June 7, 2023

The Nvidia RTX 4080 12GB is currently the cheapest graphics card in the company’s officially announced GeForce RTX 4000 series, along with the more expensive RTX 4080 16GB and RTX 4090. The two RTX 4080 models are the amount of VRAM per model, and it seems that one card has higher performance and more powerful specs than the other.

Check out the “Performance” section of official Nvidia products Page For the RTX 4080, the 12GB model trailed its 16GB model by varying degrees in all three benchmarks. While the two cards are more or less neck-and-neck when running Microsoft Flight Simulator, there’s a noticeable difference in frame rates in games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Warhammer 40,000: Dark Tide.

The reason for this performance difference only becomes clear when looking at the RTX 4080 spec sheet. The 12GB card not only has less GDDR6X VRAM than the 16GB model, but also significantly fewer CUDA cores and a narrower memory bus. As we start using GeForce GPUs, we’ll need to understand how these differences affect frame rates outside of these benchmarks provided by Nvidia, but we’ll likely see similar trends in our own results.

Adding to the confusion, the RTX 4080 12GB appears to be only available from AIB partners, while the RTX 4080 16GB is the only one to receive the Founders Edition treatment. That said, depending on your budget and needs, either pixel pusher may be the best graphics card for your system.

However, if the RTX 4000 series is still too rich for your blood, the RTX 4070 or RTX 4060 might be the way to go, but there’s no indication yet when Nvidia will announce these cards. For those who can’t wait, AMD RDNA 3’s release date is set for November 3, if you don’t mind plugging a Radeon card into your rig.

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