The Nvidia special address at CES announced a number of new GPUs. But one particular GPU that was expected, failed to make an appearance. Instead of the RTX 3080 12GB, we instead saw the RTX 3080 Ti laptop GPU. But Nvidia wasn't done there. Instead, a few days later, they very quietly released the RTX 3080 12GB after all. And they did so with almost no fanfare whatsoever. So in case you missed it, we've put together this guide, to explain some of the key specifications of the new GPU, so you can see for yourself exactly what's on offer.
How Many Teraflops is the RTX 3080 12GB?
First, a quick summary of exactly what a teraflop is, and why it matters. Surprisingly, it has nothing to do with the way aquatic reptiles enter the water. A teraflop is the ability to make one billion 'flops' (floating point operations) per second. And generally speaking, the more teraflops a GPU has, the more calculations it can perform each second. This then translates to faster performance as a result. And yes, there are other factors at play. But we want to keep things simple.
For reference, the RTX 3080 10GB variant has 29.8 teraflops, while the RTX 3080 Ti offers 34.1. Unsurprisingly, the 3080 12GB sits somewhere in between, at 30.6 teraflops. So in theory at least, we can expect this to perform a little faster than the 10GB variant.
How Many Gigabytes is the RTX 3080 12GB?
Again, in the spirit of keeping things clear and simple, the more memory, the better. It usually means a GPU can hold more data, and this translates to higher graphical fidelity - higher resolutions and better texture quality for example.
There won't be any shocks to learn that the RTX 3080 12GB has - yes - 12GB of VRAM, compared to 10 on the 3080 10GB GPU. The 12GB is the same as the RTX 3080 Ti. All three GPUs use GDDR6X memory, the fastest currently available.
Crucially, the memory bandwidth sees a jump from 760GB/s in the 10GB GPU, rising to 912GB/s in the 12GB version. This is a significant difference, and will be valuable when it comes to playing games at ultra-high resolutions.
Anything Else Worth Knowing?
In terms of other specifications, the RTX 3080 12GB comes with 8960 CUDA cores, compared to 8704 on the 10GB. TDP has also gone up from 320W to 350W, so this is going to be an energy-hungry GPU.
Price-wise, things get pretty ugly, pretty quickly. The likes of EVGA has the 3080 12GB listed for $1299.99, while Asus has suggested an RRP of 1639 and 1519 Euros for the two variants it will be offering. These are pretty steep prices, all things considered. Most likely it is a combination of a worldwide chip shortage, and the knowledge that crypto miners will be prepared to pay a premium. Realistically, these GPUs are not going to be easy to come by for the vast majority of people.