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Best CPU For RX 7900 XT (AMD, Intel, Gaming, Compatible)

Our recommended picks for the best processor For RX 7900 XT AMD, Intel and Gaming.

Choosing the right CPU to pair with AMD’s powerful new Radeon RX 7900 XT graphics card is crucial to building a high performance gaming PC or workstation. With the 7900 XT capable of delivering extremely high frame rates at 1440p and smooth 4K gameplay, you’ll want a processor that won’t bottleneck its capabilities. At the same time, finding the best balance of price and features for your needs is important.

In this guide, we’ll cover top recommendations from both AMD and Intel that offer great compatibility with the 7900 XT. For AMD, the Ryzen 7000 series with Zen 4 architecture provides excellent options like the 7950X, 7700X, and 7600X.

These CPUs utilize the latest technologies like PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 memory for next-gen speed. On the Intel side, 13th gen Raptor Lake chips like the 13900K, 13700K, and 13600K pair well thanks to high clock speeds, lots of cache, and both DDR4 and DDR5 RAM support.

We’ll also dive into the best CPUs specifically for gaming, focusing on high frame rates and smooth gameplay. Here, Intel tends to have a slight edge in many games due to stronger single threaded performance.

Budget-focused options will also be covered for those looking to save money on their 7900 XT build. Our recommendations range from $200 entry-level CPUs up to $700 flagship processors.

By the end, you’ll know which processors work best with the 7900 XT across AMD and Intel, various pricing tiers, and for popular use cases like high FPS competitive gaming. Let’s jump in and find the right CPU to maximize performance without bottlenecking AMD’s new graphics powerhouse.

Our Recommended list of the Best CPU For RX 7900 XT

  1. AMD Ryzen 9 7950X : Overall Best CPU For RX 7900 XT
  2. Intel Core i9-13900K : Best Intel CPU For RX 7900 XT
  3. AMD Ryzen 7 7700X : Best Budget CPU For RX 7900 XT
  4. Intel Core i7-13700K : Best Gaming CPU For 7900XT
  5. AMD Ryzen 5 7600X : Best Affordable CPU For 7900XT
  6. Intel Core i5-13600KF : Cheapest CPU For RX 7900 XT

RX 7900 XT CPU Requirements

  • Minimum core count of 6 and 12 threads are needed. 
  • Total cache should be 24 MB at least. 
  • At least PCIe 4.0 support should be present.
  • Minimum 105W TDP is preferred.
  • At least 3.7 GHz clock speed is required.  
  • Liquid coolers are suggested to be used. 

RX 6900 XT vs RX 7900 XT

  • RDNA 2 vs RDNA 3 architecture
  • Boost clock speed of 2250 MHz vs 2394 MHz
  • Both cards share the same amount of TDP (300W). 
  • GDDR6 16 GB vs GDDR6 20 GB
  • 5120 CUDA cores vs 5376 CUDA cores 
  • Infinity cache of 128 MB vs 80 MB  

Also See: Best Monitor For RX 7900 XTBest PSU For RX 7900 XTBest Motherboard For RX 7900 XT

1. AMD Ryzen 9 7950X : Overall Best CPU For RX 7900 XT

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Overall Best CPU For RX 7900 XT

Pros:

  • 16 cores and 32 threads for high performance
  • Supports PCIe 5.0 for the latest GPUs
  • DDR5 memory support for faster speeds
  • Good overclocking potential
  • Good value for the price

Cons:

  • Power consumption can be high
  • Heat output can be high

The AMD Ryzen 9 7950X is the ultimate best CPU you can pair with RX 7900 XT GPU. With 16 cores and 32 threads, this 7nm processor has extremely high multi-threaded performance that can keep up with the demands of high-end gaming and creative workloads.

In gaming benchmarks, the 7950X delivers outstanding average and 1% low FPS results. Games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Red Dead Redemption 2 see significant gains with this CPU over lower core-count options. This makes sure your high-end GPU is able to stretch its legs and not get held back by the processor.

Content creation benchmarks like Blender, Handbrake, and Adobe Premiere also show the 7950X dominating thanks to its abundant core count and excellent single-threaded performance. The 7950X is an ideal processor for creators who need both quick export times and real-time editing/previewing capabilities.

With support for next-gen PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 memory, the 7950X has plenty of bandwidth to take advantage of the advanced architecture of the 7900 XT. Overclocking potential is also strong with the improved 7nm process allowing for extra frequency headroom if desired.

