It’s been a week since Nvidia unveiled the all-new RTX 3090 Ti and RTX 3050 graphics cards in their CES 2022 special keynote. But, their GPU launch saga continues to rage the market, as they launched yet another card today. It is a subtly improved version of the massively popular but hard-to-score graphics card, the RTX 3080. The new launch features 12 GB of GDDR6X VRAM, compared to the 10 GB card it initially released with. However, this launch is rather controversial because it is based on the same GA102 GPU as the initial RTX 3080, the RTX 3080 Ti, the RTX 3090, and the RTX 3090 Ti.
This means that these cards are going to be even rarer as more and more products start putting pressure on the same silicon. When the RTX 3080 launched back in 2020, it seemed to be the sweetest deal for gamers. That card beat the last-gen flagship, the RTX 2080 Ti, by a huge margin at a lucrative price tag of $699. For several gamers, this was the card to replace their aging Pascal GTX 1080 Ti or other cards that were starting to show their age at that point.
But, thanks to the worldwide semiconductor shortage and rampant scalping of the newest silicon in the market, the cards became extremely hard to find. New stocks disappeared within moments of being listed and were sold for 5 times their MSRP on sites like eBay, Craigslist, Gumtree, etc.
Thus, several thousands of gamers are waiting to get their hands on the RTX 3080 even to date. It has been almost 15 months since that card launched. If Nvidia truly cared for gamers, their motive should have been to increase the production of the RTX 3080. Instead, they went out and announced more cards like the RTX 3090 Ti or the RTX 3080 12 GB to increase pressure on the already scantly available GA102 GPU. But, being a multi-billion dollar company, Nvidia can and does not care about anything other than competition and keeping their investors happy.
Anyway, the new 12 GB variant of the RTX 3080 has 2 more VRAM chips based on a slightly larger bus interface of 384-bit as compared to the 320-bit of the RTX 3080. It has slightly more CUDA cores, 8,960 as compared to the original 3080’s 8,704. The increased bus interface results in a slightly larger bandwidth of 912 GB/s as compared to the RTX 3080 10 GB’s 760 GB/s.
The 12 GB variant of the 3080 will get no founder’s edition. Although that is not 100% confirmed, we are only listing from third-party partners till now.
|RTX 3080 10 GB||RTX 3080 12 GB|
|Lithography||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm|
|Number of CUDA Cores||8,704||8,960|
|Streaming Multiprocessors (SMs)||68||70|
|Memory Size||320 bit||384 bit|
|Memory Bus Interface||GDDR6X||GDDR6X|
|Memory Speed||19 Gbps||19 Gbps|
|Memory Bandwidth||760 GB/s||912 GB/s|
|TDP||320 W||350 W|
The slight bump in specs that the RTX 3080 12 GB is seeing will translate to about 5% improved performance in games. This does make this new card an even meaner gaming machine, but in a market ruled by scalpers and cryptocurrency miners, only the hash rate of the card will determine factors like pricing and availability.
The RTX 3080 12 GB is available for purchase and pre-order starting from today, 12th January 2022. Again, the card doesn’t seem to be getting Founder’s Edition from Nvidia, so, we don’t have an official confirmation of what the MSRP should be. However, the card has already been listed at prices of over the RTX 3090′ MSRP, and that is surprising.
The launch of several new cards has brought a lot of backlash to the manufacturer. Although improvement in technology is appreciated, the current market trends destroy the spirit in which these cards are produced.