In context: Now that Nvidia has "unlaunched" the RTX 4080 12GB, many are asking if it will foot the bill for AIB partners who have already made packaging for the now-canceled card. According to a new report, it will be reimbursing companies, though it seems team green won't cover the cost of every expense.
A few days ago, Nvidia decided that releasing a card with 4GB less VRAM, 25% fewer CUDA cores, and a narrower memory bus than the RTX 4080 16GB while pricing it at $900 was a bad idea. Pretty much everyone agreed this was essentially an RTX 4070 under a different name, one that's almost twice as expensive as the RTX 3070 that launched for $500 two years ago. It appears the bad publicity had become too much for Nvidia, leading to the card's so-called unlaunching, which the company blames on consumer confusion over having two cards with the same RTX 4080 designation.
Pulling a card in the run-up to its release will cost board partners a lot of money. Not only will they have to destroy/recycle the RTX 4080 12GB packaging, but they must also repack the cards in new, redesigned boxes under whatever new name Nvidia lands on, resticker/repaint them, and reflash the BIOS to change the name. There are also labor costs to consider.
According to YouTube channel Gamers Nexus, two big AIBs have confirmed that Nvidia is subsidizing all or at least part of the expenses associated with the rebranding.
It's expected that the RTX 4080 12GB will become the RTX 4070 and be priced lower than the current $900—and hopefully without any reduction to the specs via the BIOS. That would leave questions about what would happen to the originally planned RTX 4070, but Nvidia could try to get around this by renaming the RTX 4080 12GB the RTX 4070 Ti.
Nvidia stresses that the RTX 4080 16GB will still launch on November 16. With the time it will take to rebrand and relaunch the RTX 4080 12GB, it's expected that we won't find out details of the new name and launch date until CES in January.