In a surprise move, Nvidia is pulling the plug on the upcoming GeForce RTX 4080 12GB graphics card by ‘unlaunching’ it. One of the best graphics cards will no longer receive a cut-down version.
Today, Nvidia has said: “The RTX 4080 12GB is a fantastic graphics card, but it’s not named right. Having two GPUs with the 4080 designation is confusing. So, we’re pressing the “unlaunch” button on the 4080 12GB. The RTX 4080 16GB is amazing and on track to delight gamers everywhere on November 16th. If the lines around the block and enthusiasm for the 4090 is any indication, the reception for the 4080 will be awesome.”
|GeForce||RTX 4090||RTX 4080|
|Launch date||Oct 2022||Nov 2022||Nov 2022|
|Architecture||Ada Lovelace||Ada Lovelace||Ada Lovelace|
|Die size (mm2)||608.5||378.6||294.5|
|SMs||128 of 144||76 of 80||60 of 60|
|Boost clock (MHz)||2,520||2,505||2,610|
|Peak FP32 TFLOPS||82.6||48.7||40.1|
|Memory size (GB)||24||16||12|
|Memory bus (bits)||384||256||192|
|Memory clock (Gbps)||21||22.4||21|
|L1 cache (MB)||16||9.5||7.5|
|L2 cache (MB)||72||64||48|
|Launch MSRP ($)||1,599||1,199||899|
Partners Get Hurt
As shown on the right, GeForce RTX 4080 appeared to be the odd man out in the initial Ada Lovelace-powered trio. Built from the smallest die possible, AD104, many commentators, including Club386, reckoned it should have been named GeForce RTX 4070, better befitting its specifications. That message appears to have gotten back to Nvidia HQ, going by today’s announcement.
Fair play to whoever made the call to bench RTX 4080 12GB for the time being; it’s a brave one, but it’s also the right one, as having two cards using the same name, but rather different in makeup and performance, doesn’t help the consumer and risks reputational damage.
The move will hurt add-in card partners the most, of course, as there is no Founders Edition model planned for RTX 4080 12GB. Let’s see if Nvidia goes back to the drawing board and releases this GPU later with the expected RTX 4070/RTX 4060 Ti name.
Another strand that may have forced Nvidia’s hand is, by all accounts, there are plenty of RTX 30 Series cards still sitting in the channel. What better way of ensuring they look more attractive than by removing the $899 GeForce RTX 4080 12GB option from the equation altogether?