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galaxys4

For a few years now many have used benchmark scores to determine the relative power and speed of an Android device. Many, including myself, refuse to use benchmark as a parameter to compare one device to another as we believe that they often have very little bearing on real-world use and experience.  Results shown by others using certain devices also should be taken with a grain of salt as there are many ways to give a false benchmark score.

A user over at Beyond3D forum noticed that the GPU of the Exynos Octa 5 processor runs at a higher frequency when performing benchmark tests compared with normal use.  These claims were investigated by Anandtech and found to be true.  They opened up the app TwDVFSApp.apk within the rom and found a string entitled “BenchmarkBooster”.  Busted.  Basically this string tells the processor, when an app listed within it is running, to clock at a higher than normal level.  Bad Samsung.

Screenshot courtesy of Anandtech
Screenshot courtesy of Anandtech

Samsung have released a statement via their Korean website saying that regarding the gamification of the results:

“[We] did not use a specific tool on purpose to achieve higher benchmark scores” and”under normal conditions, the Galaxy S4 operates up to 533MHz at its best performance.” 

Samsung said that some full screen apps are classified as requiring a higher performance and the GPU is then clocked while that app is running.  Samsung did not comment on the strings of code where the benchmark apps are specifically mentioned.

While I like that they have tried to address this I definitely have my doubts and this explanation reads as a poor excuse to attempt to smooth things over after being caught lying about the performance of their device.  I am sure their users would be happier if Samsung spent more time on making the S4 run smoothly than in so-called “benchmark optimization”.  Why waste time coding this when they could be improving the day to day experience of using the Galaxy S4?  Moral of the story, do not buy a device based on supposed benchmark scores.  Go for the best real world experience for you.

Do you have a problem with Samsung doing this?  Do you consider it false advertising?  Do you place any credence at all in benchmarks?  Will you continue to do so?

Source: AnandtechBeyond3DThe Verge.
    22 Comments
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    Jorge
    Jorge
    7 years ago

    Samsung is completely underhanded, it’s not just in Taiwan they are spamming I’ve found bots on YouTube that spam Samsung propaganda 24/7

    No One
    No One
    7 years ago

    First they copy Apple, then hire student to make negative post about competitors, then come the dirty ads on TV and youtube and now this. What will be next Samsung? So much for your brand and reputation.

    Sean Royce
    Sean Royce
    Reply to  No One
    7 years ago

    How did they directly copy Apple? Do explain.

    Sujay Vilash
    Sujay Vilash
    Reply to  Sean Royce
    7 years ago

    The posters name says it all, doesn’t it ??

    Sean Royce
    Sean Royce
    Reply to  Sujay Vilash
    7 years ago

    Benchmarks don’t = copying.

    Sujay Vilash
    Sujay Vilash
    Reply to  No One
    7 years ago

    But they still sell a s**tload of handsets. So whatever they are doing, it is working on the profit front. So they will continue to keep doing.

    JeniSkunk
    JeniSkunk
    7 years ago

    Folks are complaining, without thinking.
    The SGS4 has code that can change the processor speed depending on the app running.
    Can this code be leveraged in any third party apps?

    Andrew
    Andrew
    Reply to  JeniSkunk
    7 years ago

    Not without Samsung doing so. The point is that Samsung deliberately white-listed benchmark apps so that they would perform better on those specific benchmark tests (Antutu, Quadrant, Linpack etc) so that tech websites quoting benchmarks and comparisons on their websites would have Samsung’s phones artificially performing better than the competitions’. And no, a 3rd party app would not have access to boost the clock speed of the GPU or CPU as that Samsung did for those benchmark apps. Samsung did this deliberately to skew benchmark results that tech websites regularly quote to boost the performance of the S4 and make… Read more »

    JamesT
    JamesT
    Reply to  JeniSkunk
    7 years ago

    You’re fat

    Sean Royce
    Sean Royce
    Reply to  JamesT
    7 years ago

    Lol!

    kungfutigerr
    kungfutigerr
    Reply to  JamesT
    7 years ago

    That’s not nice:(

    Dave
    Dave
    7 years ago

    I will check benchmarks when buying a new product (be it a phone, tablet, PC component etc), but I certainly wouldn’t base any purchase on such. I put a lot more credence on complete reviews based on real world performance. I think it’s a bit naughty of Samsung to be doing this, but most every company fudges things these days.

    wpw
    wpw
    7 years ago

    So should the dev community be able to utilize this to optimise the gpu when needed?

    Daniel M
    Daniel M
    7 years ago

    For people who rely on benchmarks, it would be a betrayal. For anyone who ways on word of mouth & reputation, it’s neither here nor there. I still have my S4 and will until the S5.

    enrico
    enrico
    Reply to  Daniel M
    7 years ago

    Words of mouth is that the S4 lags

    Daniel M
    Daniel M
    Reply to  enrico
    7 years ago

    I haven’t noticed any issues. So my word of mouth is that it’s an OK handset.

    Andrew
    Andrew
    Reply to  Daniel M
    7 years ago

    From my experience, the S4 lags quite a bit more than the HTC One, Xperia Z or Nexus 4.

    Plus the camera shutter had a second delay which drove me nuts.

    Sean Royce
    Sean Royce
    Reply to  Andrew
    7 years ago

    Phones do receive updates, they don’t just get lag forever and receive no support.

    Andrew
    Andrew
    Reply to  Sean Royce
    7 years ago

    Still slower than the HTC One though, even after the updates. The camera shutter is still 5.-1 second delay. I’ll be selling off my S4 because it was even slower than my S3 I had last year, which is pretty ridiculous.

    I’ll probably pick up the One or maybe the new Xperia phone. Samsung’s software sucks. It’s ugly and is too slow and laggy. Super jealous of my workmates One that doesn’t seem to lag anywhere.

    Sean Royce
    Sean Royce
    Reply to  Andrew
    7 years ago

    Just wait for a couple of updates and stop getting on your high horse. First world problems I swear ai.

    Andrew
    Andrew
    Reply to  Sean Royce
    7 years ago

    How many more updates and how long do I have to wait though? The S4 should have been super fast right out of the box.

    My workmate got the 4.2.2 update today on his HTC One, I had a play with his phone and it’s hands down faster than my Galaxy S4 in pretty much everything. I don’t like that my higher-clocked phone is slower than his.

    I should have just gotten the HTC from the start.

    Sean Royce
    Sean Royce
    Reply to  Andrew
    7 years ago

    The S4 has many more features, and I believe that the rom wasn’t ready when they released. Who cares. It’ll be great soon enough. From what I’ve seen in store it was already pretty perfect.