Best CPU for GTX 1660 Super


Making a budget build these days is quite difficult because of the rapidly increasing price of graphics cards and other components. However, some cheap Nvidia graphics cards can be used in today’s budget and entry-level builds. The GTX 1660 Super, a Turing-based non-RTX graphics card, supports most of the latest titles, but you may need to compromise on in-game settings and resolution. We are listing out the best CPU for GTX 1660 Super because you may know that a graphics card can’t give its full performance without a good CPU and bottlenecking is another issue at the other end.

Our Top 3 Recommendations

For most of the users, and as we’ve analyzed, Ryzen 5 3600 is the perfect option for GTX 1660 Super as there will be no bottlenecking, and you can enjoy a great gaming experience in this build. Those who want something from the Intel side can consider going with the Intel Core i5 10600K, and if you are a little worried about budget, there is Intel i5 11400F which is also good for budget gaming. For an entry-level build, I would suggest you go with Intel Core i5 9400F, which costs around 100$ or the Ryzen 5 2600, and both of them are mainstream processors of their generation.

We’ve discussed the pros and cons of all these processors below, why you should buy one, and some reasons we don’t like them. Don’t forget to check them out and give us your feedback on them. Also, you may need some budget cooling solution with these processors, so check out some great coolers under $50 to complete your build.

Best CPU for GTX 1660 Super Summary

Award Image Model Price
Best Budget CPU for GTX 1660 Super AMD Ryzen 5 3600 AMD Ryzen 5 3600 See On Amazon
Best Overall CPU for GTX 1660 Super Intel Core i5 10600K Intel Core i5 10600K See On Amazon
Best Gaming CPU for GTX 1660 Super Intel Core i5 11400F Intel Core i5 11400F See On Amazon
Best Cheap CPU for GTX 1660 Super AMD Ryzen 5 2600 AMD Ryzen 5 2600 See On Amazon
Best Affordable CPU for GTX 1660 Super Intel Core i5 9400F Intel Core i5 9400F See On Amazon

Best CPU for GTX 1660 Super At a Glance:

Best CPU for GTX 1660 Super Reviews

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 (Image credit: Amazon)

AMD Ryzen 5 3600

Best Budget CPU for GTX 1660 Super

Once in a while, the market comes across a processor that has all the right features and a perfect combination of price, cores, frequency, and performance. Ryzen 5 3600 is one such CPU. It offers 6 high-performance Zen 2 cores and 24 lanes of PCIe 4.0. It can provide you with a base clock of 3.6 GHz.

Ryzen 5 3600 is one of the top picks if you’re looking to upgrade your processor for gaming or general purposes. This one is a significant step up compared to the previous generations of Ryzen processors. It provides substantial improvement in performance while supporting older motherboards.

The processor can be paired with a mid-range B450 motherboard although it is also compatible with X570 for those who can spare the cost. Combined with a GTX 1660 super, you can expect an average of 90.1 FPS on 1080p ultra settings which drops down to 66.5 FPS for 1440p. However, for some heavy AAA titles like AC Valhalla, RDR 2, and Cyberpunk 2077 the avg fps goes down to 35.6, so dropping the graphics setting might be needed

The processor is powerful enough to handle whatever you throw at it with relative ease. It comes with a maximum boost clock of 4.2 GHz with an advanced socket platform. The AM4 can support PCIe 4.0 on x570 motherboards. All in all, the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is the best choice for the GTX 1660 super.

Intel Core i5 10600K (Image credit: Amazon)

Intel Core i5 10600K

Best Overall CPU for GTX 1660 Super

The i5-10600k may be the best option on this list. This one is priced lower than a Ryzen 5 3600 with a significant increase in performance. This is an all-around CPU for both gaming and labor-intensive tasks. With all that this card has to offer and the price point at which it comes, this one is a no-brainer.

The chip comes equipped with 6 cores and 12 threads with a base clock at 4.1 GHz that can be overclocked to 4.8 GHz.  The integrated graphics don’t amount to much in the way of providing an enjoyable gaming experience. But no worries since we’re looking to pair it with a GTX 1660 Super.

When paired with a GTX 1660 Super, the combination provides around 70 FPS on most modern AAA titles like AC: Odyssey, Forza Horizon 4, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 1080p ultra-high settings. However, on more performance-hungry titles like AC: Valhalla, Cyberpunk 2077, and RDR2 the Fps dropped to around 38 at 1080p ultra-high. The i5-10600k also bottlenecks GTX 1060 Super by an average of 13.2%. The overclocking potential of this processor is excellent and you can do it with some Z400 chipset motherboard so don’t forget to check them out.

