Last month when NVIDIA announced the first wave of RTX 40 series GPUs, I briefly mentioned that “the 12GB variant of the RTX 4080 is technically a completely different GPU” compared to its 16GB counterpart. Now, it would appear that the Internet and NVIDIA themselves agree as the RTX 4080 (12GB) was just unlaunched by the company due to naming confusion.
RTX 4080 12GB Unlaunched – Here’s Why!
NVIDIA announced two RTX 4080 variants this time with 12GB of 16GB VRAM. While this seems like a tiny difference if you dig deeper into the specifications, mentioned in my RTX 40 series launch coverage, you’ll see there’s very little similarity between the variants, indicating these are completely different GPUs. Potential customers also noticed this and the company received a lot of backlash about the same.
The differences were in fact so significant that you can clearly tell that it is not a variation of the same GPU and the 12GB model is way less superior compared to its 16GB counterpart. Yes, it’s based on the same Ada Lovelace architecture, but it almost felt like NVIDIA named an RTX 4070 or 4070Ti as the RTX 4080 just so they can price it slightly higher.
However, the users didn’t take this misleading naming scheme well, and the company seems to quickly have realized that if they keep calling the 12GB variant RTX 4080, they won’t be selling those much. So, the so-called “unlaunching” was actually a tactical move for now, and I’m quite sure that it’ll be back with a different name, sometime in the future.
The 16GB RAM variant of the RTX 4080 is going to be available as planned starting November 16th, 2022. The $1199 price will be staying the same though, so if you weren’t a fan of the pricing before, it’s still not going to be any different.
Will they decrease the price of the 12GB variant later on, as it launches with a new name? I’m not exactly sure but considering TSMCs recent price hike for their 8-inch and 12-in wafers and NVIDIA’s pricing policy for the 40-series it seems unlikely at this point.