To help offset the expense of packing the RTX 4080 12GB GPUs, NVIDIA will work with board partners to pay them. Such boxes must now be collected and burned. Those boxes cannot be utilized to make a finished product.
NVIDIA would probably rather forget the RTX 4080 12GB ever existed, and a renaming attempt with a new name sticker won’t help. While the GPU manufacturer is supposed to pay for repackaging (perhaps to RTX 4070 Ti or 4070 series), it is unclear whether NVIDIA would also reimburse other expenditures, such as labor.
And labor costs are high. Assuming any cards were already boxed and ready for shipping, they will need to be unboxed, stickered (many cards come with serial/product code stickers), and maybe reflashed to a new BIOS. However, if NVIDIA does not update the specifications, the last portion may not be essential. The driver will change the SKU name, but the PCI Device ID will stay the same.
In addition to the RTX 4080 12GB cancellation, NVIDIA has made other late-stage product changes in the past. An excellent example is the RTX 3080 Ti with 20 GB of RAM. Despite the fact that NVIDIA had planned for such a model, provided the needed BIOS, it was ultimately decided to release this SKU with 12GB RAM instead.
Meanwhile, months later, several RTX 3080 Ti 20GB cards resurfaced on the Russian market, proving that the SKU was intended and that board partners manufactured such cards. As these cards already had a greater memory capacity installed, upgrading to a newer model would be prohibitively costly. However, When it comes to the RTX 4080 12GB, we should anticipate a few modifications.