It will be able to provide an enjoyable experience on most games at 1080p ultra-high settings and a lot of others at even 1440p. All things considered; the pair makes a high-performance machine that is incredibly versatile.

Intel Core i5 11400F (Image credit: Amazon)

Intel Core i5 11400F

Best Gaming CPU for GTX 1660 Super

Intel is attempting to win back the market and attract potential customers in the under $200 market. This one is also a better option than Ryzen 5 3600 but for the lack of an AMD’s Zen 3 based successor. This one manages to win the race in almost every category whether it is gaming or heavy-duty workload.

The i5-11400F comes with 6 cores and 12 threads and a base clock of 2.8 GHz being able to reach max speeds of 4.2GHz. This is where the 14nm chip falls behind the 7nm Zen 2 and Zen 3 processors. The processor doesn’t do much in terms of overclocking since the chip doesn’t come with an unlocked multiplier. However, if you put this one inside a B560-chipset motherboard, you can remove the stock power limits to reach its full potential.

When paired with a GTX 1660 Super, an average of 70 FPS may be seen at 1080p ultra-high gaming. Some high-demand AAA titles will score at around 40 FPS at 1080p ultra-high. This setup may also run you some titles at a decent 60 FPS at 1440p ultra-high. With this setup, you will see a GPU bottleneck of about 18%.

The i5-11400F is a powerful processor. In some cases, capable of handling even the RTX 30-series or the RX 6000-series GPUs with ease. So, this combo would build an incredibly powerful machine if you can get your hands on the i5-11400F. We also recommend keeping an eye out for the non-F core i5-11400 which comes with integrated Intel UHD graphics but costs a bit more.

AMD Ryzen 5 2600 (Image credit: Amazon)

AMD Ryzen 5 2600

Best Cheap CPU for GTX 1660 Super

There might be no better match for GTX 1660 Super than Ryzen 5 2600. This CPU brings to the table a surprising level of performance. No surprise that this one became the most sold processor back in 2019 with a good value on the knock-out performance.

Built on Zen 2 architecture, this chip comes with 6 cores and 12 threads. It has a base clock speed of 3.4 GHz which can be boosted up to 3.9 GHz. You might be left wanting with this one if you were looking for some extra overclock headroom. But some digging into the BIOS will enable you to push the CPU to the same levels as its more expensive cousin, Ryzen 5 2600X. However, you can rest assured with this chip that you will not be needing to overclock. Don’t forget to check out our dedicated guide on motherboard for Ryzen 5 2600 in 2022.

Paired with a GTX 1660 Super, you can expect 60+ FPS on modern titles such as Forza Horizon 4 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 1080p ultra-high settings. While AC: Odyssey scored at 38.9 FPS. On the more demanding AAA titles like AC: Valhalla, Cyberpunk 2077, and RDR2 we saw 30+ FPS at 1080p ultra-high settings. With this CPU you can expect minimal to no bottleneck on the GPU.

The Ryzen 5 2600 pack more power than you may realize and you’re likely to use. And it still offers that at a tempting price. So, the verdict is that Ryzen 5 2600 is the best fit for you GTX 1660 Super can offer a lot. It’s the perfect CPU, especially if you’re just starting out building your PC. You might need to get your hands dirty to draw the most out of it. But we assure you, it’s well worth the effort.

Intel Core i5 9400F (Image credit: Amazon)

Intel Core i5 9400F

Best Affordable CPU for GTX 1660 Super

The i5-9400F is a budget gamers favorite because of its affordable pricing and gaming performance. It’s one of the most precise CPUs with 6 cores and 6 threads. It comes with a base clock of 2.8GHz and has almost no overclocking potential. However, it does support turbo boost and can be boosted up to 4.1 GHz.

The F variant does not come with any graphics so a discrete GPU is needed. But since we’re already looking to pair it with GTX 1660 Super, we can let this go. This one can be paired with Intel 300 series chipset compatible motherboards such as Intel B360, H370, H310, Q370, Z390, and Z370.

Paired with a GTX 1660 Super, you will get nice framerates in both 1080p and 1440p gaming. You can expect an average of 88.3 and 65.2 FPS on 1080p and 1440p at ultra settings relatively. Just remember that you might have to limit the frame rate on some modern demanding games.

With this processor, you should make sure that this is intended for a gaming build where it will perform excellently. But for more productive tasks like rendering, streaming, or editing, this might not be a great investment. To sum it up this one will pair nicely with a GTX 1660 Super and is recommended for anyone with a limited budget.

Kevin Penson
Love to build gaming rigs, play games and do benchmarks on them and write about them. That's all that I've in my hobbies.
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