Nvidia takes a step back and “unlaunches” the RTX 4080 12GB. The company intended to release two RTX 4080 graphics cards (opens in a new tab) next month, the RTX 4080 12GB and the RTX 4080 16GB, with completely different specifications, but it has now decided against releasing the lower specification card.
“The RTX 4080 12GB is an amazing graphics card, but it’s not named correctly. Having two GPUs with the 4080 name is confusing,” says Nvidia in a surprisingly succinct blog post. (opens in a new tab).
“So, we’re hitting the ‘unlaunch’ button on the 4080 12GB. The RTX 4080 16GB is amazing and on track to delight gamers everywhere on November 16.”
When Nvidia first announced the RTX 4080, we were a little surprised to find that there were two of them on the way. From the name alone, you would think they are two models of the same card with different memory configurations, but they are actually two graphics cards with significantly different specifications.
After Nvidia announced the cards, many called it confusing and questioned why the RTX 4080 12GB isn’t called the RTX 4070 to reflect its lower specs.
Surprisingly, Nvidia took that comment on board and did something I really didn’t expect it to do. Even Nvidia was pretty convinced it was the right call until recently.
“It should be intuitive, right? The 16GB, it’s a better GPU, it’s faster. I don’t think anyone will think that the 16GB is not better than the 4080. [12GB]. We’re going to work to be very clear with our product pages, with our retail space, and anywhere that gamers look at GPUs, so that gamers can choose the GPU that’s right for them,” Justin Walker, senior director of product management at Nvidia said during a press conference about the RTX 40 series cards.
Below is a table of the original RTX 4080 lineup:
|RTX 4080 12GB (“unlaunched”)
|RTX 4080 16GB
|Graphics card power (W)
|Required System Power (W)
|Date of launch
What this means is that we are now only expecting one graphics card next month, the RTX 4080 16GB, and that will arrive on November 16th. Assuming prices stay the same for this card, it will launch for $1,199.
Following that, it’s likely that the card that was once destined to be the RTX 4080 12GB will take on a new guise as the RTX 4070, although we don’t have time for that now. Assuming again that price stays the same, that card will eventually launch for $899. This would potentially make it an expensive xx70 card, so I wonder if that price is now in flux as well.
Nvidia never planned a Founders Edition for the RTX 4080 12GB, which may have made the decision to cancel and reconfigure it a little easier. Although it’s certainly reached a point where some plans are set — Nvidia’s GPU partners have likely ramped up their RTX 4080 12GB cards ready for launch next month. Can many of the specifications of that card now be changed as a result? We will have to wait and see.
If you want a taste of what else is to come from the RTX 40 series cards, you can sink your teeth into our Nvidia RTX 4090 review. (opens in a new tab) right now