Nvidia will likely be “unlaunching” the 12 GB mannequin of its RTX 4080 graphics card, the corporate introduced Friday. The information comes simply weeks after the corporate revealed the product as a part of a brand new line of GPUs. In a short weblog publish, Nvidia didn’t present a lot context for the choice past saying that the cardboard was “not named right.”
Nvidia introduced two — nicely, technically three — new GPUs in late September, the RTX 4090 and RTX 4080. The latter can be out there in two variations, Nvidia stated: a mannequin with 16 GB of video reminiscence and one with 12 GB.
Based on that, one would possibly assume that the RAM can be the one distinction between the 2 RTX 4080 variants. However, that was not the case — the GPUs had been to characteristic significantly completely different specs. The 16 GB mannequin has 9,728 CUDA cores, a rise of greater than 26% over the 12 GB card’s 7,680 cores. And whereas each fashions had GDDR6X reminiscence, the RAM within the 12 GB variant was slower, with decrease reminiscence bandwidth. As we put it in our write-up of Nvidia’s 40-series GPU announcement, it may be higher to think about the 12 GB mannequin “as an entry-level RTX 4080 that’s closer to a RTX 4070.5” somewhat than a real high-powered RTX 4080.
“Having two GPUs with the 4080 designation is confusing,” Nvidia acknowledged Friday.
The two RTX 4080 fashions had been priced in accordance with their specs — the 16 GB model would begin at $1,199, whereas the 12 GB mannequin would begin at $899. Nvidia’s choice to tug the cheaper card leaves solely two extraordinarily costly GPUs within the firm’s 40-series line: The RTX 4090, which launched earlier this week, begins at an eye-watering $1,599. It’s lots to swallow when the steep costs of those new graphics playing cards have already led PC players to precise concern over with the ability to afford them.
The way forward for the 12 GB RTX 4080 stays unclear; all that Nvidia stated was that the corporate can be “unlaunching” it. (While we’re right here, it’s value noting that neither mannequin of the RTX 4080 has truly launched but — each had been scheduled to debut in November.)
“Unlaunching” might imply that Nvidia will completely shelve the 12 GB card. It’s additionally potential that Nvidia will merely rebrand this GPU in a means that feels extra consultant of its specs. The firm presumably has plans for lower-powered 40-series graphics playing cards sooner or later — an RTX 4070, RTX 4060, and so on. — so maybe this one might slot into that development someplace.
Polygon has reached out to Nvidia for additional context on its choice and clarification on the way forward for the 12 GB RTX 4080. We’ll replace this text with any info we obtain.