NVIDIA has decided to cancel the November 2022 launch of the GeForce RTX 4080 12 GB. The company will relaunch the card under a different name, though it didn’t announce the replacement name just yet. The naming of the RTX 4080 12 GB was cause for much controversy.
With the RTX 40-series “Ada,” NVIDIA debuted three SKUs—the already launched RTX 4090 which is in stores right now; the RTX 4080 16 GB, and the RTX 4080 12 GB. Memory size notwithstanding, the RTX 4080 12 GB is a vastly different graphics card from the RTX 4080 16 GB.
The RTX 4080 12 GB and RTX 4080 16 GB didn’t even share the same silicon. While the 16 GB model is based on the larger “AD103” silicon, has 9,728 CUDA cores, and a 256-bit wide GDDR6X memory bus; the RTX 4080 12 GB is based on the smaller “AD104” silicon, has just 7,680 CUDA cores (21% fewer CUDA cores); and a meager 192-bit wide GDDR6X memory bus.
This had the potential to confuse buyers, especially given the $900 price. With criticism spanning not just social media but also bad press, NVIDIA decided to pull the plug on the RTX 4080 12 GB.
The company will likely re-brand it as a successor to the RTX 3070 Ti, although then it will have a hard time justifying its $900 price-tag. The RTX 4080 16 GB, however, is on track for a November 16 availability date, with a baseline price of $1,200.
Nvidia unveiled the 4000 series with the 4090 along with 16GB and 12GB 4080 variants, but VRAM isn’t the only difference between the two. Different CUDA core counts led many to accuse the 12GB 4080 of being a $900 4070 in disguise, suggesting an 80 percent price increase from the 3070, which launched at $500 in 2020.