RTX 4070 leak suggests that Nvidia has learned nothing from the RTX 4080 mess

According to a recent leak, Nvidia is readying three different versions of its hotly-anticipated RTX 4070 graphics card, which vary by the GPU video memory. It looks like we’ll be getting 10GB, 12GB, and 16GB models of the card, but I’m not happy about that at all. Why not? Well, I haven’t forgotten the RTX 4080.

To make a long story short, Nvidia screwed the pooch big time with the RTX 4080 reveal. Originally, the card was announced alongside the mighty flagship RTX 4090, and there would’ve been two flavors: a full-fat 16GB model, and a cheaper 12GB model.

Now, this was a tad sneaky on Nvidia’s part, because it wasn’t just the memory that was different; the 12GB model actually had a completely different GPU at its core, and gamers quickly noticed this. The ensuing uproar resulted in Nvidia pulling the RTX 4080 12GB completely, eventually re-launching it as the more suitably-named RTX 4070 Ti.

As a result of that debacle, I’m concerned – as I’m sure many others are – about the prospect of not two but three different RTX 4070s landing together. The leak sprung from GPU manufacturer Gigabyte’s website, where a game bundle information page prematurely listed the three models, but it only specifies the VRAM differences: no news here as to whether these cards will contain any other sneaky hidden differences.

Analysis: We really don’t need multiple versions of every GPU

Earlier this year, I made the point that AMD (and plenty of other computing tech manufacturers, to be fair) has been overcrowding the market with a needless and confusing number of variant products – in this case, GPUs with minor differences that fight for the same price range.

Nvidia is making the same mistake here. Even if it’s only the memory that differs between the three RTX 4070 variants, that’s still an unnecessary level of differentiation that alienates consumers and doesn’t really benefit anyone. That’s the best-case scenario; at worst, it’ll be the RTX 4080 Saga Part 2, and everyone will get very angry at Nvidia all over again.

What makes this leak – if true, though I’m fairly confident this one is legit – all the more galling is that the RTX 4070 is actually one of my most anticipated GPUs of the new generation. The RTX 3070 has long been one of the best graphics cards on the market, providing a great balance between price and performance, so its successor obviously has a high bar to clear. In fact, we awarded it five stars in our review back when it first launched.

It’s also very weird that we might be getting a 16GB version of the RTX 4070, considering that there’s currently only one RTX 4070 Ti on the market and that has 12GB of VRAM. A less powerful GPU with more VRAM could serve some niche purposes, but it feels like a strange move from Nvidia.

In short, I really hope this leak was just a mistake on Gigabyte’s part, and we’ll get one single RTX 4070 when it does actually land. A 10GB model seems most likely if this is the case, but I wouldn’t be upset to see it packing 12GB. Only time will tell – but as they say, those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it…

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