Intel has also been known in the past for building-to-benchmarks. AMD has a history of ignoring the benchmarks and just building the best chip they can.
K7 is a different kind of case, from a different era. It wasn't just an architectural change, it was also just plain MUCH MUCH FASTER. You'll recall that it had a DDR FSB. The benchmarks at that time certainly would have been made for K6/P2, but even with that against it, it was ***SO MUCH FASTER*** that it didn't matter.