Samsung 'cheats' Galaxy S4 benchmarks: Wonka incensed

Samsung Galaxy S4 benchmark cheats?

Samsung stands accused of cheating in benchmarks. Technical analysis 'proves' that the Galaxy S4 deliberately boosts performance in benchmarks, by running its CPU and GPU at higher speeds than are normally possible.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers are shocked. SHOCKED!

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

Andrei "Nebuchadnezzar" Fernandes rants from Groussherzogtum Lëtzebuerg:

Samsung, shame on you! ... This GPU does not run 532MHz; that frequency level is solely reserved for Antutu and GLBenchmark. ... The GPU on non-whitelisted applications is limited to 480MHz.


/facepalm  MORE

Brian Klug (with Anand Lal Shimpi) dig into the detail:

[Fernandes] alleged that Samsung was only exposing its 533MHz GPU clock to certain benchmarks - all other apps/games were limited to 480MHz. ...what follows are our findings.


Running any games, even the most demanding titles, returned a GPU frequency of 480MHz. ... Firing up GLBenchmark 2.5.1 however triggers...532MHz. The same is true for AnTuTu and Quadrant. ... [They're] singled run the GPU at the higher frequency/voltage setting.


I was curious to see if CPU performance responded similarly to these benchmarks. ... Firing up GLBenchmark 2.5.1 causes a switch to...a default frequency of 1.2GHz. The CPU clocks never drop below that, even when just sitting idle. ... A quick check across AnTuTu, Linpack, Benchmark Pi, and Quadrant reveals the same. ...the CPU is set to the maximum CPU frequency available. ...all cores are plugged in as well, regardless of load.


Poking around I came across...TwDVFSApp.apk. ...looking at strings inside...pointed at what appeared to be hard coded profiles/exceptions. ... "BenchmarkBooster" is a particularly telling [string]. ... What Samsung needs to either open up these settings for all users...that fixes the...high performance mode...or remove the optimization.  MORE

If true, how should we interpret these optimizations? Rik Myslewski has a strong opinion:

Samsung has reportedly been caught cheating.


The gun may not be belching great clouds of damning smoke, but there's more than a mere wisp emanating from its barrel. ...there's only one possible conclusion: Samsung is cheating. And if they're cheating, there's a fair chance that others are. ... As the director of a product-testing lab in the 90s, such cheating was the bane of my 9-to-5 existence.  MORE

Patrick Jones laughs out loud. A lot:

Unscrupulous. Trying to get everyone to buy into their bull on specs and performance while selling a pinto engine in a mustang body. Lol.


Our screen is bigger than Apple's. Our processor is faster than Apple's. We are cool and Apple is for older folks. Lol.


But people buy their stuff anyway and think they better than Apple and are somehow getting the best deal. ... You get what you pay for. Lol.  MORE

Confused? Marc Comeau offers a car analogy:

It specifically overclocks for benchmark apps.’s a matter of the phone never being as fast as it is in the benchmarks.


It’s like the Nissan GT-R taking the speed limiter off when the GPS says you’re at a racetrack... except not telling anyone...and then implying that the top speed on the track is available anytime, anywhere.  MORE

Computerworld Blogs Newsletter

Subscribe now to the Blogs Newsletter for a daily summary of the most recent and relevant blog posts at Computerworld.  

Shop Tech Products at Amazon