If building a no-compromise high-end gaming and creative workstation, the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X is currently the best CPU to pair with the Radeon RX 7900 XT graphics card. The combination offers elite performance today and excellent multi-threading to help future-proof your build.

2. Intel Core i9-13900K : Best Intel CPU For RX 7900 XT

Intel Core i9-13900K Best Intel CPU For RX 7900 XT

The Intel Core i9-13900K is the best Intel and most powerful gaming CPU you can pair with RX 7900XT. It has 24 cores, 32 threads, and boosts up to 5.8GHz. The 36MB cache is large. The 5nm manufacturing process makes it efficient and saves power. It supports fast DDR5 memory and PCIe 5.0 transfers. This makes it a good match for the fast RX 7900 XT GPU.

The i9-13900K and RX 7900 XT together handle games on max settings easily. The Ryzen 9 7950X is also a powerful CPU. It works well with the RX 7900 XT too. The 7950X supports PCIe 4.0, which is fast enough.

Benchmarks show the i9-13900K and RX 7900 XT get over 300 FPS at 1080p in most games. This includes tough games like Cyberpunk 2077. At 1440p or 4K resolution, performance drops some but remains impressive.

The i9-13900K also boosts FPS up to 7.3% in some games versus other CPUs. This means smoother gameplay.

The main downside is power consumption. The i9-13900K needs 170W, more than other CPUs. You need a good PSU and motherboard.

Overall, the i9-13900K and RX 7900 XT is an excellent combo. It’s great for gaming and productivity. It will keep you ahead for years. If you want a CPU that can handle anything, this is a top choice.

3. AMD Ryzen 7 7700X : Best Budget CPU For RX 7900 XT

AMD Ryzen 7 7700X

Pros:

  • Outstanding performance 
  • PCI 5.0 support 
  • DDR5 memory support  
  • AM5 socket 
  • Integrated graphics 

Cons:

  • Integrated graphics is low

The AMD Ryzen 7 7700X is the best budget CPU to pair with the powerful RX 7900 XT graphics card. With 8 cores, 16 threads, and PCIe 5.0 support, it delivers smooth high FPS performance without bottlenecking the GPU.

In demanding games like Far Cry 6 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 1080p, the Ryzen 7 7700X achieves over 100 FPS average. This high frame rate takes full advantage of what the RX 7900 XT can offer. The 7700X is also unlocked for overclocking to push performance even further when needed.

The 7700X has a base clock of 4.5GHz and can boost up to 5.4GHz. This high clock speed enables quick response times in games and fast export times in creative apps. The large 80MB of L2+L3 cache improves overall system performance and responsiveness.

By using the AM5 socket, the 7700X is compatible with the latest 600 series motherboards. This provides options for upgrades down the road.

While pricier than budget CPUs, the 7700X costs less than other high-end options. It delivers great value for those wanting high FPS without breaking the bank.

The 105W TDP produces less heat versus more powerful chips. However, an aftermarket cooler should still be used to optimize performance and acoustics.

Compared to the Ryzen 7 5800X, the 7700X has better overall performance and includes integrated Radeon graphics. This makes it a better pairing for the RX 7900 XT.

For gamers and creators wanting excellent 1080p performance with smoother gameplay, lower temps, and future upgradability, the Ryzen 7 7700X is the best budget choice to match with the RX 7900 XT GPU. It avoids bottlenecking without requiring a flagship CPU budget.

4. Intel Core i7-13700K : Best Gaming CPU For 7900XT

Intel Core i7-13700K Desktop Processor

Pros:

Cons:

  • Needs a CPU cooler

For a powerful gaming CPU to match the RX 7900 XT GPU, the Intel Core i7-13700K is an excellent choice. With its combination of 16 cores, 24 threads, and hybrid P-core/E-core architecture, it delivers elite performance for high FPS gaming.

The 13700K’s multi-threaded muscle easily keeps up with the demands of today’s graphically intensive games. In benchmarks, it pairs with the 7900 XT to produce buttery smooth frame rates, even in CPU-heavy titles.

Boost clocks up to 5.4GHz give snappy response times while the generous 54MB of L2+L3 cache improves overall system speed and responsiveness. This adds up to a very responsive gaming experience.

Support for both PCIe 4.0 and 5.0 provides plenty of bandwidth for high speed data transfer between the CPU and GPU. This prevents bottlenecking at high resolutions.

The 13700K works with both DDR4 and latest generation DDR5 memory. This provides builder flexibility and future upgradability. Popular 600 and 700 chipset motherboards with LGA1700 socket offer ample options.

