Originally Posted by Ashura
The performance was 'there' at launch & the performance is still here after over a decade!.
As a refresher, check the launch reviews of the GTX 680. I won't be cherrypicking here so these are just the first results I got from Google:
Anandtech - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Review: Retaking The Performance Crown
by Ryan Smith on March 22, 2012 9:00 AM EST
Geforce GTX 680 review
- by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 03/21/2012 03:00 PM
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Kepler 2 GB Review
by W1zzard,on Mar 22nd, 2012
GeForce GTX 680 2 GB Review: Kepler Sends Tahiti On Vacation
By Chris Angelini March 22, 2012
Gainward GeForce GTX 680 Phantom Review
By Steven Walton on May 1, 2012
Apart from a number of games where the HD7970 is ahead, the GTX 680's lead with everything else was not trivial which made the 680 faster overall at launch while doing so with "lesser" but more efficient hardware and also having a lower price tag than the HD7970. Relative to the 680, the 7970 had better specs on paper, but it was not necessarily the better performer during that period in time. This is the point I was trying to put across.
BTW, Tahiti's review drivers in late December 2011 as well as the launch drivers for the 7970 when finally it shipped in January 2012 were quite buggy and un-optimized to a certain extent which held back the performance of the HD7970 and it took AMD months to fix it with a performance driver, along with launching a higher clocked GHz edition.
The way I saw it was that Kepler had the optimized architecture design for the APIs and games of the time while Tahiti hardware was too advanced for the software of that era. What I'm saying is it's expected for GCN to get better with age considering its forward looking specs. Notice how AMD stuck with GCN for a good amount of time because they were playing the long game with that architecture while Nvidia simply moved from architecture to architecture to address the competitive landscape as it were over the years.