I think you missunderstood me:
If the card is reference design, its cooling is usually poor (aftermarket coolers are much better).
Also Thermal Paste degrades over time. So the older the card is, the hotter it will run).
Please note that thermal paste begeins to degrade since the card is first manufacured, not since the moment you buy it.
Okay, I haven't changed my paste since I got my card (since September 2012). I'll get some new paste and an aftermarket cooler and fix up my card some. If you know any good coolers for the 7950 feel free to share :P