When NVIDIA’s RTX 4000-series lineup of graphics cards was first announced, we were treated to three GPUs. We had the RTX 4090, which is now making its way to the hands of customers, and we had, confusingly, two RTX 4080 cards with different specs. NVIDIA is now “unlaunching” the lower-end one.
NVIDIA has announced that the version of the RTX 4080 with 12GB of VRAM won’t be seeing the light of day after all. Instead, only the 16GB version will be available when the card launches on November 16th. NVIDIA says that it’s a fantastic GPU, but it doesn’t make much sense to launch it under the RTX 4080 branding since having two GPUs with the same exact designation can be confusing to users.
The move makes sense. The 12GB and 16GB versions of the RTX 4080 differed in much more than just VRAM. The 16GB version has 9,728 CUDA cores, while the 12GB version would’ve had 7,680. This means that not only were you getting less RAM, but actually, a weaker GPU that would’ve performed worse in games than its 16GB counterpart — a difference many confused users wouldn’t have been aware of, given both cards would’ve been sold as the RTX 4080.
The RTX 4080’s 12GB version would’ve cost $900 if it were to launch next month, and users that are looking to buy a 4080 are left with only the 16GB version, which will start at $1,200. As for what will happen to the card that was once the RTX 4080 12GB, we’re not sure. It might not see the light of day at all, or NVIDIA might opt to launch it in the future under another name — perhaps as an RTX 4070 or a 4070 Ti.
The RTX 4080 16GB is on track to launch soon, but if $1,200 is too much for you, you’ll need to buy an RTX 3000 card or wait until NVIDIA puts out lower-end GPUs (which will still be able to take advantage of things like DLSS 3), something that will probably happen in 2023.
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