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Nvidia Reportedly Resuming RTX 3080 12GB Production, Thanks To GA102 Over Supply

Nvidia Ada Lovelace and GeForce RTX 40-Series
(Image credit: Nvidia)

According to a Tweet by @Zed__Wang, Nvidia has resurrected the RTX 3080 12GB SKU, in an effort to clear out more GA102 dies from its overstocked inventory. This is a very abrupt change by Nvidia since the 3080 12GB was reportedly dropped from production lines just two months ago. But, we can't blame Nvidia with the "oversupply" crisis going on right now surrounding high-end GPUs.

For those unfamiliar with Nvidia's "stealthy" 3080 model, the 12GB was quietly introduced earlier this year in January at the sole request of AIB partners. We don't have an official explanation for why it was created, but the 3080 12 GB's specs suggest this model was designed to use up defective GA102 dies which had all 12 memory controllers working, but couldn't meet the 80 or more SM requirements of the for 3080 Ti and 3090. This GPU model was launched at the height of the GPU crisis, so it makes sense that AIB partners would have asked for this model in particular.

The RTX 3080 12GB's specifications feature the fully unlocked memory system from the 3080 Ti, including a 384-bit-wide bus, and 12GB of 19Gbps GDDR6X VRAM for a total of 912GBps of memory throughput. But SM counts took a big hit from 80 to 70, resulting in a CUDA core count reduction of 10240 to 8960. Compared to the 3080 10GB model, this is a core count upgrade with 256 additional cores.

Ironically, the buffed-up memory system makes the 3080 12GB a gaming beast, with the card actually outranking the 3080 Ti on our GPU benchmarks hierarchy — that's mostly due to a hefty factory overclock on the MSI Suprim X 3080 12GB we have for testing, but it shows that memory bandwidth can be a bigger factor than compute for these top-tier GPUs. Considering that the RTX 3080 12GB is typically quite a bit cheaper than the 3080 Ti, this is a great value.

Now that Nvidia is dealing with oversupply issues, it makes sense Nvidia would resurrect the 3080 12GB to more efficiently distribute its overabundance of GA102 dies. Once this GPU becomes more widely available, Nvidia can price cut the 3080 10GB more aggressively, while keeping the 12GB model at a higher price. This strategy should allow Nvidia and its board partners to sell more cards and make higher profits simultaneously.

We also suspect the 3080 12GB will be sold at its lowest price ever since its launch in January. Even before the card supply dried up two months ago, you could snag a 3080 12GB for just $729 on a temporary discount. We wouldn't be surprised if Nvidia priced the 3080 12GB around that level, or even lower on a good sale.

Aaron Klotz
Freelance News Writer

Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.

  • bigdragon
    Way too expensive still. The 12GB 3080 should have completely replaced the 10GB version. I think the 12GB model is where Nvidia and partners are still making the biggest margins. Makes sense that they'd want to produce more.
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    I thought the 10GB 3080 had been discontinued with the release of the 12GB version. Then I saw FE models in stock at Best Buy last week. They sold out quicker than any of the other models. If Nvidia is sitting on so many GA102's, I don't see why they don't pump out more FE's and dump them on Best Buy. There seems to still be demand for a $700 3080.
    Reply
  • cknobman
    Sorry Nvidia ship has sailed on this old gen, you should not have been so greedy.
    Unless Nvidia sells this stuff at REDUCED prices I dont imagine tons of people running out to buy one.
    I'll just wait patiently for the next gen products to come out as my 1080ti still pushes 2k just fine.
    Reply
  • emike09
    I'll never understand why Nvidia thought 10GB was enough for the 3080 for 4k gaming. Even 12GB doesn't cut it in some titles. Upgraded to the 3090 and I often see utilization above 14GB. FS 2020 I've seen go upwards of 18GB in some areas. On my 3080 10G, I often saw fps drops when turning in texture heavy games, which was annoying. GPU-Z reporting around 9.8GB utilization with CPU and GPU core utilization not being maxed out.
    1080ti had 11GB. Same with the 2080ti. You would expect the 3080 to at least match the previous gen ti models, not go lower, especially as 4k and high-res textures are becoming more common.
    Reply
  • Inthrutheoutdoor
    HAHAHAHA.. ROTFLMAO....

    anyone who thinks that nGreedia, or any other mfgr, will be willing to start selling gpu's at pre-pandemic/pre-scalper prices again, I have an extremely sunny & warm planet in the Degobah system that I can sell you for cheap, it even has bunch of beachfront areas too... :D
    Reply
  • MrStillwater
    emike09 said:
    I'll never understand why Nvidia thought 10GB was enough for the 3080 for 4k gaming. Even 12GB doesn't cut it in some titles. Upgraded to the 3090 and I often see utilization above 14GB. FS 2020 I've seen go upwards of 18GB in some areas.

    It's been shown a number of times that memory utilization doesn't correlate to the amount of memory actually needed, and may well not be having any impact on performance. Some games and other apps will simply put as much as possible into all available memory, regardless of whether they really needed to.
    Reply
  • Phaaze88
    Dude...


    emike09 said:
    I'll never understand why Nvidia thought 10GB was enough for the 3080 for 4k gaming.
    What MrStillwater posted, but for those who don't know that, it's so they could up-sell them on the higher margin 3080Ti... but then all hell broke loose with product segmentation and pricing.

    Besides, GDDR6X should be faster and more efficient than R5X and R6 on the 2 gpus you mentioned.
    Reply
  • thisisaname
    An over supply of cards is lets make so
    cknobman said:
    Sorry Nvidia ship has sailed on this old gen, you should not have been so greedy.
    Unless Nvidia sells this stuff at REDUCED prices I dont imagine tons of people running out to buy one.
    I'll just wait patiently for the next gen products to come out as my 1080ti still pushes 2k just fine.

    Yes they have hyped up the next generation to much for lots of people to buy this generation.
    Reply
  • mdd1963
    I'd be quite happy to acquire a 3080 at a good price....it should hold me over (GPU-wise, at least!) for another 5 years.... (My poor GTX1060 has already more than provided in gaming fun longevity compared to what it cost 5+ years back , at only $250 in 2017)
    Reply
  • LolaGT
    I'll never understand why people thought a straight 3080 was a 4k card, it never was.
    The 3090 was the only one in the original lineup that was just good enough for 4k ultra, and look how much of a beast it had to be, and even that monster is going to be brought to its knees without any trouble in the near future for the next series of AAA titles coming up. .

    I'll never understand why Nvidia thought 10GB was enough for the 3080 for 4k gaming.
    Reply