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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  • catavalon21 - Tuesday, October 18, 2022 - link

    Future plc owns, or controls, or publishes - not sure the exact word - both Tom's and AnandTech which they picked up from Purch in 2018. Tom's is a corporate entity now like AT.
  • Oxford Guy - Sunday, October 30, 2022 - link

    Every business that is based on the Internet is a corporate entity.
  • catavalon21 - Sunday, October 30, 2022 - link

    Fair enough, I could have worded it better. Maybe "large corporation" versus "small business" would have been better. You are correct.
  • Hrel - Wednesday, October 19, 2022 - link

    Hey Nvidia, I'm still NEVER going to spend more than $200 on a GPU. I'm far from alone on that commitment. I don't know where you get off charging 1K Dollars for a single component in a computer that as a WHOLE should cost $1,000 but I hope someone at your company can understand how insane that is.

    Remember when you guys launched the 8800GT? What was the price for that GPU 6 months after release? 9 months? Roughly $130. It played EVERYTHING out at that time on max settings or effectively max settings.

    You aren't 10% over that, you aren't 100% over that. You are NINE HUNDRED AND TWENTY THREE PERCENT over that! There is simply no economic, engineering, or developmental reason that could EVER justify a 923% increase in price.

    IDK, maybe it really is just the end of the world. But I hope not. I hope the people making these insane things happen wake up and stop before everything really does come crashing down. Old small homes need to be available for 40-60k. Used cars that are really only good for getting around town need to cost less than 2K. Yes, this means no EV's. Graphics cards need to be available at under $200.

    Maybe fire your executive board? To get your overhead down. I mean, if they can't even realize giving 2 entirely different GPU's the same name is stupid then they really can't be trusted to make any decisions at all. I mean come on, even a 2 year old can figure out that two entirely different things should not have the same name.
  • nandnandnand - Wednesday, October 19, 2022 - link

    Your red line of $200 is under the BOM costs for some of these GPUs. You are alone in this fight.
  • Oxford Guy - Wednesday, October 19, 2022 - link

    I think you missed the satire.
  • Oxford Guy - Wednesday, October 19, 2022 - link

    Large corporations are much better than two-year-olds at using inflation to disguise larger margin increases.
  • AnnonymousCoward - Saturday, October 29, 2022 - link

    When a bunch of Democrats in government decide to spend multiple trillions of dollars (all on loan) while handing out thousands of dollars to every citizen, INFLATION is gonna hit! Stupid policy.
  • Oxford Guy - Sunday, October 30, 2022 - link

    Meanwhile, Reagan brought America to the $1 trillion debt mark and W Bush brought America to $2 trillion and $3 trillion.

    Thanks, though, for playing the game of pretending that plutocracy's two biggest brand names are substantively different.
  • twtech - Tuesday, November 1, 2022 - link

    Based on the specs, this might be a rare case where the top-end card is the bargain in the lineup. Usually the X090 is not much faster than the X080, but it appears that won't be the case here. I'd take those MS Flight Simulator benchmarks shown with a grain of salt, as they probably won't be representative across all games.

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