In single core benchmarks, the 13700K leads Ryzen 7000 chips. This translates to excellent performance in games reliant on strong single threaded operation.

Priced lower than competing top-tier CPUs, the 13700K represents a better value proposition. You get superb flagship-level gaming performance at a more affordable cost.

With intelligent scheduling to direct tasks across different core types, the 13700K delivers i9-like gaming prowess at an i7 price point.

If you want a CPU that won’t bottleneck and will provide an exceptional gaming experience with the RX 7900 XT, the Core i7-13700K hits the sweet spot of performance, features, and value. It’s the best gaming CPU for 7900 XT builds.

5. AMD Ryzen 5 7600X : Best Affordable CPU For 7900XT

AMD Ryzen 5 7600X

Pros:

  • Exceptional performance
  • High boost frequency
  • DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 support  

Cons:  

  • Supports DDR5 only

The AMD Ryzen 5 7600X is the best affordable CPU to pair with the powerful RX 7900 XT graphics card. With 6 cores, 12 threads, and a boost clock reaching 5.3GHz, it provides responsive high FPS gaming performance on a budget.

In popular titles like Hitman 3 and Watch Dogs: Legion at 1080p, the 7600X averages over 100FPS when matched with the 7900 XT. This enables fast-paced competitive multiplayer gaming without breaking the bank.

Based on AMD’s latest Zen 4 architecture, the 7600X features modern technologies like PCIe 5.0 support for future proofing. The generous 38MB of L2+L3 cache also improves gaming responsiveness compared to prior generation CPUs.

While pricier than budget CPUs, the 7600X costs significantly less than other high-end options. Yet it still delivers smooth high frame rate gaming, especially at 1080p. This makes it an excellent value-oriented pairing for the powerful 7900 XT GPU.

The 105W TDP produces less heat than flagship chips, though an aftermarket cooler is still recommended for optimal acoustics and performance.

With performance far exceeding the prior Ryzen 5600X, the 7600X represents a worthwhile upgrade. It can even compete with some high-end CPUs while costing significantly less.

By supporting the new AM5 platform, the 7600X is compatible with cutting-edge motherboards. This provides a clear upgrade path down the road.

For gamers wanting high FPS visuals in their favorite titles without emptying their wallets, the Ryzen 5 7600X hits the sweet spot. It avoids bottlenecking the 7900 XT at reasonable cost. If smooth 1080p gameplay is the priority, the 7600X is the best affordable CPU to target.

6. Intel Core i5-13600KF : Cheapest CPU For RX 7900 XT

Intel Core i5-13600KF Desktop Processor

Pros:

  • Excellent performance 
  • DDR5 memory support 
  • PCIe 5.0 support 
  • Great for a long time as it has newest features 
  • 24 MB cache  

Cons:

  • No video chip is built-in 

The Intel Core i5-13600KF is the cheapest CPU that can properly pair with the powerful RX 7900 XT without bottlenecking. With 14 cores, 20 threads, and a hybrid architecture, it provides strong budget-friendly performance.

The 13600KF’s combination of P-cores and E-cores efficiently handles demanding games when matched with the 7900 XT. In titles like Cyberpunk 2077, it averages over 60FPS at 1440p, enabling high refresh rate gaming at an affordable price.

CPU clock speeds reach 5.1GHz, which is plenty fast for smooth gameplay. The 24MB of L2+L3 cache also improves responsiveness compared to lower-end CPUs.

Support for PCIe 4.0 and 5.0 provides lots of bandwidth for transferring data between the 13600KF and 7900 XT quickly. This prevents performance restrictions, especially at higher resolutions.

Both DDR4 and DDR5 RAM are supported, giving builders flexibility. The LGA1700 socket means compatibility with a wide variety of 600 and 700 series motherboards.

At around $300, the 13600KF costs significantly less than competitors while still delivering excellent 1080p and 1440p gaming with the 7900 XT. This makes it the cheapest high-performance pairing.

With a 125W TDP, an aftermarket cooler is recommended for managing heat and noise. But this is far more affordable than flagship CPU cooling needs.

For budget-focused gamers and creators, the Core i5-13600KF hits the value sweet spot for the 7900 XT. It provides great performance at the lowest price point. If saving money is the priority, the 13600KF is the cheapest CPU that won’t bottleneck an RX 7900 XT build.

Best CPU For RX 7900 XT Buying Guide

Users demand computer accessories that can manage all their heavy processes and have increased computing power. So, we compiled a list of all those processors that are suitable for use with the RX 7900 XT. The previously mentioned graphics card is the latest version to come out of AMD, along with the RX 7900 XTX. 

