One of the worst kept secrets in tech right now is that NVIDIA is preparing to launch its next-generation Turing GPU lineup for gamers. The company is scheduled to talk about those GPUs at the Hot Chips conference next month, and it's conceivable that Turing might launch before then. Until then, we are left to sift through the rumors and leaks, even the sketchy ones, such as a supposed screenshot of a next-gen GeForce GTX 1170 putting the beat down on a current-gen GeForce GTX 1080 Ti in 3DMark.
We recommend taking this with a giant pile of salt, and then some, because there are several signs that it's spoofed. We'll get to that in a minute. For now, let's talk about the leaked benchmark. According to the screenshots, it's an EVGA brand GeForce GTX 1170 that was plopped into a test bed with an Intel Core i5-8600K processor.
The card is shown to have 16GB of GDDR6 memory on a 256-bit memory interface, both of which seem reasonable. However, it's also listed as having a 2.5GHz clockspeed.
For comparison, a Founders Edition GeForce GTX 1080 Ti features a 1,481MHz base clock and 1,582MHz boost clock. The more aggressively overclocked variants by NVIDIA's third-party partners typically sport clockspeeds that are around 100MHz faster—still well below the supposed 2.5GHz we are looking at in this leak.
The screenshot shows the GeForce GTX 1170 scoring 29,752 in the Graphics portion of 3DMark's FireStrike benchmark. That's about 5 percent faster than your typical GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, which is NVIDIA's fastest consumer card outside of the Titan series. Compared to a GeForce GTX 1070, it's about 65 percent faster.
There are some interesting things to digest with this leak. Let's assume that it's totally legit (not likely). If the GeForce GTX 1170 is meant to supplant the GeForce GTX 1070, then Turing is set to deliver a massive increase in performance. However, we do not know how NVIDIA is planning to label its next-gen cards. If we look at AMD, the company's second-generation Ryzen 7 2700X is its top-end mainstream CPU, and performs better than a first-generation Ryzen 7 1800X. AMD does not have a Ryzen 7 2800X SKU.
NVIDIA could do the same thing with Turing, whereby the GeForce GTX 1170 is the top card, at least initially. The leaked 3DMark benchmark certainly seems to suggest that. But here's the thing—the benchmark is probably fake.
For one, we are looking at a picture of a screenshot and not an actual screen grab. That would be rather easy to spoof. So would an actual screen grab, but there are other warning signs. The 2.5GHz clock is way higher than what we would expect from Turing, which is likely Volta without the Tensor Cores. And finally, it's suspect that 3DMark would label the GeForce GTX 1170 correctly, rather than list it as a "generic VGA" card as we more often seen with these types of pre-release leaks.
We should find out soon enough—with NVIDIA scheduled to discuss its next-gen GPUs next month, an official launch has to be right around the corner.