Best GPU for i9-11900k: Complete Buying Guide for 2023

Intel’s newest flagship processor, the i9-11900k just came online a few weeks back. The flagship processor was labeled as a replacement for the i9-10900k. The chip belongs to Intel’s Rocket Lake-S series for Desktop CPUs. With this processor now making its way onto the market, PC enthusiasts all around the world are looking to snag themselves a piece. If you were interested in the release, you might be wondering, what is the best GPU for i9-11900k? This review is all about, how you can pick a GPU for i9-11900k and a list of the top picks in the market as of now.

The i9-11900k

 The i9-11900k is in a tough spot right now. With its performance being just acceptable, those who own it are looking to back up their newly brought processors with all they got. If you are an owner of one, then this might help you to make your pick. The right combination of GPU and CPU could save you a thick wad of cash in the long run while keeping your system’s performance at its peak

Factors to consider when buying a GPU

It is important to do your research when buying a GPU for your system as it can heavily tip the scales in your favour. With new architectures making their way to the market, every new generation of GPU will bring something new to the table. As always our goal should be to consider the factors and build a system whose components do not bottleneck performance.

The Architecture 

Older GPUs have older architectures, while newer ones have the latest technology, typically delivering better performance. Nvidia’s latest architecture, Ampere, outperforms the 2000 series by a significant margin. The 3000 series features Nvidia’s third-gen tensor cores and second-gen RT cores, reducing GPU prices while enhancing performance. AMD’s big Navi series, with the new RDN2 architecture, competes with and sometimes surpasses the 3000 series in benchmarks.

Size and TDP

When building a PC, many newcomers overlook the size and TDP (Thermal Design Power) of the GPU (graphics card). TDP indicates the maximum power a component can use and the heat it generates. Generally, a higher TDP means more power but also more heat. High TDP GPUs produce a lot of heat, which standard cooling fans may not handle well. If you combine this with a small PC case, you’ll face issues.

To avoid problems, plan. Choose a GPU that fits your build, or adjust your build to accommodate your preferred GPU. Always pair a high TDP GPU with a strong cooling system and a large PC case.

GPU Memory

Many overlook video memory when choosing a GPU, but it’s crucial. Video memory stores data that brings your screen to life, including textures and anti-aliasing. It’s key for running programs smoothly.

We suggest choosing a GPU with at least half the memory of your system’s total memory. For avid gamers or those wanting to play new games, opt for a high-end GPU with plenty of video memory. This ensures you can enjoy games at high resolutions and with detailed textures.

Ray Tracing

Ray tracing is the next big thing in video games. Even though the technology is not fully developed, game developers are already implementing the concept in their titles. The 3000 series by Nvidia was released as a cost-efficient way to experience ray tracing. The concept is based on mimicking lighting in video games to that of real life. Even though it sounds simple, it is incredibly difficult to implement in real time. This is why games such as Cyberpunk 2077 had so much hype. It is no doubt that ray tracing will further evolve over the next few years and it is always better to have a GPU that can handle it.


TFLOPS is the shortened term for Trillions of Floating operations per Second. This value signifies how fast a GPU is. This value gives the best judgment when two cards of the same architecture are put in place. It is not that reliable when measuring speed across different architectures.


Higher bandwidth means more information can be exchanged and presented. Cards with higher bandwidths are often faster than others. Taking for example the GTX 1650 DDR6 and the GTX 1650 DDR5, the first is 15% faster than the latter due to higher bandwidth on its part.

AMD Vs Nvidia

AMD and Nvidia are the top GPU manufacturers. Recently, AMD has caught up with Nvidia, becoming a strong competitor. AMD’s latest, the Big Navi from the 6000 series, challenges Nvidia’s 3000 series. Many say Big Navi offers better value.

For powerful processors like the i9-11900k, high-end GPUs from AMD or Nvidia are ideal. Older GPUs might limit the processor’s performance.

Best GPU for i9-11900k: Top choices

We researched for you! Below are our topic picks for the best GPUs in the market. We believe these models complement the i9-11900k better than the others.

Most Suitable – Nvidia RTX 3080

Nvidia RTX 3080

The Nvidia RTX 3080 is a cost-effective choice for the i9-11900k, excelling in 4K gaming and ray tracing. It’s a middle option between the RTX 3090 and RTX 3070, balancing performance and cost well. Priced much lower than the RTX 3090, it still handles 4K gaming well, though 8K might be a stretch.

The RTX 3080’s introduction of 10GB GDDR6X memory marked a significant performance leap, especially compared to the 2080Ti. It’s larger and heavier than previous models, fitting in a mid-ATX case, but may require a GPU bracket to prevent sagging. Its TDP is 320W.

In tests, the RTX 3080 has excelled in top games like Cyberpunk 2077 at 4K with Ray Tracing, achieving stable 60FPS on ultra settings.

For most gamers, the RTX 3080 is a better choice than the pricier RTX 3090, offering sufficient power without overstretching the budget.

  • Best Ray tracing GPU range in the market
  • Not that expensive
  • Dongle in the RTX 3080 can get troublesome

Most Suitable – AMD RX 6800 XT

AMD RX 6800 XT

If you are a fan of AMD and prefer Red over Green, then the AMD RX 6800 XT is the best GPU for i9-11900k. We believe the GPU is better than the 3080 and comes close to the 3090 in certain areas. And it does all this at a lower price tag.

