Nvidia ‘Unlaunches’ 12GB GeForce RTX 4080. Oops.     – CNET

Nvidia ‘Unlaunches’ 12GB GeForce RTX 4080. Oops. – CNET

geforce rtx 4080 product photo 001

After some math and pushback by the GeForce community, Nvidia decided to “unlaunch” the 12GB version of the newly announced GeForce RTX 4080, leaving the 16GB model as the only 4080 slated to ship on Nov. 16. 

The fact that the company says “it’s not named right” points to a likely decision to remarket the card as an RTX 4070. I’d expect the rest of the desktop RTX 4000 series models, now including that one, to be announced at CES 2023. 

As announced along with the 16GB model and the RTX 4090, the 12GB version of the RTX 4080 didn’t just have less memory, it had less of everything than the 16GB model: slower, narrower data path, fewer CUDA cores and so on. After analyzing the specs, people claimed that there would be so much of a performance gap between the 12GB and 16GB models to consider them both 4080s, and that the specs really were closer in spirit to where they sat historically to the -70 models than the -80 models.

Nvidia posted on its GeForce news site today:

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.

The post immediately jumped to photos of lines of people waiting for the RTX 4090.

Nvidia is hardly new to the game. So why did it attempt the strategy at all? One speculation that immediately springs to mind is that it wanted an RTX 4000-series model that it could price under $1,000 but still bear the more prestigious “4080” name. Or that could be used to attract buyers for upselling to the 16GB model. Because an RTX 4080 by any other name clearly won’t smell as sweet to some.

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Lori Grunin

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