Nvidia Cancels Cheapest PC Graphics Card, Leaving Only Priciest
If you were planning to buy a new 40-series Nvidia GPU this year, you might need to save up even more money than planned. That’s because the GPU manufacturer has confirmed its plans to “unlaunch” the previously planned, and cheaper, 12GB RTX 4080 model. Instead, now, only the more expensive and faster 16GB RTX 4080 will launch next month.
A few weeks ago, following many rumors and much speculation, Nvidia finally announced its next series of high-end PC graphics cards. The plan then was to launch two different flavors of RTX 4080 GPUs in November: the 16GB RTX 4080 ($1199) and a 12GB RTX 4080 ($899). It also announced a $1600 4090 during that same event. These prices went over about as well as you might expect, with many claiming they were too expensive. And now the “cheapest” of these new, pricey cards isn’t even launching next month.
As announced today by Nvidia, the company is “unlaunching” the 12GB RTX 4080. It claims this is because, while the card is “fantastic,” it’s too “confusing” to have two different GPUs that are both designated “RTX 4080.” This echoes criticism that arose from many consumers after the recent 40-series announcements; many suggested that the clearly lower specs of the 12GB RTX 4080 were more akin to a theoretical “4070” or “4079” card.
Kotaku has contacted Nvidia about the cancelation and the future of the 12GB RTX 4080 model.
“So, we’re pressing the ‘unlaunch’ button on the 4080 12GB,” said Nvidia in a short statement posted on the company’s official website. “The RTX 4080 16GB is amazing and on track to delight gamers everywhere on November 16th.”
Of course, it’s hard not to see this move as a way for Nvidia to push more of its customers—many of whom have been holding off on buying a new GPU for a few years now while cards remained hard to buy—into spending more money on a pricier card. And while initial previews of the cheaper 12GB 4080 had shown it to be considerably slower than the more expensive 16GB version, it was still nice to have at least one option that cost under $1,000. But that’s now gone. What will happen remains to be seen, but perhaps Nvidia will actually end up rebranding the 12GB RTX 4080s into 4070s.