In a short post published on NVIDIA’s website today, the company has announced that it is “unlaunching” their planned GeForce RTX 4080 12GB card. The lowest-end of the initially announce RTX 40 series cards, the RTX 4080 12GB had attracted significant criticism since it’s announcement for bifurcating the 4080 tier between two cards that didn’t even share a common GPU. Seemingly bowing to the pressure of those complaints, NVIDIA has removed the card from their RTX 40 series lineup, as well as cancelling its November launch.

NVIDIA’s brief message reads as follows:

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.

NVIDIA is not providing any further details about their future plans for the AD104-based video card at this time. However given the circumstances, it’s a reasonable assumption right now that NVIDIA now intends to launch it at a later time, with a different part number.

NVIDIA GeForce Specification Comparison
  RTX 4090 RTX 4080 16GB RTX 4080 12GB
CUDA Cores 16384 9728 7680
ROPs 176 112 80
Boost Clock 2520MHz 2505MHz 2610MHz
Memory Clock 21Gbps GDDR6X 22.4Gbps GDDR6X 21Gbps GDDR6X
Memory Bus Width 384-bit 256-bit 192-bit
Single Precision Perf. 82.6 TFLOPS 48.7 TFLOPS 40.1 TFLOPS
Tensor Perf. (FP16) 330 TFLOPS 195 TFLOPS 160 TFLOPS
Tensor Perf. (FP8) 660 TFLOPS 390 TFLOPS 321 TFLOPS
TDP 450W 320W 285W
L2 Cache 72MB 64MB 48MB
GPU AD102 AD103 AD104
Transistor Count 76.3B 45.9B 35.8B
Architecture Ada Lovelace Ada Lovelace Ada Lovelace
Manufacturing Process TSMC 4N TSMC 4N TSMC 4N
Launch Date 10/12/2022 11/16/2022 Never
Launch Price MSRP: $1599 MSRP: $1199 Was: $899

Taking a look at the specifications of the cards, it’s easy to see why NVIDIA’s core base of enthusiast gamers were not amused. While both RTX 4080 parts shared a common architecture, they did not share a common GPU. Or, for that matter, common performance.

The RTX 4080 12GB, as it was, would have been based on the smaller AD104 GPU, rather than the AD103 GPU used for the 16GB model. In practice, this would have caused the 12GB model to deliver only about 82% of the former’s shader/tensor throughput, and just 70% of the memory bandwidth. A sizable performance gap that NVIDIA’s own figures ahead of the launch have all but confirmed.

NVIDIA, for its part, is no stranger to overloading a product line in this fashion, with similarly-named parts delivering unequal performance and the difference denoted solely by their VRAM capacity. This was a practice that started with the GTX 1060 series, and continued with the RTX 3080 series. However, the performance gap between the RTX 4080 parts was far larger than anything NVIDIA has previously done, bringing a good deal more attention to the problems that come from having such disparate parts sharing a common product name.

Of equal criticism has been NVIDIA’s decision to sell an AD104 part as an RTX 4080 card to begin with. Traditionally in NVIDIA’s product stack, the next card below the xx80 card is some form of xx70 card. And while video card names and GPU identifiers are essentially arbitrary, NVIDIA’s early performance figures painted a picture of a card that would have performed a lot like the kind of card most people would expect from the RTX 4070 – delivering performance upwards of 20% (or more) behind the better RTX 4080, and on-par with the last-generation flagship, the RTX 3090 Ti. In other words, there has been a great deal of suspicion within the enthusiast community that NVIDIA was attempting to sell what otherwise would have been the RTX 4070 as an RTX 4080, while carrying a higher price to match.

In any case, those plans are now officially scuttled. Whatever NVIDIA has planned for their AD104-based RTX 40 series card is something only the company knows at this time. Meanwhile come November 16th when the RTX 4080 series launches, the 16GB AD103-based cards will be the only offerings available, with prices starting at $1199.

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  • Rudde - Saturday, October 15, 2022 - link

    The AD103 die is not much bigger. 379mm² vs 295mm². In the 2000-series, the 2070 used the full 445mm² of the TU106 die and the 2070 super used the larger (545mm²) TU104 die.

    What I find more concerning is that although the x80-series have had a price between $550 and $700 in recent years, nVidia decided to price the 4080 as $900 and $1200, both premiums over earlier pricing. Now only the $1200 card remains, filling the x80 ti price slot with a x80 performance card.
  • catavalon21 - Sunday, October 16, 2022 - link

    Personally, I'm not fine with it, but to each our own. A 192-bit wide memory bus being on anything above a '60 card is nonsense. No 70 or higher card as far back as the 770 ever had such a narrow bus. Even the last 2 generations of sixty-plus cards (2060 Super, 3060 ti) had 256 bit wide memory buses.
  • hansip87 - Sunday, October 16, 2022 - link

    bus width doesn't really matter if those 192 bit card can beat last gen 384 bit ones. would you choose to be stuck at 8GB one more gen for 70 series? cause hell yeah Nvidia doesn't care.
  • meacupla - Friday, October 14, 2022 - link

    Back in 2018, the crypto market crashed, and nvidia had a massive oversupply issue as a result. They had some 300,000 cards returned from the OEMs, as the OEM couldn't sell the GPUs.

    Now I can't find the exact article anymore, but didn't nvidia destroy some of their inventory during this time? I don't remember which exact model they reduced inventory of, but they did it to keep prices from crashing.
    If anyone can find that article, I would appreciate it.
  • beginner99 - Saturday, October 15, 2022 - link

    That is why OEMs aren't allowed to return chips anymore and in fact are forced to buy 3000 series one if they want 4000 series chip. Still wonder why EVGA just left? Yeah because NV was trying to move their losses of overproduction onto the OEMs.
  • Kurosaki - Friday, October 14, 2022 - link

    Why not just sell it as a 4070 for 300usd. Like a normal company would have done 7 years ago?...
  • michael2k - Saturday, October 15, 2022 - link

    Lack of competition is probably why
  • zamroni - Friday, October 14, 2022 - link

    I guess there will be 4080 super and ti using lower binned ad102 at $1300 and $1450.

    4070 ti will use lower binned ad103 at $1000.

    Previously ad104 4080 12GB will be renamed as 4070 super at $850.
    It's lower binned will be 4070 at $700 and 4060 ti at $500
  • Kurosaki - Friday, October 14, 2022 - link

  • web2dot0 - Friday, October 14, 2022 - link

    Gamers : 4080/12gb $900 SCAM

    Nvidia changes names to 4070

    Games 4070/12gb $900 ok fine,


    Come on bruhs. It’s just a stupid name. It’s meaningless once you out it inside your case. It’ll still run the same however they call it

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