AMD is reportedly preparing to bump its Radeon 7970 HD graphics card from 925MHz to 1GHz in the wake of Nvidia's recently launched dual-Kepler GeForce GTX 690.
As Atomic PC's Matt Wilson points out, while there are already a number of Radeon cards shipping with an approximate 1050MHz core clock, AMD clearly prefers to make the card official.
The new GPUs will apparently hit the market as "GHz Edition" cards and are slated to be sold by stalwart AMD vendors such as Sapphire and HIS.
So why didn't AMD originally release a GHz edition of its flagship Radeon 7970?
Well, it seems as if GPU yields have improved, with the average voltage required to achieve 925MHz registering much lower than on early ES revisions.
"Most chips are happily hitting 1250MHz now, [so] it's time to let the GPU stretch its legs a little as yields improve," Wilson explained.
"We're excited at the prospect of AMD taking back the performance crown, though still slightly confused as to why they stopped at 1Ghz. Sure, its a nice round number, but 1050MHz would almost guaranteed victory."
Paul Lilly of Hot Hardware expressed similar sentiments.
"With better silicon coming through the pipeline, AMD claims the average voltage required for a 925MHz clockspeed is now much lower than before, and that the current crop of chips are ramping up to 1,250MHz with little trouble.
"That being the case, it's curious why AMD isn't aiming a little higher, perhaps 1,150MHz or 1,200MHz, which would still give yields a bit of breathing room, but it appears the Santa Clara chip designer is content to stop at 1,000MHz and market the card as the third GHz Edition in the Radeon HD 7000 lineup," he added.