AMD RX 6800 XT is the high-end big brother of the Big Navi. Constructed out of AMD’s brand new RDN2 architecture, the RX 6900 XT is the perfect GPU for Intel’s powerhouse. The GPU comes with a brand new feature known as the Infinity cache, which justifies the use of DDR6 VRAM over DDR6X which is used in the RTX 3080.

With a game clock speed of 2015 MHz, the GPU can hold its ground against the most demanding applications or games. It also has a boost clock speed that can give a temporary increase to its performance. The boost clock speed is not designed for prolonged use and is only available for short bursts of speed.

The RX 6800 XT comes with a power rating of 300W, but the tests that were conducted do not show a value greater than 295W, which is great. Pairing this up with a dedicated cooling rig could increase performance when used for 4K gaming. 

We should not forget that AMD BIg Navi GPUs come with SAM and RAGE MODE. These are performance-enhancing features that can juice up your system for optimal performance. The ray-tracing technology used by AMD is still not on par with Nvidia, but we believe there will be improvements along the way. After all, this is their first line of RT GPUs, and they are already giving Nvidia a run for their money.

Most Suitable - AMD RX 6800 XT
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Most Suitable - AMD RX 6800 XT
  • Game Clock: Up to 1950 MHz
  • Boost Clock: Up to 2170 MHz
  • Radeon VR Ready Premium
  • Video Streaming up to 8K
  • Infinity Cache
  • Good TDP ratios
  • Ray tracing still not up to Nvidia standards

Mid-Tier Nvidia RTX 3070

Nvidia RTX 3070

The Nvidia RTX 3070, the smaller sibling of the RTX 3080, offers significant improvements over the 2000 series but doesn’t match the RTX 3080. It’s the most affordable GPU that won’t limit your system’s potential.

The RTX 3070 outperforms Nvidia’s older Turing GPUs with more Teraflops and cores than the 2080 Ti, though it has less memory and bandwidth. Nvidia claims it beats the 2080 Ti, and this mostly holds true.

The RTX 3070 has a core speed of 1500 MHz, boostable to 1700 MHz, but prolonged boosting can cause overheating. Its TDP is 220W, 100 watts less than the RTX 3080, reflecting its slightly lower power.

With 5888 CUDA cores across 46 multiprocessors, the RTX 3070 packs significant power. The increase in CUDA cores gives it an edge, leading to better raw rasterization performance than the 2080 Ti.

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  • Lower TDP than most GPUs
  • Raw rasterization potential is higher than the 2080 Ti
  • More Teraflops and Cores than the famous 2080Ti
  • Requires 12 pin connector
  • Only 8GB DDR6 VRAM

Mid-Tier RX 6800 XT

RX 6800 XT

Even though it is not as powerful as the RX 6800 XT, we believe the RX 6800 deserves the spot as the best mid-tier AMD GPU for i9-11900k. With a price tag that’s even below that of the RTX 3080, the RX 6800 is a strong pick amongst the Big Navi.

The RX 6800 manages to outclass the RTX 3070 in almost every possible way. The only category in which the RTX 3070 manages to bare its teeth is the 4K gaming section. Nvidia is still very much ahead of AMD in terms of ray tracing, so it is quite obvious that it will do well here.

The game clock of the RX 6800 is 1815 MHz, and it can be boosted to 2105 MHz when needed. The GPU has both SAM and RAGE MODE, which can further increase performance given the circumstances. The TDP rating of the GPU is 250W which is acceptable given how much power it packs.

For the most part, the RX 6800 can provide a solid 4K gaming experience at 60 FPS. But, it might lag when it comes to ray tracing. The ray-tracing quality of AMD is not terrible, but it is just not up there with Nvidia. Playing with ray tracing enabled on 4K is going to be difficult.

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  • Beats the RTX 3070 in most segments
  • Great value for money
  • Works well with 4K resolution
  • Ray tracing not up to Nvidia’s standard

Entry-Tier Bottlenecks

We do not recommend going with an entry-level GPU for i9-11900k. This might severely hinder the processor’s potential. If you are on a tight budget and want to save up on cash, the RTX 3070 is the way to go. It is better to save up and go with a mid-tier GPU rather than getting stuck on an old-generation graphics card that will deliver sub-par performance.

What is the best GPU for i9-11900k?

It was a tough battle between the RTX 3080 and the AMD RX 6800 XT, but we crowned the RTX 3080 at the end. Both the RTX 3080 and the AMD RX 6800 XT are great GPUs that have amazing benchmark scores. However, the RTX 3080 manages to outclass the latter in three key areas.

Thanks to its superior architecture, the RTX 3080 comes alive at 4K resolutions, where it finally speeds ahead of the RX 6800 XT. Not to mention the Nvidia graphics card handles ray tracing much better than its rivaling AMD GPU. The lack of DLSS also gives Nvidia an edge over the Red company.

Unless you have money to burn( if you do, then the RTX 3090 is the best choice, hands down), it is best to go with the RTX 3080 as the GPU for i9-11900k.

About denis

Denis, aka "The PC Wizard", is a self-proclaimed computer whisperer. When he's not busy herding motherboards or taming rebellious RAM, he loves to write in-depth articles about PC components and building. He claims that the secret to his technical prowess lies in the number of caffeinated beverages he consumes daily. If you've ever wondered who to call when your computer throws a tantrum, look no further than Denis – our very own tech-sorcerer.

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