Leaked RTX 4080 12GB Benchmarks Seemingly Justify Nvidia Retreat

According to a post in the Chiphell forums, one of its users managed to benchmark Nvidia’s now-cancelled RTX 4080 12GB graphics cards. Unfortunately, performance was very poor for an RTX 4080-class GPU, with 3DMak Fire Strike and TimeSpy scores that only matched Nvidia’s Ampere-based RTX 3080 12GB. That performance is disappointing, considering that the RTX 4080 12GB was technically supposed to replace the RTX 3080 12GB.

The original source never disclosed the exact RTX 4080 12GB model that was tested. However, the poster still showed us the complete GPU monitoring data, including core clocks, thermals and power, so we have a good idea of how these cards behave.

To refresh your memory, the RTX 4080 12GB was Nvidia’s lowest-end Ada Lovelace GPU originally announced during GTC, alongside the 4080 16B and 4090. The 4080 12GB was armed with an AD103 die, running on 9728 CUDA cores, a 256-bit wide bus and 22.6Gbps of GDDR6X memory, for a total of 717GB/s of bandwidth. 

But after severe criticism by the community, Nvidia canceled the RTX 4080 12GB model due to its very confusing name compared to the RTX 4080 16GB. The 4080 12GB features significantly altered core specifications compared to the 16GB version despite the names only suggesting there would be a capacity difference between the cards.

However, Nvidia’s “unlaunch” came after RTX 4080 12GB cards started rolling off production lines; this is how the Chiphell user managed to snag a card.

According to the GPU-Z image from the Chiphell forum post, this unnamed RTX 4080 12GB model was operating at a maximum real-world boost clock of 2,820 MHz, and a 1,313 MHz memory clock. Thermals were in the 72.3C range at their max, with hot spot temps hitting 91.2C. Fan speeds at their max were at 43%, but the RPM is unknown. Power consumption can be seen hitting 261W at its peak.

This monitoring data proves to us that the RTX 4080 12GB was severely cut down compared to the RTX 4080 16GB and RTX 4090. The clocks remain similar to the 4090, but power consumption is substantially reduced to just 262W. The card was not power throttling due to a power limit, as demonstrated by GPU-Z’s peak TDP of just 91.8% of the total power target. 

But the 4080 12GB’s performance in 3DMark says it all. According to the Chiphell post, the RTX 4080 12GB tested managed a GPU score of just 13,472 points in 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra and 10,794 points in TimeSpy Extreme.

For comparison, these numbers translate into equal to slightly better performance than an RTX 3080 12GB in the exact same benchmarks, according to 3DMark’s benchmark browser. It’s worth noting that the 30 series GPUs in the browser’s results were manually overclocked, but still, that means the RTX 4080 12GB sits right in between a stock RTX 3080 12GB and RTX 3080 Ti.

It’s easy to see why Nvidia cancelled the RTX 4080 12GB when it did, the RTX 4080 12GB originally had an MSRP of $900 when announced. But with the performance numbers we see here, the GPU wouldn’t even be an improvement over Nvidia’s older RTX 3080 12GB or RTX 3080 TI which can be found for well under $900 right now.