We suggest using the Intel Core i9-13900K with this graphics card as it gives exceptional performance in gaming and other productive workings. Several attributes are rated by users differently so the user has the choice to select the product they think is best for their systems. Thus, to make the decision easier on the user, we listed some features that should be contemplated over when looking for a CPU. 

Cores

Though 16 cores are more than enough for a system’s great performance, the 13900K has 24 cores that grant the user additional computational capacity. So, if you’re a gamer developer or programmer, this is a great selection for the kind of powerful work you do. As it will provide you with a faster and swift moving environment.  

Clock Speeds

These speeds can go up or down depending upon the user’s tasks and processes. Highest amount of clock speed in this article is 5.8 GHz while the lowest rates can drop to 3.2 GHz. They are responsible for giving higher graphics to challenging applications and during intensive gameplay.  

Cache

Cache is there to elevate the efficiency of the computer system by increasing the time of data retrieval. For a gamer’s use, minimum 24 MB should be available for fast reaction timing. Although, the recommended choice has 68 MB which is a great for granting smooth gameplay to users.   

Socket Type 

Intel’s LGA 1700 and AMD’s AM5 sockets are the latest versions present in the market as of now. Sockets are responsible for providing fast gaming and overclocking and are great for high demanding processes. So, make sure to get a CPU that has one of these types of sockets for maximum compatibility with high-end motherboards

TDP

Our suggested choice, the 13900K has 125W of TDP which is the best possible amount. Resulting in high performance rates and increased processing capacity. Though, these rates differ in every CPU, so make sure to choose an option that is suitable for using with the RX 7900 XT card. 

Cooler

As the computation potential increases in the system, the overall temperature of the PC is bound to increase too. So, there is a need for some cooling mechanism like a CPU cooler that can be used in these kinds of situations. To lower down the heat from the system and grant great performance. Thus, liquid coolers are recommended to be used with high-end PCs like 7900X series processors. 

FAQs

What CPU is needed for the RX 7900 XT?

The RX 7900 XT is a very powerful high-end graphics card, so you’ll want a capable CPU to avoid bottlenecking. An 8-core or higher modern CPU is recommended.
For AMD options, the Ryzen 7000 series with Zen 4 architecture is ideal. The Ryzen 9 7950X, Ryzen 7 7700X, and Ryzen 5 7600X all pair very well with the 7900 XT.
On Intel’s side, a 13th gen Raptor Lake CPU is a great fit. The Core i9-13900K, Core i7-13700K, and Core i5-13600K offer excellent performance with the 7900 XT.
High core/thread counts, lots of cache, fast single core speeds, and support for PCIe 5.0/DDR5 memory are key CPU features to match with the 7900 XT.
For pure gaming, Intel CPUs tend to edge out AMD right now due to stronger single threaded speed. But AMD still provides smooth gaming experiences.
Budget options like the Ryzen 5 7600X or Core i5-13600K can work well for 1080p gaming while high-end choices like the Ryzen 9 7950X or Core i9-13900K enable maximum 1440p/4K performance.
Make sure to pair the CPU and 7900 XT with a good cooler and motherboard to enable stability and optimal performance.
Overall, modern high core count CPUs from AMD or Intel that have Gen4/Gen5 support are recommended to avoid bottlenecking the powerful 7900 XT graphics card.

rx 7900 xt bottleneck calculator?

Bottleneck calculators are online tools that estimate if a component like the CPU will restrict or “bottleneck” the performance of another component like the GPU.
To use one, you enter the specs of your CPU and GPU. Popular calculators are from sites like PC-Builds.com and Pc-Specs.com.
For the RX 7900 XT, you generally want a higher-end modern CPU to avoid bottlenecking at higher resolutions like 1440p and 4K.
Bottleneck calculators will estimate the percentage of GPU performance you may be leaving untapped with your current CPU. The lower the percentage, the less bottlenecking.
Under 10% is ideal, but up to 15% may be acceptable if on a tight budget. Over 20% starts to become more noticeable.
For the RX 7900 XT at 1440p, an older quad core CPU may show a 50% bottleneck while a modern 8-core may show only 5%.
At 4K resolution, even older CPUs have less of a bottleneck effect since graphics workload is higher. But a newer CPU is still recommended.
Use bottleneck calculators as a general guideline. Real-world performance depends on many factors. Test across various games and applications.
Pairing the 7900 XT with at least a 6-core/12-thread modern CPU like the Ryzen 5600X or Core i5-12600K is recommended as a starting point.

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  • Dave James

    Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.

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