any bottlenecking.

Specifications

Brand
Intel
Socket
LGA 1151
Base frequency
3.6 GHz
Manufacturing process
14 nm
The number of cores
8
The number of Threads
8
Brand
Intel
Socket
LGA 1151
Base frequency
3.6 GHz
Manufacturing process
14 nm
The number of cores
8
The number of Threads
8

3. Ryzen 5 3600 – best value for the price

Ryzen 5 3600

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The Ryzen 5 3600 is definitely among the best processors on the market, considering the performance, price and power consumption.

Those who perform a lot of multitasking will have a great user experience with the 6 cores and 12 threads with a maximum frequency rate of 4.2 GHz.

Pairing this processor with the proper motherboard with the X570 chipset is required for overclocking and top performance.

This processor is quite efficient since it only draws about 65 W for normal use, which is increased a little when overclocked.

Overall, this is a great product for every user, but it provides the most value for professional gamers.

Specifications

Brand
AMD
Socket
AM4
Base frequency
3.6 GHz
Manufacturing process
7 nm
The number of cores
6
The number of Threads
12
Brand
AMD
Socket
AM4
Base frequency
3.6 GHz
Manufacturing process
7 nm
The number of cores
6
The number of Threads
12

4. Intel i5 – 8400 – best i5 choice

Intel i5 – 8400

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Rated as one of the best Intel processors, the i5-8400 works perfectly for the GTX 1080 for every demanding task.

A slightly lower base clock of 2.8 GHz might lack some performance compared to the competitors. Still, it can be used at a 4.00 GHz maximum frequency.

Featuring 6 core and 12 threads, it works great for casual gamers, but it also supports advanced multitasking and advanced software operations.

This processor works at optimal temperatures meaning no expensive cooling system is required and it is very efficient.

The i5-8400 includes everything the average user might need, even though the high-end processors provide more performance.

Specifications

Brand
Intel
Socket
LGA 1151
Base frequency
2.8 GHz
Manufacturing process
14 nm
The number of cores
6
The number of Threads
12
Brand
Intel
Socket
LGA 1151
Base frequency
2.8 GHz
Manufacturing process
14 nm
The number of cores
6
The number of Threads
12

5. Ryzen 9 3900x – ultimate AMD performance

Ryzen 9 3900x

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Those who prefer to get the premium AMD processor for GTX 1080 Ti need to consider Ryzen 9 3900x.

Exceptional performance is achieved with the 12 cores and 24 threads, making this processor one of the best for multitasking.

Also, the max frequency is 4.6 GHz, followed by 70 MB game cache and DDR 3200 support. AMD Wraith Prism Cooler comes with RGB light control and provides the optimal temperature with direct contact on the heat pipes.

While it might be overkill for gaming, it is an amazing processor for a workstation PC.

Although this product might be expensive for some users, it has no rival when it comes to multi-core performance.

Specifications

Brand
AMD
Socket
AM4
Base frequency
3.8 GHz
Manufacturing process
7 nm
The number of cores
12
The number of Threads
24
Brand
AMD
Socket
AM4
Base frequency
3.8 GHz
Manufacturing process
7 nm
The number of cores
12
The number of Threads
24

6. Intel i7-7700K

Intel i7-7700K

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This processor is usually paired with the GTX 1080 and 1080Ti since it delivers enough performance for every modern game.

The i7-7700K comes with 4 cores and 8 threads. The multithread performance might be slightly lower, but it has amazing single-core performance with the 4.2 GHz base frequency.

Support for hardware decoding and encoding is upgraded for the 4k H.265.

Although it draws about 91 W from the PSU, it is more efficient than most premium processors on the market.

Still, a smooth gaming experience is guaranteed, even though the overclocking potential is not the best.

Specifications

Table could not be displayed.

7. Intel i5-10400

Intel i5-10400

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The i5-10400 is often compared to the i5-8400, even though it can match the Ryzen 5 3600 when it comes to performance.

Users who don’t want to get the dedicated GPU can get the i5-10400 with the Integrated graphics. On the other hand, pairing this processor with the GTX 1080 is quite sufficient to play most games on ultra settings.

Featuring Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.9 GHz base clock can be increased to 4.3 GHz, which is great for most workloads.

Also, making the Ultra HD videos is possible with the Intel Quick Sync that is recommended for professional video editors.

Many useful features, decent performance and fair price make this product one of the best mid-range picks for every user.

Specifications

Brand
Intel
Socket
BGA 437
Base frequency
2.9 GHz
Manufacturing process
14 nm
The number of cores
6
The number of Threads
12
Brand
Intel
Socket
BGA 437
Base frequency
2.9 GHz
Manufacturing process
14 nm
The number of cores
6
The number of Threads
12

8. Ryzen 5 1600 – top budget pick

Ryzen 5 1600

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The Ryzen 5 1600 is the recommended low-end processor since going any lower will definitely bottleneck the PC.

