We have said that Advanced Micro Devices was upgrading all the Radeon HD 7950 video cards for free, but we haven't actually provided enough information for people to form a perspective on the matter.
Sure, some extra 50 MHz sound nice on paper, and the PowerTune technology that dynamically overclocks the GPU to 925 MHz is even sweeter, but that doesn't really say how much better games and the like will run.
In most cases, people probably won't notice a difference, since the human eye can't perceive improvement in frame rates after a certain point.
Nevertheless, Advanced Micro Devices does offer a free upgrade, even though it takes a flashing of the BIOS to enable it. It is also troublesome that owners of OEM-designed models
might have to wait until their manufacturers customize the core-logic.
A certain Matthew Murray from Extremetech has a comparison
between a whole bunch of benchmarking and gameplay runs.
Futuremark 3DMark 11, Luxmark x64 v2.0, SiSoftware Sandra and Heaven Benchmark 3.0 are part of the former category of programs.
As for the games, Batman: Arkham City, Aliens vs. Predator, Metro 2033, Total War: Shogun 2, DiRT Showdown and Just Cause 2 are on the list.
The score differences are negligible in certain cases, most notably in physics processing, but there are other areas where the new BIOS performs dramatically better (Futuremark 3DMark 11 performance preset returned a graphics score of 7,141 versus 6,659).
The tests were conducted at maxed-out detail settings, on a system made up of an ASUS P9X79 Deluxe motherboard, the graphics adapter itself and Intel Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition processor.
We don't really know when OEMs will release the BIOS for their HD 7950 graphics cards. AMD's release will work with the models that are just the reference design with a sticker on top, but that doesn't necessarily go for all the rest.
Owners/future buyers of factory-overclocked HD 7950 boards will have to be particularly patient. They might not get a BIOS update at all, but we hope for the opposite, since the PowerTune dynamic overclocking should be present on all.