The RTX 3080 12GB is real and listed for more than the launch price of an RTX 3090

Asus TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 12GB OC on a green gradient background
(Image credit: Asus)

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 12GB has officially arrived, and with wildly expensive launch day price tags.

Following yesterday's rumour we had some inclination that Nvidia would announce the GeForce RTX 3080 12GB today, a graphics card with some minor upgrades over the pre-existing RTX 3080 10GB. That has since come to pass, though you could hardly call it an announcement on Nvidia's behalf.

The company has released new official specifications for the new RTX 3080 12GB graphics card on its website, confirming much of what was previously reported. That means a small bump to the total SMs, from 68 to 70; a wider 384-bit memory bus; and 2GB greater GDDR6X capacity.

As a result of those changes, the RTX 3080 12GB draws 350W. That's a 30W increase over the 10GB model.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 specs
Header Cell - Column 0 RTX 3080 12GBRTX 3080 10GB
LithographySamsung 8nmSamsung 8nm
CUDA Cores8,9608,704
Tensor Cores272272
RT Cores7068
Memory bus384-bit320-bit
Memory capacity12GB GDDR6X10GB GDDR6X
Memory speed19Gbps19Gbps
Memory bandwidth912GB/s760GB/s

There will be no Founders Edition for this card, Nvidia confirms to us, which means you'll have to rely on Nvidia's partners to find one. Partners have been quick to market their shiny new third-party GPUs, though, and while we don't have an official Nvidia MSRP for its new card (and may never), we do have some of its partners' starting prices.

Be warned, though, they're not easy on the eyes.

EVGA is selling two RTX 3080 12GB models from day one, including the EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 12GB XC3 Ultra Gaming. This is listed on the company's website for $1,250.

The EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 XC3 Ultra Gaming is the 10GB model, which has been around for a while and shares the same cooler, is listed for $880.

That's a 42% increase in price.

The EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 12GB FTW3 Ultra Gaming is $50 more even than the pricey XC3 12GB model, at $1,300, and only available to EVGA Elite Members, so the less said about that the better.

We also have word on what Asus is up to with its RTX 3080 12GB graphics cards. It is also releasing two graphics cards today: the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3080 12GB OC and the TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 12GB OC.

These come with a recommended retail price of €1,639 and €1,519, respectively. Those prices work out to $1,858 and $1,722 USD, when directly exchanged with today's rate.  That's far from an exact science, but even so we're talking about a price tag that far exceeds the RTX 3090's $1,499 MSRP back at launch.

Yet I can't say it's surprising the RTX 3080 12GB demands more cash than the RTX 3080 10GB, though I hadn't expected it to be nearly quite as much. 

For the RTX 3080 12GB to exist, Nvidia must have seen an opportunity arise from a portion of the GA102 GPUs that Samsung is producing for it. Those that surpassed what was required of the RTX 3080 10GB yet fell short of the RTX 3080 Ti. In doing so, it's also allowed the company, and its partners, to skirt around the original RTX 3080 10GB's sadly missed $699 price tag.

Sim rig

Best joysticks header image

(Image credit: Future)

Best PC joysticks: get your wings
Best PC racing wheels : perfect for any circuit.
Best VR headset: which set is right for trackdays?

Granted, that's not a price tag you will really find anywhere for the RTX 3080 10GB today, but at least it had meant there were a few out lucky punters out there likely to get hold of one at that price on launch day. And clearly it was holding back some from completely preposterous pricing well in excess of the Founders Edition.

Looking back on the beginnings of the semiconductor shortage, perhaps we'd have never seen the fantastic price-to-performance on offer with the RTX 3080, had it been launched any later than it was. That $699 price tag really was excellent, wasn't it? Truly deserving of being called "****ing great" by our Dave James in his review.

Of course, the missing piece of the puzzle here is performance. That's information about the RTX 3080 12GB we don't yet have available to us. The reason for this, according to TechSpot, is that no review drivers were made available prior to the card's stealthy release, and reviewers would need to wait for the public release to begin testing. So from today that should occur, and sometime soon we'll be able to see what those minor adjustments can muster once combined.

Next up, the eye-watering price tag of the RTX 3090 Ti. That's sure to be a blast.

Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, and would go on to run the team as hardware editor. Since then he's joined PC Gamer's top staff as senior hardware editor, where he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industries and testing the newest PC components.