Read our full Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 review.
Leaked benchmark numbers from Videocardz.com allege that the upcoming Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 graphics card scores 13,005 in 3DMark Fire Strike, a popular test used to measure graphics performance. Meanwhile, the Radeon R9 290X, which will be the GTX 980’s chief competitor once it launches, scores 11,224 in the same test.
Related: AMD R9 295×2 review
There’s more though. That first 980 score is from a card that’s clocked at 1.19GHz. There are two other 980 cards listed as well, and they’re clocked at slower speeds of 1.178GHz, and 1.127GHz. Nevertheless, each outperforms the Radeon R9 290X in Fire Strike. The 1.178GHz 980 got 12,847, while the 1.127GHz model earned a mark of 12,328. The 290X that got 11,224 was clocked at 1.05GHz, and a 1GHz version of the 290X earned a grade of 10,837.
Though Fire Strike is a synthetic test, these numbers are still noteworthy in that they paint a picture of superiority when stacked up against AMD’s best single-GPU graphics card. What’s also interesting is that, according to the numbers Videocardz posted, two 980s clocked at 1.178GHz while running in SLI mode scored 20,491 in Fire Strike. AMD’s dual-GPU R9 295×2 just beat it out, scoring 20,801 in the same test.
Pricing will help determine whether 980-based cards will sink or swim past AMD’s offerings. Right now, Nvidia 780Ti-based cards cost roughly between $700 and $750. Meanwhile, cards with AMD R9 290X GPUs in them can be had for around $550.
Nvidia will likely have to get aggressive in this area to put a serious hurt on AMD. We’re willing to bet that many people are happy to trade some performance for $200 or so in savings, which is more or less what they get when opting for a 290X card over one powered by Nvidia’s 780Ti GPU.
Videocardz also posted some leaked Fire Strike benchmarks for Nvidia’s upcoming laptop GPUs, and they look impressive. The GeForce GTX 980M and 970M scored 9,364, and 7,403, respectively. The GTX 880M, which is Nvidia’s most powerful mobile GPU at the moment, got 5,980. AMD’s best mobile graphics chip, the Radeon R9 M290X, got 5,294 in the same test.
For the moment, AMD is the king of the consumer-oriented graphics card hill with its $1,000 AMD Radeon R9 290X, which not only outperforms the GeForce GTX Titan Z in many benchmarks, but also costs a third of the price of the $3,000 Titan Z.
However, if these allegedly leaked benchmarks are any indication, the next set of high-end cards from Nvidia could give AMD’s best offerings a run for their money.