Best CPU for GTX 970


There are some of the best CPU for GTX 970 that are worth considering in 2022.

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Best CPU for GTX 970 Summary

Award Image Model Price
Best Budget CPU for GTX 970 AMD Ryzen 5 3600 AMD Ryzen 5 3600 See On Amazon
Best Overall CPU for GTX 970 Intel Core i5 11400F Intel Core i5 11400F See On Amazon
Best Gaming CPU for GTX 970 AMD Ryzen 5 2600 AMD Ryzen 5 2600 See On Amazon
Best Affordable CPU for GTX 970 Intel Core i5 10400F Intel Core i5 10400F See On Amazon
Best Cheap CPU for GTX 970 Intel Core i5 9400F Intel Core i5 9400F See On Amazon

Best CPU for GTX 970 At a Glance:

Best CPU for GTX 970 Reviews

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 (Image credit: Amazon)

AMD Ryzen 5 3600

Best Budget CPU for GTX 970

If you want a processor that fits all the criteria that we look for in a processor, such as performance, cores, price, then Ryzen 5 3600 is the processor that ticks all the criteria in the checklist. Based on the Zen 2 architecture the processor is a powerhouse that will perform with ease no matter what you throw at it.

The processor comes with 6 cores and 12 threads and has a base clock of 3.6 GHz and a boost clock of 4.2 GHz which is more than enough to perform any given task whether its for gaming or productivity. AMD brought the big guns to the battle when they released this processor to the market and it has received quite a lot of positive views from the community. We saw substantial performance gains over the previous-gen processors and it even supports being compatible with older motherboards, so you might not need to upgrade your board.

You can pair the processor with a mid-range B450 motherboard, or the more premium X570 one as well, to unlock the full potential of the PCIe 4.0 lanes. It is one of the best performing processors in games and it has locked its place as one of the best processors that you can get for pairing it up with a GTX 970. The GPU will perform to its maximum ability and won’t be held back by the processor, as it is one of the best in the market right now.

Intel Core i5 11400F (Image credit: Amazon)

Intel Core i5 11400F

Best Overall CPU for GTX 970

Intel started to gain some ground back with its Rocket lake processors or the 11th gen processors, from AMD, who have been dominating the market in recent years with their Ryzen series processors. Based on the ultra-refined 14nm lithography manufacturing process, the Core i5 11400F is a pure price to performance processor that is designed to handle all kinds of workloads.

Launched in the first quarter of 2021, the processor is the direct successor of the 10th gen 10400f which is also included in the list. The base clocks have been lowered to 2.6 GHz, as opposed to 2.9 GHz of the previous-gen 10400f processor. But the boost clocks have been increased to 4.4 GHz. The TDP is 65W and the processor supports 128GB of DDR4 RAM which can be clocked at 3200 MHz. It comes with 6 cores and 12 threads and it has rightly earned its place in the upper mid-range processor segment. Just like its predecessor, the processor will easily handle gaming and productivity workloads with relative ease.

Pairing it with a GTX 970 will help draw out the GPU’s full potential as it won’t result in any sorts of bottlenecks and coming in at under 160$ the processor is targeted towards the budget gamers who want to game at the ultra-preset at the 1080p resolution. However, even if you intend to upgrade your GPU in the future, the processor is fully capable of handling the high-end GPUs such as the RTX 3070, RTX 2070, RX 6700XT, and 5700XT as well. Choosing this processor will not be a bad choice at all and you won’t need to upgrade for a while.

AMD Ryzen 5 2600 (Image credit: Amazon)

AMD Ryzen 5 2600

Best Gaming CPU for GTX 970

If you’re looking for one of the most durable and mainstream processors, then the Ryzen 5 2600 fits the bill. It is compatible with a wide variety of system configurations and no matter whatever is your use case, gaming, content creation, or productivity tasks; it will get the job done.

Coming in with 6 cores and 12 threads the processor is a total performance beast and will execute any sort of instructions without breaking a sweat. It comes with a CPU cooler that is one of the best performing coolers in the market. It keeps the temps down and doesn’t make much noise doing that. The processor is clocked at 3.4 GHz which can achieve a turbo frequency of 3.9 GHz. It has a TDP of 65 Watts and won’t take a lot of power either. It is manufactured with the 12nm lithography manufacturing process. It supports 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes and under intense working loads, the temps won’t cross 65 degrees.

Its multi-core performance is quite decent. The only downside is that it doesn’t come with integrated graphics which is why you will need to pair it up with a mid-tier GPU such as a GTX 970. Pairing it up with a GTX 970 will not result in any sort of bottleneck and you will be able to extract the full performance out of your GPU.

Intel Core i5 10400F (Image credit: Amazon)

Intel Core i5 10400F

Best Affordable CPU for GTX 970

With AMD’s success in the processor market, Intel had to do quite a bit of brainstorming and quickly as their share was going down in the market and they had to come up with a solution to retain their consumer base. Intel’s answer was the Comet Lake or the 10th generation processors launched in the second quarter of 2020.

The Core i5 10400F is the mid-range processor by Intel that comes with 6 cores and 12 threads and with a 65W TDP. The base clocks have been clocked at 2.9 GHz but the Turbo clocks can reach speeds up to 4.3 GHz which will translate into phenomenal game performance. It supports up to 128 GB of DDR4 RAM which can be clocked at 2666 MHz. This means that it’s an all-purpose processor which will handle all kinds of workloads such as gaming, editing, streaming, and rendering, without breaking a sweat.

Since it’s a mid-range processor there isn’t much overclocking potential but the 4.3 GHz boost clocks still rack up enough power to handle the most intense loads. Pairing it with a GTX 970 will not result in any form of bottlenecks and you will be able to run most modern titles with relative ease. The processor shines in CPU-dependent games such as Valorant where it delivers more than 150 FPS on the medium preset. It is particularly aimed at budget gamers who are looking for a price to performance processor on a limited budget.

Intel Core i5 9400F (Image credit: Amazon)

Intel Core i5 9400F

Best Cheap CPU for GTX 970

If you are a budget gamer and want a processor that offers a great price to performance ratio then you should go for the mid-range i5 offering by Intel, the i5 9400f. It also supports a wide variety of motherboards such as the Intel B360, H370, H310, Q370, Z390, and Z370, which will help you in building a diverse PC.

The processor comes with 6 cores and 6 threads. It has a base clock of 2.8 GHz and can reach turbo frequencies of 4.1 GHz which is more than enough to deliver those extra frames in games. Since its an F variant the processor doesn’t come with integrated graphics, but since you will be pairing it with a GTX 970, it can be overlooked. The processor will perform quite decently at the 1080p resolution and will give you around 60 FPS in almost all modern titles. Although you might need to do some tweaking in the latest titles, it will get the job done.

The only downside is that the processor doesn’t come with Overclocking potential, but then again it’s a mid-range processor designed for the budget gamer instead of the enthusiast class. The processor will shine in a PC built designed for 1080p gaming. But if you want to go for productivity it might not be the ideal choice. Nonetheless, it’s an excellent choice for a processor that will not hinder the GTX 970 GPU when paired with it.

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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