Nvidia will rebadge its cancelled GeForce RTX 4080 12GB graphics card to GeForce RTX 4070 Ti, according to a well-known leaker with good track record. The move is a logical one, but it now remains to be seen when exactly this Ada Lovelace product is set to hit the market, how much it will cost, and where it ranks among the best graphics cards.
When Nvidia formally announced its GeForce RTX 4080 12GB this September, it was a rather odd graphics card from the start. The board carried Nvidia's AD104 in its full configuration, featuring 7680 CUDA cores and a 192-bit memory interface. Despite its RTX 4080 model number, it was about 30% slower compared to the RTX 4080 16GB, according to Nvidia's own benchmark results.
Following severe criticism from the community, Nvidia cancelled the 4080 12GB without revealing the fate of the fully-fledged AD104 GPU. Apparently, the product will now be called the GeForce RTX 4070 Ti, according to @kopite7kimi, who tends to have accurate information. However, he's not an official source so his information should be taken with a pinch of salt and perhaps a dash of pepper.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 40-Series Specifications
|Row 0 - Cell 0||GPU||FP32 CUDA Cores||Memory Configuration||TBP|
|GeForce RTX 4090||AD102||16384||24GB 384-bit 21 GT/s GDDR6X||450W|
|GeForce RTX 4080||AD103||9728||16GB 256-bit 22.4 GT/s GDDR6X||320W|
|GeForce RTX 4070 Ti||AD104||7680||12GB 192-bit 21 GT/s GDDR6X||285W|
|GeForce RTX 4070||AD104||7168 (?)||10GB 160-bit GDDR6?||?|
The RTX 4070 Ti seems to be a proper name for a product enabled by the AD104 in all of its glory, but the question of when Nvidia will roll it out remains. Typically, Ti-class products follow regular vanilla graphics cards as a refresh, but there are also cases where Nvidia has launched Ti and non-Ti parts concurrently (RTX 2080 Ti and 2080; RTX 3060 Ti). Most of the time, the Ti parts come later (for example, the 1080 Ti, 1070 Ti, 3090 Ti, 3080 Ti, and 3070 Ti).
Depending on what Nvidia decides to do, we could see RTX 4070 Ti and the vanilla RTX 4070 launch at the same time, or at least close together. But as we've seen from the unlaunching of the 4080 12GB, there's no clear rhyme or reason to how Nvidia will proceed.
It's a safe bet that the vanilla GeForce RTX 4070 won't use the full AD104 GPU, and there are rumors that it may even come with 10GB of memory featuring a 160-bit interface. Performance-wise, such a product should easily beat Nvidia's RTX 3070 and RTX 3070 Ti and will likely match or even leave the RTX 3080-series models in its wake, but that might require some creative benchmarking (i.e., DLSS3).
While Nvidia presumably planned to release the RTX 4080 12GB this year, we don't know if the same holds for the rebadged RTX 4070 Ti, and we've widely suspected its RTX 4070 won't arrive until January 2023. It's possible the company will speed up the launch of its RTX 4070, or it may simply launch the Ti model ahead of the vanilla model. Both decisions have their pros and cons.
Launching a GeForce RTX 4070 Ti model at $899 this year and keeping the vanilla RTX 4070 model under wraps will enable Nvidia to meet its sales and average selling prices (ASPs) goals that it set when it announced the RTX 4080 12GB. However, given the impending AMD RX 7900 XT that's set to arrive on December 13, also priced at $899 but with apparently much better specs than AD104, we can't help but think the RTX 4070 Ti will have to come down in price.
Alternatively, launching a vanilla RTX 4070 ahead of the Ti model would allow Nvidia to undercut AMD's pricing while still leaving room for a higher tier offering. The MSRP of such a part will naturally be significantly lower than $899, which means lower ASPs for Nvidia.
We don't know which path Nvidia will take, or if it might even do something else entirely. We'll soon see how the RTX 4080 fares when it arrives next week and joins our GPU benchmarks hierarchy, at which point we'll need to wait for AMD's RDNA 3 launch in December to see where the cards fall. For now, the rebadging of the RTX 4080 12GB as the RTX 4070 Ti raises more questions than answers.