With the release of the i9 series of processors by Intel, the i7 was replaced as the most powerful CPU available in their lineup.
However, when it comes to gaming, you don’t always need the very best processor available; more often than not, it is your GPU’s power that serves as a gate to limit the performance of your games.
So, as long as you get a decently good GPU, you don’t have to pay huge amounts for an i9 processor; you can just get an i7 – with the latest version being the i7-9700K.
The i7 9700K has quickly become one of the mainstays for CPUs catering towards gamers, as it offers all of the power needed to run pretty much any game, but at far less cost than most other PCUs. In essence, the i7 has become the premier gaming CPU.
So, to help make your gaming build setup even easier, here is a list of the three very best GPUs for your i7-9700K build – depending on your particular needs.
Best GPUs for i7-9700K – My Recommendations
Best Overall Value GPU for i7-9700K
Figuring out the ‘best’ GPU for a specific CPU is a surprisingly large challenge because it isn’t just about raw power, but a careful balance of features, price, and usability.
You can pick up the most powerful GPU ever, but if your CPU can’t make the best use out of it, what’s the point?
With that in mind, perhaps the best option for GPU for the i7-9700k is the GTX 1080 Ti.
But wait, I hear you ask – the 1080 Ti? Isn’t that the ultra powerful, incredibly expensive GPU that was the hot ticket a few years ago?
Here’s the thing; the 1080 Ti used to be the very best thing since sliced bread. If you built your PC in 2017, the chances are that everyone you knew was desperately trying to convince you to get a 1080 Ti, as it was the very best thing on offer at the time, assuming you didn’t want to remortgage your house to get a Titan X.
However, the GPU market is constantly changing, with new and improved GPUs coming out all the time. While the 1080 Ti was the pinnacle of graphic card technology at the time, it really isn’t that expensive anymore.
But the thing is, the 1080 Ti is still massively powerful – it can run basically every modern game these days with no problems whatsoever, offering up incredible quality and clock speed for a super reasonable price. Also, according to PC-Builds.com, it is the GPU that best limits your bottleneck potential, ensuring you get decent use out of your GPU’s power.
If you buy a i7 9700K and want to still utilize its power to the fullest, then you shouldn’t really delve below the 1080 Ti in quality; it’s still incredible, but just not as incredible as some of the very best options available these days.
But what if you need to be a bit more conservative with your budget? What GPU should you go for if you are looking for something a bit cheaper?
Best Budget GPU for i7-9700K
Looking for the budget option for your GPU can sometimes feel a bit disheartening because people’s definition of ‘budget’ varies hugely between different people.
While you could certainly get the cheapest GPU available, there is a certain cut off point where you are wasting your CPU’s potential in getting the cheapest GPU imaginable.
So, when looking for a budget GPU for the 9700K, you don’t want to go for the cheapest option, merely the cheapest best option.
With that in mind, consider the RTX 2060 Super.
This is the best GPU when it comes to combining price value and effective capability when gaming. While it might not be able to handle a huge amount of 1440p gaming, if you are fine to stick to 1080p, then you won’t find a better option.
While the base clock speed could be higher, at only a paltry 1470 MHz, the effective boost clock fo 1815 MHz makes it so that it can decently handle most high intensity gaming with minimal problems.
With a surprisingly decent allocation of memory bandwidth of 448 GB/s and 2176 CUDA cores, this GPU can also handle some CUDA rendering if you are interested in working with video editing using your new setup.
If you do have money to burn, however, you might as well get the most powerful thing imaginable. Something like…
Best Enthusiast GPU for i7-9700K Gaming Builds
As the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti was considered the most powerful and viable option for new GPUs a few years ago, so too is its newest update considered the best option nowadays.
While there are more expensive and powerful options, sometimes even reaching into the realms of absurdity with monstrous price tags, it is the RTX 2080 Ti that is perhaps best considered as the enthusiast gaming option for the 9700k.
With a huge 4352 CUDA cores and a massive 78T RTX OPS, this is the card to get if you want to try and play with 4k resolution. The 2080 Ti also represents a huge leap forward in terms of base performance from the 2080, making this an even better investment than any of the other RTX line of cards.
With a new and improved Turing architecture and great Ray tracing capabilities, this GPU might cost a lot, but will certainly future proof you for a long time as well. If you end up getting this GPU, it is doubtful that will feel a need to upgrade it for several years at least.
Thankfully, it comes with a surprisingly decent thermal setup, as well as plentiful tensor cores for DLSS. Ultimately, this GPU is a beast and more than capable of achieving anything you want to achieve with your computer, providing you don’t mind the somewhat frightening price tag.
Just make sure that you ensure you have sufficient wattage to be able to properly run this GPU, as it is a behemoth in power requirement even compared to its predecessor the 1080 Ti.
While there are endless options for GPUs that will fit well with the i7 9700K, there really is only a few options properly worth considering when it comes to balancing price, effectiveness and usability.
People will recommend all sorts of different options for a GPU, but they will be entirely dependent on what they consider to be the most important qualities of their computer.
Whether you are looking for the most powerful option, or the cheapest one, or simply one that is the most efficient, make sure that you know what you are looking for and buy what fits properly for your ending setup.
While it does feel awesome to get the newest and greatest GPU imaginable, make sure you actually have a use for it as well.