VideoCardz.com often shows early benchmarks of graphics cards, but this time it's doing something a little different. This time around, instead of running a benchmark of a graphics card to evaluate its performance, VideoCardz.com calculated the synthetic performance of the GTX 980 and GTX 970. Yes, these are artificial numbers of a synthetic GPU test.
Okay, we can criticize that VideoCardz.com made up test numbers all we want, but there is actually a good reason why they did it this way. Synthetic benchmark performance is a lot more predictable than actual game performance, and while a lot of games' performance won't align with the synthetic results, holistically a synthetic benchmark does give a good indication of what a graphics card is capable of.
As a point of reference, VideoCardz.com used the specifications of a GTX 980 with a core clock of 1127 MHz, predicting that it would score 12328 points in 3Dmark Fire Strike. This is just a bit less than a reference GTX 780 Ti, which scores 12702 points. The higher possible clock rate for the GTX 980 is 1190 MHz, where it would score 13005 points in the test, making it the king of the single-GPU graphics card hill.
The predicted 3DMark Fire Strike score for the GTX 970 at 970 MHz is set at 10282 MHz, succeeding the GTX 780 by a small margin.
Whether the numbers are correct remains unknown until we can do our own testing, but they certainly look very believable. That said, none of this matters until we know more about the rest of the card, especially what it will cost. There have been rumors about the GTX 980 (which was previously rumored to be called the GTX 880) being cheaper than its Kepler-based counterparts, but we don't really think that that's going to happen.