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Don’t get your hopes up, but a new version of the Nvidia RTX 4080 GPU may be less expensive

There have been rumours that a tweak to the GPU within Nvidia’s RTX 4080 would bring the price down, but realistically, any savings, if any, will be rather modest. As Tom’s notes, graphics card manufacturer Galax has added more proof of this occurring with the listing of the GPU as ‘AD103-300/301’ under the RTX 4080 product information.

In addition, it was brought to our attention that Gainward, another card manufacturer, has included the newer GPU version AD103-301 in its product specifications as well.

Even while Nvidia has yet to confirm the news, it appears probable given that two distinct third-party graphics card manufacturers have included this new twist on the GPU in their specifications.

HKEPC also speculates that the soon-to-be-released RTX 4070 (the non-Ti variant of the newly-unveiled RTX 4070 Ti) would follow suit by using a two-chip solution, with the AD104-250 and AD104-251 in this instance. The former is said to use a comparator circuit, whilst the latter would not; the latter would also need a separate circuit board, which might reduce the overall cost of manufacturing the card.

The same holds true for the RTX 4080 and the brand-new AD103-301, possibly reducing the bill of materials (BOM) required to construct them. The main concern is how much cheaper the second variation may be if everything works well for both or either of the GPUs.

Is it realistic to expect cheaper graphics cards as a result of this?

HKEPC estimates that the difference in bill of materials costs between the rumoured RTX 4070 variants might be as little as $1, which is obviously negligible and would likely not make a dent in the price paid by the user. According to another source consulted by VideoCardz, the price difference is negligible.

We aren’t given any number for the possible difference in the cost of creating the RTX 4080 models, but the new AD103-301 may decrease the bill to a larger level, and potentially mean the graphics card does become cheaper for the user. If the BOM is reduced by the same amount, though, the second-generation RTX 4080’s pricing shouldn’t change much.

Time will tell, but considering Nvidia’s position on price with Lovelace GPUs generally, it’s hard to be at all hopeful.

Another issue is with the change to the RTX 4080 chip, will this harm performance? According to the rumour mill, the AD103-301 chip will not be any more powerful than the current AD103-300. That makes sense given Nvidia would surely be leery of throwing a dose of buyer’s remorse on people who’ve already shelled out for an RTX 4080, and spilled a hefty chunk of cash to do so.

The ultimate outcome of this is likely to be graphics cards with the same performance level – or so identical as to be inconsequential – and minor savings for the board manufacturers, that likely won’t be passed on to customers. Hopefully a more advantageous scenario might turn out, however, cost-wise, so keep your fingers crossed if you’re in the market for a high-end GPU.