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Nvidia launches upgraded GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card with 12GB of memory

The upgraded version comes with a memory bump.

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The original RTX 3080 came with 10GB of memory.
Lori Grunin/CNET

Nvidia on Tuesday unveiled a new version of its GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card with 12GB of memory, a 2GB bump over the 10GB version of the RTX 3080 that came out in 2020. 

The upgraded 12GB RTX 3080 will be available starting today from Nvidia's partners, though specific pricing could vary depending on board makers. Though difficult to find in stock, the 10GB RTX 3080 starts at around $700.

Nvidia's RTX computer cards -- designed for gaming, artificial intelligence work and other graphics-intense activities, as well as cryptocurrency mining -- are in high demand, and frequently out of stock amid continued supply chain constraints. The additional RAM matches the 12GB in the higher-end 3080 TI card, and comes with a wider memory bus. That means higher bandwidth for faster performance, but the new card also needs more power: 350W vs. 320W for the 10GB version of the 3080. 

During a virtual presentation at the CES 2022 technology show last week, Nvidia introduced new products for entry-level and ultra-high-performance computing. The new GeForce RTX 3050 GPU, which launches later this month, aims to help PCs run the latest games and goes for $249. Nvidia also announced the high-powered GeForce RTX 3090 Ti GPU, which it said bests the earlier $1,499 RTX 3090.

See also: Best gaming PC for 2022