Discrepancy in reviews of 670/680 & 7970

I was just browsing different reviews to try to get a sense of the tiers of Tahiti and Kepler based cards. I came across benches that showed some different info, and I can't really think of a reason why I might see such a large difference in numbers, unless AMD has made drastic driver improvements between May and June. Here is an example:

This is an excerpt from Chris Angelini's review of the GTX 670, and these numbers are pretty much what we would all expect:,3200-7.html

Then 6 weeks later, Chris's review of the Ghz edition 7970:,3232-10.html

What confuses me is how cards like the reference 680 show pretty much the same performance between reviews, but the reference 7970 has improved SIGNIFICANTLY in that 6 week period. Is that due strictly to driver improvements?! I didn't expect to see SO much difference between Catalyst 12.4 and 12.7, or is there something else that I'm missing?
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More about discrepancy reviews 7970
  1. The diffrence is the earlier refrence was a 925mhz base gpu clock which is refrence for the "old" 7970. The ghz edition is well 1000 mhz and from what I read a 10% improvement over said old 7970 but it would still be considered refrence as all ghz edition 7970's will be at this speed or higher.

  2. It is a combination of newer drivers and the higher clock speed
  3. yes, I wasn't talking about the Ghz edition, I was referring to the reference 7970. It still shows a hell of an increase as well. for instance, at 1600x1050 on ultra settings, 680 gets 97 fps in both reviews, reference 7970 goes from 87 fps to 103 fps. Ghz edition is higher of course at 111 fps, but thats to be expected at higher clocks. Ghz edition has nothing whatsoever to do with the question. I am strictly talking about the reference 7970.
  4. Best answer
    iirc they had something like 'up to +25%' increase in Skyrim in one of them drivers, might have been 12.6 betas or indeed the latest 12.7.... you could dig up the release notes for those drivers in amd's website and have a look
  5. Best answer selected by jadedmonkey.
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