Nvidia cancels the cheapest PC graphics card, leaving only the most expensive

The RTX 4080 GPU flies through a green and black void.

Image: Nvidia / Kotaku

If you were planning to buy a new Nvidia 40-series GPU this year, you may have to save up even more money than planned. This is because the GPU manufacturer has confirmed its plans to “release” the previously planned and cheaper 12GB RTX 4080 model. Instead, only the more expensive and faster 16GB RTX 4080 will launch next month.

A few weeks ago, after much rumor and speculation, Nvidia has finally announced the next series of high-performance graphics cards for PC.. It was then scheduled to release two different variants of the RTX 4080 GPUs in November: the 16GB RTX 4080 ($1,199) and the 12GB RTX 4080 ($899). At the same event, a prize draw of $1,600,4090 was announced. These prices turned out to be as high as one would expect, and many argued that they were too expensive. And now the “cheapest” of these new and expensive cards won’t even show up next month.

Read more: New Nvidia 40-series graphics cards for PC are damn expensive

As Nvidia announced today, the company is “launching” the 12GB RTX 4080. It claims this is because while the card is “fantastic,” it’s too “confusing” to have two different GPUs, both labeled “RTX 4080.” It resonates criticism from many consumers after the recent announcements of the 40th series; many have speculated that the apparently lower specs of the 12GB RTX 4080 were more like a theoretical “4070” or “4079” card.

Kotaku contacted Nvidia about the cancellation and the future of the 12GB RTX 4080 model.

“So we’re hitting the ‘launch’ button on the 4080 12GB,” Nvidia said in a brief statement posted on the company’s website. “RTX 4080 16GB is great and ready to please gamers around the world on November 16th.”

Of course, it’s hard not to see the move as Nvidia’s way of pushing more of its customers, many of whom have been putting off buying a new GPU for years now. while cards are still hard to buy– spend more money on a more expensive card. And while initial previews of the cheaper 12GB 4080 showed it to be significantly slower than the more expensive 16GB version, it was still nice to have at least one sub-$1,000 option. But this is no longer there. What happens remains to be seen, but perhaps Nvidia will actually rebrand the 12GB RTX 4080s as 4070s.

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