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Rumor mill: We're just over one week away from the RTX 4080 launch. But those waiting in anticipation for November 16 to arrive might want to prepare for disappointment as the card is rumored to land with lower stock levels than the RTX 4090.
As predicted, the high price of the $1,600 (MSRP) RTX 4090 hasn't stopped it from being sold out across pretty much all retail sites and selling on eBay at inflated prices. The RTX 4080 16GB has a cheaper $1,199 MSRP (you'll pay more in Europe), so it's expected to experience higher demand, but YouTube channel Moore's Law is Dead says that anonymous retailers have confirmed stock levels will be 20-40% lower than the RTX 4090 on day one. As usual, take all this with the usual dose of salt.
MLID also claims that, according to the sources, retailers will receive fewer resupplies of the RTX 4080 in the fourth quarter of the year compared to the RTX 4090.
It's speculated that the primary reason behind these lower stock levels is that Nvidia wants to push more people toward its Ampere line this holiday season.
With their falling prices and good availability, the last-gen RTX 3000 series has been selling well recently. The latest Steam survey shows that the RTX 3060 gained more new users than any other card last month, while the RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3070, 3070 Ti, and 3080 were all top-ten performers. Nvidia still has plenty of Ampere stock left, so it might not want to offer too many people the option of paying a little more for an RTX 4080.
The best-performing cards among Steam survey participants last month
The other issue behind the lower stock levels is related to the 12GB version of the card. Nvidia was initially set to launch the RTX 4080 16GB and $900 RTX 4080 12GB together on November 16. Team green decided to "unlaunch" the cheaper card because it "wasn't named right," though the outcry over paying $400 more than the RTX 3070's launch price for what is essentially a next-gen version of the same card probably had more to do with it. The decision to cancel the 12GB version so close to launch means fewer RTX 4080 cards will be available.
It'll be interesting to see how AMD's recently announced Radeon RX 7000 cards impact Lovelace's sales. The Radeon RX 7900 XTX will cost $999 when it launches on December 13, $200 cheaper than the RTX 4080. AMD says the two cards are competitors, admitting it isn't trying to go up against the much more expensive RTX 4090.