It looks like Samsung is sneakily making benchmarking adjustments to its smartphones to appear faster than they actually are.
The news comes from a tweet from none other than Philip Schiller who passed along an article from Ars Technica about the Galaxt Note 3 seeing a 20% performance improvement during benchmarking tests.
— Philip Schiller (@pschiller) October 1, 2013
Apparently what is happening is some of Samsung’s smartphones uses performance-enhancing code to essentially overclock the GPU during a benchmarking test.
This wouldn’t be an issue if this overclocking functionality came into play during regular interactivity with the smartphone, but it only activates during benchmarking. Meaning Samsung is purposely rigging it so their smartphones seem to perform better than they actually do in real life.
This is what Ars Technica had to say:
After a good bit of sleuthing, we can confidently say Samsung appears to be artificially boosting the US Note 3′s benchmark scores with a special, high-power CPU mode that kicks in when the device runs a large number of popular benchmarking apps. Samsung did something similar with the international Galaxy S 4′s GPU, but this is the first time we’ve seen the boost on a US device. We also found a way to disable this special CPU mode, so for the first time we can see just how much Samsung’s benchmark optimizations affect benchmark scores.
This was also followed up by AnandTech:
Running any games, even the most demanding titles, returned a GPU frequency of 480MHz – just like@AndreiF alleged. Samsung never publicly claimed max GPU frequencies for Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa (our information came from internal sources), so no harm no foul thus far. Firing up GLBenchmark 2.5.1 however triggers a GPU clock not available elsewhere: 532MHz. The same is true for AnTuTu and Quadrant.
Samsung either needs to make this performance enhancing mode available for all applications, or stop using it in benchmark tests because it really is cheating the system. Do you agree?