There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding the newly revealed Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 12GB version, and it looks like the company has finally given in to the proverbial pressure and made an unexpected decision.
Nvidia (opens in new tab) announced that it would ‘unlaunch’ the 12GB RTX 4080. According to the official post, the reason for the ‘release’ is that “the RTX 4080 12GB is a fantastic graphics card, but it doesn’t have the right name. Having two GPUs with the 4080 designation is confusing.”
The 16GB version of the graphics card is still releasing on November 16th, however, with the announcement stating that it’s “amazing and on track to delight gamers everywhere”.
What happened to the RTX 4080 12GB?
There was much controversy around the 12GB RTX 4080 and its specs, especially considering the high starting price of $899. When compared to the 16GB version, we even found that the graphics cards used two different chips: the 16GB has the chip AD103 GPU while the 12GB uses the AD104 chip.
Not only that, but the 4080 has 2048 fewer CUDA cores, less cache memory and a smaller bus width. While we don’t have the card to test at the moment, this would likely result in a 20-25% performance difference between the 12GB and 16GB versions. This is a big difference for models with the same 4080 brand. And there were also benchmark leaks of Overclock3D that support this proposed performance difference.
This led many to believe that the 12GB 4080 was a 4070 in disguise, with an overinflated price tag. Judging by the mediocre performance and the fact that Nvidia delayed its launch with a rebrand on the horizon, there’s a lot of credence to this theory. I hope an error of this magnitude doesn’t happen again.