Nvidia’s embarrassing RTX 4080 ‘unlaunch’ could cost it dearly

A very subtle image of money falling in front of Nvidia's HQ while GPUs pop out
(Image credit: Dmytro Balkhovitin / michelmond / ImageFlow / Nvidia)

The Nvidia RTX 4080 12GB graphics card has been ‘unlaunched’, and will now likely release under a new name at some point. We’re not exactly sure when we might see the rebranded RTX 4080 12GB, but we do expect it to appear as a RTX 4070 Ti at the least. 

Of course this is a very sudden (and embarrassing) move from Nvidia so soon to the proposed launch date, but it does lead us to a very important question; what happens to all those boxes? An abrupt overhaul of the name leaves manufacturers with loads of branded packaging that's now completely unusable. 

However, two board partners have confirmed to Youtuber Gamers Nexus that Nvidia is willing to compensate them for costs of destroying packing already made up for the RTX 4080 12GB GPUs.

Analysis: Waste and Worry

The RTX 4080 12GB is a GPU Nvidia probably wants to forget, and the destruction of packaging is only a small part of the rebrand procedure. If partners have placed the GPUs in boxes ready for shipment, all that will have to be undone, which leads to further labor costs that should be considered. The discarded packaging is incredibly wasteful when you think about all those boxes loaded with ink that have to be thrown away and redone, for no real reason. 

a simpsons meme

(Image credit: The Simpsons)

More importantly, how could this impact consumers? As we know, GPUs names are often etched, glued or painted onto the body, so each individual GPU will need a rebrand. If they decide to just resticker the cards and cover the old name, you could end up with an RTX 4080 12GB landing on places like Ebay or other third party retailers under its old name, and people may get scammed. 

There is no concrete evidence that Nvidia plans to downgrade the 12GB variant, but it is likely this may become our 4070.

Muskaan Saxena
Computing Staff Writer

Muskaan is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing writer. She has always been a passionate writer and has had her creative work published in several literary journals and magazines. Her debut into the writing world was a poem published in The Times of Zambia, on the subject of sunflowers and the insignificance of human existence in comparison. Growing up in Zambia, Muskaan was fascinated with technology, especially computers, and she's joined TechRadar to write about the latest GPUs, laptops and recently anything AI related. If you've got questions, moral concerns or just an interest in anything ChatGPT or general AI, you're in the right place. Muskaan also somehow managed to install a game on her work MacBook's Touch Bar, without the IT department finding out (yet).