Nvidia has unveiled a refreshed version of its GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card, upgrading the GDDR6X video memory from 10GB to 12GB.
The increase in memory results in a new memory interface width of 384-bit, which matches the spec of the more expensive RTX 3080 Ti graphics card. The new graphics card has also seen an boost to its CUDA Core count, rising from 8704 CUDA cores to 8960, which is a 2.9% increase.
And while the boosted clock speed remains the same as the original RTX 3080 GPU, the new 12GB model features a slightly lower base clock speed of 1.26GHz.
The new 12GB model of the RTX 3080 graphics card also has a higher 350W graphics card power, although Nvidia interestingly isn’t recommending a steeper ‘required system power’, remaining at 750W.
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It’s unclear what kind of performance upgrade you’ll get from upgrading from the RTX 3080 10GB to the RTX 3080 12GB, although the improvement is expected to be minor.
There will not be a Founders Edition of this new graphics card, although multiple companies have already launched third-party iterations of the RTX 3080 12GB. Nvidia is yet to reveal an official starting price, so there’s currently a wide rang of prices across the market for the graphics card, with some even exceeding the cost of the RTX 3090.
The timing of the RTX 3080 12GB model’s launch is arguably a little strange, with Nvidia already struggling to meet the demand for the standard edition due to the ongoing chip shortage.
That said, with Nvidia expected to launch its 4000-series graphics cards later this year, it’s running out of time to finish off the existing 3000-series family.
The Trusted Take
It says it all that Nvidia decided to quietly launch the RTX 3080 12GB graphics card rather than to bunch it with the other CES 2022 announcements earlier this year. The increased video memory is certainly welcome, but it’s unlikely result in a significant performance boost. And with Nvidia already struggling to meet the demand of existing graphics cards, it feels a little strange for it to be pushing out new models.
I’d also advise waiting until the end of the year if you want a high-end graphics card, with both AMD and Nvidia expected to launch its next generation of GPUs. They should offer a far greater performance boost.