For the past few months, it has been widely known within the industry that NVIDIA is working on a bunch of new SKUs of their RTX 30-series GPUs, in fact the existence of two different RTX 3070 Ti SKUs was known as far back as March of this year. Not only does NVIDIA want to fill in the gap left by stock shortages by offering more options, they also want to compete with Intel and AMD who themselves are working on new GPUs with the former releasing their maiden cards soon.
The new SKUs in development and to release in January of 2022 were the RTX 3070 Ti 16 GB model and the RTX 3080 12 GB model. As you can tell, these are not new cards per se, just refreshed models of existing SKUs with more memory. The RTX 3070 Ti 16 GB in particular was a very crucial card for NVIDIA as it was going toe-to-toe against the Arc Alchemist DG-512EU–Intel’s top-end Alchemist GPU.
Well, it seems like tragedy has struck the already tragic GPU market once again as NVIDIA has reportedly delayed the launch of these two graphic cards. Igor’s Lab reports on behalf of their sources report that board partners are not expecting NVIDIA to announce the new RTX 3070 Ti and 3080 models on December 17th, the date previously touted for their reveal. Instead, the RTX 3070 Ti 16 GB has been delayed until after the Chinese New Year, and the RTX 3080 12 GB is speculated to be months away from reveal as well, if it still remains on schedule.
The delays are logical
The reason behind the RTX 3070 Ti‘s delay seems to be, of course, the shortage of components caused by supply chain constraints. But, interestingly enough, it also looks like NVIDIA might want to wait and stick around for Arc Alchemist’s release to see how it performs before releasing a direct competitor to Intel’s graphical top dog. Shortage issues mixed with a curious team green are why we won’t see the RTX 3070 Ti 16 GB model anytime soon.
That being said, the card is still on track for a Q1 2022 release so expect it to come out before the end of March. The same, however, cannot be said for the RTX 3080 12 GB model. Igor’s Lab says that this SKU is not even being discussed at the moment which indicates that it is indefinitely postponed but also likely canceled. The reason being that the current 10 GB version of the RTX 3080 already sells like hotcakes so there seems to be no incentive to launch a new 12 GB version, instead that extra memory can be put to use in other SKUs.
This sort of sudden change of plans is not an uncommon occurrence for NVIDIA. The company just recently axed the Founder’s Edition of the new RTX 2060 12 GB model literally days before its release. Now, days before the RTX 3080 12 GB and 3070 Ti 16 GB’s announcement, we’re learning that those have been delayed as well. At least, these SKUs not releasing soon saves us from the immense confusion in NVIDIA’s RTX 30-series nomenclature that’s inevitable to ensue.
In contrast to that, the long-rumored RTX 3090 Ti is still very much happening and on track for its CES 2022 announcement and January 27th launch. Still, Igor’s Lab mentions that RTX 3090 Ti variants from board partners will only become available just before the Chinese New Year (February). Pricing and volume of the card is still not finalized but due to the high-end nature of the SKU and supply shortages, expect it to be priced prestigiously with estimates putting it above $1500 and below $2000.