The Nvidia RTX 4080 GPU may not be launching this year after all

Mock up of RTX 4080
(Image credit: Future)

The latest GPU rumours are suggesting that Nvidia may not be releasing the RTX 4080 this year after all, with only the top-end RTX 4090 GPU seeing the light of day in 2022. We had expected that we'd at least see the top three tiers of the Ada Lovelace GPU generation sometime from September onwards, which would have seen the RTX 4090, the RTX 4080, and the RTX 4070 rolling off the production line to delight the frame rate loving masses.

But a host of different factors have led to speculation that Nvidia may be changing this plan, and be pushing back the launch of its new graphics card generation in order to allow the sudden glut of current-gen graphics cards to be sold through in the channel. 

Personally, I can see Nvidia maybe nudging the launch back later in the year, but I'd be really surprised if only the RTX 4090 got out ahead of New Year's Day.

With the cryptocurrency crash, and the easing of the global supply chain crisis, there are more RTX 30-series—and competing AMD Radeon RX 6000-series—graphics cards out in the wild. And that's just the new cards on the shelves of retailers, not considering the expected, and yet-to-hit, flood of second-hand mining cards from crypto bros looking to recover some of their losses as they get out of the mining game for good. Or at least for now.

YouTube channel, Moore's Law is Dead, has cited sources at Nvidia's graphics card partners as being exasperated with the amount of stock still in the channel, suggesting that "Nvidia underestimated how desperate we were getting." They have reportedly refused to keep buying current-gen GeForce chips until they can sell their current inventories of graphics cards and are "willing to risk Lovelace [the next-gen Nvidia GPU codename] allocation if they threaten us."

We have now seen Nvidia presumably offering some support to its AIBs by offering a "limited time" price promotion which has seen the price of the RTX 3090 Ti dropping by $500.

In that same MLID video, they cite multiple sources 'confirming' that the 450W Nvidia RTX 4090 24GB card is launching in October. Tweaker Greymon55 has also tweeted essentially the same thing, reporting an announcement of the AD102 GPU powering the RTX 4090 being set for September with an October launch.

But they then follow that up stating that the AD103, AD104, and AD106 GPUs—those powering the RTX 4080 cards, and below—won't now be launching until 2023. Then stating that, "all the cards under [AD]102 are in next year, unless they [Nvidia] change their plans halfway through." 

Though they do follow up with the easy get-out clause: "I can't guarantee this information, but it is very likely."  

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(Image credit: Future)

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I dunno, man. Launching a whole new generation of GPU with an almost entirely unattainable graphics card, the likely $1,500 RTX 4090, with nothing more affordable coming for maybe three months? That seems like a recipe for a lot of bad feelings to me. 

I get the idea that Nvidia might want to help its graphics card partners shift stock before launching a bunch of new cards, but I can't see how it can really justify a solo launch for its Ada Lovelace generation of new GPUs.

It might all depend on what AMD has planned, however. At the moment we're expecting the monolithic Navi 33 and the high-end chiplet-based Navi 31 to launch this year. But if Dr. Su's team push it all back, too, the launch schedule at the end of 2022 might look a little stark in GPU terms.

Dave James
Managing Editor, Hardware

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.