NVIDIA paying for RTX 4080 12GB boxes
At least two board partners have confirmed to Gamers Nexus that NVIDIA is willing to pay for the cancellation of RTX 4080 12GB GPUs, at least when it comes to the packaging.
NVIDIA will work with board partners who already made boxes for the RTX 4080 12GB GPUs to reimburse them for the cost of packaging. Such boxes will now have to be collected and destroyed. Those boxes cannot be used for a final product.
NVIDIA probably wants to forget that RTX 4080 12GB has ever existed, and even a simple sticker with a new name will not do the job. While the GPU maker is supposedly going to pay for the repackaging (possibly to RTX 4070 Ti or 4070 series), it is not clear if NVIDIA is just as willing to repay other costs, such as labor.
And labor cost is important. If any cards were already packaged and prepared for shipment, these will have to be taken out of the box, resticked (let’s not forget many cards have serial/product code stickers) and possibly even reflashed to a different BIOS. The last part may not be required, though, should NVIDIA choose not to change the specs. The SKU name will simply be modified in the driver, while the PCI Device ID will remain the same.
The RTX 4080 12GB cancellation was not the only time NVIDIA has made such a last-minute change. A good example is RTX 3080 Ti with 20GB memory. Although NVIDIA had plans for such a model, provided the necessary BIOS, it was later decided to launch this SKU with 12GB memory instead.
However, months later some RTX 3080 Ti 20GB cards have somehow reappeared on a Russian market, confirming not only that SKU was planned, but also that board partners had such cards produced. In this case, however, it would be much more expensive to change the specs because these cards had physically more memory installed. For RTX 4080 12GB, we should only expect minor changes, if there will be any changes at all.