Rumours are circulating of that Nvidia are planning an upgrade to the popular RTX 3080 line of GPUs. But what exactly are the rumours regarding an NVIDIA RTX 3080 12GB Release? Well, that's exactly what we'll be trying to explain in this little article. So if you're on the market for a new graphics card, but feel like the rumoured RTX 3090 Ti might be a bit rich, then this might be the one for you. Here's what we know.
NVIDIA RTX 3080 12GB Release Date
It's worth pointing out that Nvidia are yet to say anything official to confirm whether the RTX 3080 12GB is indeed in the works. So do bear that in mind, as there are a lot of rumours and conjecture flying around. However, VideoCardz think they have managed to acquire some preliminary information.
The 12GB variant was expected to be announced back on December 17th, with a release date pencilled in for January 11th. Obviously, the first of these didn't happen. Which certainly reduces the likelihood of the second one. We don't know whether Nvidia have decided to wait until CES to make the announcement. They are certainly expected to be announcing other products at the Las Vegas show. It's also possible that the RTX 3080 12GB has been quietly shelved. This could mean it is delayed until after February 1st. This would be consistent with suggestions that the memory boost is a direct response to the Intel Arc Alchemist, which isn't expected until Q2 od 2022.
Alternatively, it may have been cancelled. This may be because Nvidia have other products in the pipeline they want to focus on, or due to the worlwide chip shortage that may have forced them to make some choices about which ones to prioritise.
Whatever the situation, we'll have to wait until an official announcement to know for sure what the situation is.
The same caveats that we applied to the release date of the RTX 3080 12GB also apply to its rumoured specifications. But if the rumours are to be believed, this will sit between the original RTX 3080 (10GB) and the more powerful RTX 3080 Ti. The suggested specs are as follows:
- 70 GPU clusters
- 8960 CUDA cores
- 70 RT cores
- 280 TMUs
- 12GB Memory
- 384-bit Bus
- 19Gbps Clock
- 912 GB/s Bandwidth
If correct, this would suggest significant performance upgrades over the original 10GB version. It would likely be much faster, and the bandwidth speeds match those of the 3080 Ti.
Anything Else Worth Knowing?
Price-wise, it really is a guess as to how much this is likely to cost, if and when it is finally announced. But the original RTX 3080 cost $699/£649 at launch, while the RTX 3080 Ti was $1199/£1049. So you can probably expect the RTX 3080 12GB to fall somewhere in between these two points. That is, of course, before we start factoring in issues such as chip shortages, and scalpers. Another possible issue with this GPU is that it would be a great piece of hardware for cryptocurrency mining. So even if you do want one, there is a question mark over whether you'd actually stand a chance of getting one before they are all bought.
As ever, we'll keep updating this article. So if there are any developments regarding this piece of kit, you'll be the first to know.
Update: RTX 3080 Ti Gaming Laptops Announced
While not exactly the RTX 3080 12GB GPU that was anticipated, Nvidia did announce new RTX 3080 Ti gaming laptops. Which is arguably even more interesting. These laptops are purported to be faster than the desktop Titan RTX, with 16GB "fastest ever" GDDR6.
The laptops themselves will start from $2499 and will be available from February 1st. The technical specs we have so far for the RTX 3080 Ti laptop GPU are as follows:
- 7424 Nvidia CUDA cores
- 16GB GDDR6
- 2nd generation Ray Tracing cores
- 3rd Generation Tensor Cores
Nvidia claims that this GPU can achieve over 120fps at 1440p. They also claimed that features such as 'battery boost' and 'rapid core scaling' will both extend battery life and enhance performance. Rapid core scaling is purported to turn off some cores while overclocking others, leading to up to 3x better performance.
These are some impressive numbers that compare favourably to both the RTX 3080 laptop GPU, and even the desktop RTX 2080 Ti, which was the flagship of the previous generation of GPUs. For reference, this has 11GB of RAM and 4352 CUDA cores.
Of course, it won't be until we see this in action out in the real world that we'll be able to see true benchmark performance. But the raw numbers are certainly encouraging.
Update Number Two: RTX 3080 12GB Announced After All
Well, after saying absolutely nothing about the RTX 3080 12GB at CES, Nvidia has very quietly decided to release it, with select partners being able to sell it immediately. The specs that have been confirmed so far are as follows:
- 8960 CUDA cores
- 272 Tensor Cores
- 70 RT cores
- 70 SMs
- 384-bit memory bus
- 12GB GDDR6X memory
- 19 Gbps memory speed
- 912GB/s memory bandwidth
- 350 watt TGP
These are almost exactly in line with the leaked specifications we highlighted above. And they represent a relatively modest upgrade over the 10GB variant of the RTX 3080. This might explain why this particular GPU didn't earn a mention at the CES presentation.
Price-wise, while consensus indicated that we could expect/hope it to fall somewhere between $699/£649 and $1199/£1049 (these were the launch prices of the RTX 3080 and the RTX 3080 Ti) the reality is somewhat different. A few partners have already released their list prices. And it's fair to say that the consensus was wrong. Brace yourself.
EVGA has listed the 12GB GPU at $1249.99. Asus meanwhile, has listed two variants of the RTX 3080 12GB, at 1639 and 1519 Euros respectively. These are significantly higher prices than even the RTX 3080 Ti, a more powerful GPU. Of course, a worldwide chip shortage will be a factor in this. As will the fact that these companies will expect crypto miners to buy up everything they can, so have probably sensed an opportunity to make some extra profit. And at the time of writing, these GPUs are out of stock. So your chances of actually getting one were pretty slim anyway.
Still, it's nice to know that this GPU does exist. Even if it's going to be almost impossible to get your hands on one.