Word on the street is that Nvidia is currently preparing a new selection of graphics cards based on their 'Maxwell' architecture. The cards, which will likely be branded under the GeForce GTX 900 series (Nvidia is allegedly skipping the GTX 800 series), could be launched as early as next week.

Before Nvidia has managed to get the graphics cards in stores, alleged benchmarks of the GeForce GTX 980, GTX 970, GTX 980M and GTX 970M have appeared on VideoCardz.com. The benchmarks show the cards' performance in 3DMark's Fire Strike test compared to GPUs currently on the market.

For the GTX 980, the card is shown outperforming the AMD Radeon R9 290X and stock-clocked GeForce GTX 780 Ti by a decent margin. VideoCardz managed to get their hands on results for three separate core clock speeds, although it's not clear which one (if any) represents the stock speed. At 1.1 GHz it appears to perform quite well, coming close to the GTX 780 Ti at a similar clock speed.

Meanwhile the GTX 970 is seen to perform around the level of a stock-clocked GTX Titan, which is a handy performance gain over the GTX 770 from the previous generation.

As for the mobile chips, both the 980M and 970M are shown to perform significantly better than the GTX 880M and R9 M290X, with particularly impressive SLI performance. It's not clear how much power these chips are consuming, but keep in mind that Nvidia's Maxwell architecture is designed to deliver similar performance to Kepler at lower power levels.

As always we'd recommend taking these results with a grain of salt. With Nvidia apparently quite close to a release, it shouldn't be too long until we get finalized specifications for all these GPUs.