Categories
Computing

Why the RTX 4080 12GB feels a lot like a rebranded RTX 4070

Nvidia announced two versions of its RTX 4080 at its GTC keynote — a 12GB model and a 16GB model. On the surface, this seems simple. Two configurations of the same graphics cards, except with different amount of memory.

This is, after all, what Nvidia did with its RTX 3080 last year. There was the original 8GB RTX 3080, and the 12GB RTX 3080 that got released earlier this year.

But the situation with the two “versions” of the RTX 4080 couldn’t be more different. Not only is there a $300 gulf in price between these two products, but Nvidia confirmed to the media today that they do, in fact, use two different GPUs. The RTX 4080 16GB uses AD104, and the RTX 4080 12GB uses AD103. To call these two products different “versions” of the same graphics card is a pretty serious misnomer.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 16GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 12GB
GPU AD104 AD103
CUDA cores 9,728 7,680
Shader / RT cores 49 / 113 40 / 82
Tensor TFLOPS 780 641
Base clock 2,210MHz 2,310MHz
Maximum clock 2,510MHz 2,610MHz
Memory size 16GB GDDR6X 12GB GDDR6X
Memory bus 256-bit 192-bit
TDP 320 watts 285 watts
Price $1,199 $899

Looking at the other specs we now have, you can see how that plays out. The RTX 4080 16GB has 21% more CUDA cores, 27% more RT cores, and is capable of 18% more Tensor TFLOPS (trillion floating-point operations per second) than the 12GB model. Of course, it also has a wider memory bus and consumes more power too. All in all, the 16GB model is a much more powerful graphics card.

So, what then is going on with the naming of this 12GB RTX 4080? Well, just look at what Nvidia did with its initial launch of the first RTX 30-series cards. At launch, the company announced the RTX 3090, 3080, and 3070. Three GPUs down the line. What it’s doing with the RTX 40-series line is nearly identical, meaning the 12GB 4080, which retails for $899, feels a lot more like a proper RTX 4070 than anything else. That’s a problem, considering the RTX 3070 retailed for just $499.

When asked, of course, Nvidia sees the 16GB model as an “enhanced” RTX 4080, not the other way around. And maybe the company has a point, at least with how these cards are priced. The 16GB model is certainly priced as if it were an RTX 4080 Ti — or something along those lines. Nvidia has also confirmed that there will be no first-party Founders Edition of the 12GB RTX 4080.

Still, the whole thing has left a sour taste in the mouths of PC enthusiasts, who are looking at this 12GB RTX 4080 as a repackaged 4070 as a way to secretly raise prices. Nvidia hasn’t been shy about commenting on the rising cost of GPUs in the future, confirming that falling prices are a thing of the past.

We’ll have to wait and see what Nvidia eventually does with the rest of the lineup to get the full picture, but at the very least, it’s obvious that GPU pricing is continuing to rise, even if some of the costs are buried in the specs.

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Categories
Computing

The HP Envy 15 leads a rebranded product line made for creators

The HP Envy 15 laptop leads its entire product family in a new direction—straight toward the rising “creator” class. These users, whether they’re coders, visual artists, or social media darlings, need the same high-end CPUs and GPUs that PC gamers use, and they demand the stylish packages that the Envy line is already known for. The related Envy 17 is shipping now, while the Envy 15 and other models are coming out in May or June. 

HP Envy 17: Wide-open spaces

Let’s start with the laptop available now, the HP Envy 17—starting at $1,100 from HP.com, or there’s a specific SKU selling for $1,250 at Best Buy.

While laptops with smaller displays are always going to be more portable, creators who can move up to a 17-inch display will luxuriate in the extra space for viewing their projects. That’s the main reason to get a laptop this large. 

hp envy 17 naturalsilver tropical backdrop croppedHP

The HP Envy 17 will offer two different 1080p display options, as well as a 4K option.

Note that the Envy 17 has three display options via HP.com: 1920×1080 touch and non-touch, plus 3840×2160 (4K) non-touch. The 1080p touch display has a maximum 300 nits’ brightness and 100-percent sRGB color gamut support.

While 4K resolution sounds fabulous and should look great on a display this big, remember that running all those extra pixels will eat into your battery life—not that we expect you to carry around a six-pound laptop that much. Here are the other primary specs: 

CPU and Graphics: Interestingly, CPU and GPU are a package deal in the Envy 17. You have three choices via HP.com:

  • Intel Core i5-1035G1 and Nvidia GeForce MX330 with 2GB of graphics memory
  • Intel Core i7-1065G7 and Nvidia GeForce MX330/2GB (also at Best Buy)
  • Intel Core i7-1065G7 and Nvidia GeForce MX330/4GB

The MX330 is a low-end discrete GPU, not a barn-burner by any stretch, but it will help with basic photo and video editing. Based on Notebookcheck.net benchmarks, it’s competitive with the Iris Plus graphics offered with Intel’s 10th-gen Ice Lake CPUs. If you’re looking for more GPU power, check out the flagship HP Envy 15 further down. 

RAM: 8GB, 12GB (also at Best Buy), 16GB, or 32GB

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Categories
Tech News

Verizon’s $50 Yahoo phone is a rebranded ZTE Blade A3 with lots of pre-installed apps

No, you didn’t wake up in 1999. But the next time you take a trip to a Verizon store, you’re going to see a new phone on shelves alongside the iPhone 12 and Pixel 5 that might seem like you traveled back in time.

As part of the new Yahoo Mobile MVNO that launched back in March, Verizon is selling a new Yahoo phone for $50 with a very-90s purple back and a very-late-2000s mindset. It’s the first smartphone slapped with Yahoo’s branding and as expected, it’s loaded with Yahoo apps.

First the specs:

  • Dimensions: 137.4 x 67.5 x 10.5 mm
  • Display: 5.45-inch 720HD LCD
  • Processor: Mediatek Helio A22 MT6761
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 2,660mAh

So yeah, you shouldn’t expect to do much with this phone. It’s not clear how skinned the Android 10-based OS is, but Yahoo says it has “an easy-to-use interface providing a user-friendly experience.” But it also says the phone will “deliver a smooth performance and longevity,” so we should probably take that with a grain of salt.

We asked Yahoo if there were any plans to update the Yahoo phone to Android 11 but have yet to hear back.

One thing the Yahoo phone will deliver, however, is extra apps. Verizon is leaning into the Yahoo branding big time and loading up your phone with tons of apps that we assume can’t be deleted, including Yahoo Mail, Yahoo News, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Weather, and Yahoo Mobile.

Speaking of Yahoo Mobile, the phone is exclusive to the MVNO, which offers unlimited data on Verizon’s 4G network for $40 a month.

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