Considering the price, this processor provides decent performance, even though the single-core benchmark is drastically lower than the premium processors. That said, most users will do fine with the 3.6 GHz boost clock.

Ryzen 5 1600 only requires 65 W from the PSU and works at optimal temperatures, which is preferred by most gamers.

Playing modern games might require more performance, but getting about 60 frames per second with optimized graphics settings is possible for every game.

Specifications

Brand
AMD
Socket
AM4
Base frequency
3.2 GHz
Manufacturing process
12 nm
The number of cores
6
The number of Threads
12
Brand
AMD
Socket
AM4
Base frequency
3.2 GHz
Manufacturing process
12 nm
The number of cores
6
The number of Threads
12

Buyer’s Guide While Buying CPU for GTX 1080 & 1080 Ti

img source: windowscentral.com

Without any doubt, the CPU is the most important PC component. Still, there are few things to keep in mind when buying a CPU for graphics cards like GTX 1080.

Cores & Threads

With more cores and threads, the processor will provide more performance. The premium processors come with a higher number of cores and threads, which also comes with a higher price. Although professional users might require the best performance, it is not the same for gaming. As the GPU is the most important for gaming, most games don’t need a premium CPU. Most gamers play on the 1080p resolution, so the GTX 1080 will do fine with a 4 core processor with high base frequency.

Cache

The cache is used to store data while the processor is under a heavy workload. With a higher cache, the data exchange gets faster. In other words, every user should try to get a processor with the highest cache value. It is very important for those who want to get maximum speed and performance. It is important to note that these high-performance professors come with a higher price.

Socket

Before buying a CPU, every user must consider the socket since it connects the CPU with the motherboard. The socket does not support every CPU generation and is different for Intel and AMD processors. There is no alternative to connect the CPU to the motherboard. It is important to check the product specification before buying.

Overclocking

As overclocking can damage the CPU, manufacturers are designing new models to prevent overclocking. This is required since some users want to exceed the clock limit. If the specific model allows overclocking, it should be done carefully. Although overclocking provides a huge benefit for professional users, new users should avoid it. Basic tasks and casual gaming will run smoothly with a base clock. The latest models include the boost clock if required.

Casing

As the GTX 1080 is among the largest graphics cards, it requires an ATX case. The ATX case comes with a lot of extra space for the processor and additional fans. Even if the users decide on a smaller graphics card, it is always recommended to get the ATX case. Especially for DIY projects and new users.

Conclusion

Without any doubt, the GTX 1080 and 1080 Ti are among the best GPUs on the market. While the latest models are more efficient, these graphics cards still provide great performance. The main goal of this article is to help every user find the best CPU to pair with these models. There are enough processors to meet any user requirement and for every price range. Gaming or any other demanding process will drastically improve with a proper CPU.

FAQ

img source: nvidia.com

Can I use the i5 with the GTX 1080 for casual gaming?

Although the i5 is not the best for ultra graphics, it works fine for optimized 1080p gaming. The i5-8400 is among the best for medium/high settings for most games. Even the most graphically demanding PC games can be played with the lower graphics settings. Proper use will provide at least 60 frames per second.

Which is the best CPU for the GTX 1080 Ti?

Getting the i9 9900 KF is an amazing processor to get the best performance. The single-core base clock is more than enough for every modern game. That said, it also works great for video editing or rendering. While this is a high-performance processor, it requires a high-quality PSU since it consumes a lot of power.

Will the Ryzen 5 1600 bottleneck the GTX 1080?

Ryzen 5 1600 is a great choice for most users and casual gaming. That said, it won’t bottleneck the GTX 1080, but it is not recommended to go below this processor. Going below this model is fine for those who are using the mid-range GPU. Since the GTX 1080 is a high-end graphics card, it requires a proper CPU to handle demanding tasks.

How efficient is the GTX 1080Ti?

While the GTX 1080 Ti runs every modern game without any trouble, it is not the most efficient graphics card on the market. The maximum power draw is rated at 250 W. For those who are using an efficient mid-range CPU, the 600 W PSU should do the job. On the other hand, using a high-performance CPU with this graphics card might require the 750 W PSU.

Should I get the Intel or AMD processor for the GTX 1080?

Considering that both manufacturers products offer many great processors for every price range, it depends mostly on the user’s preference. That said, the production of CPUs has improved over the years, but there is a slight brand difference. Overall the Intel processors have the highest single-core performance, which is the best for gaming. AMD might have a little lower single-core performance but offers more cores for the same price, which is a lot better for multitasking.

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