Samsung have done away with its controversial benchmark-influencing modifications that surfaced last year after the release of the Galaxy S4, in which Anandtech alleged the South Korean conglomerate of essentially “gaming” its devices’ CPU and GPU benchmark scores by leaving cores at “full throttle” when benchmarking applications were launched.
The benchmark influencing modifications allowed Samsung to achieve somewhat marginally higher scores in benchmark tests than its rivals – although a large number of those rivals were also found to be gaming the system by Anandtech – but, it gave the Galaxy S4 and Note 3 the appearance of being a little quicker than a typical benchmarking environment would otherwise show them to be.
The Android 4.4 update for the Galaxy S4 and Note 3 which is beginning to rollout worldwide (albeit slowly) don’t just brings the sweet goodness of KitKat, but they also show that Samsung’s benchmark shenanigans have been eradicated according to tests conducted by arstechnica and confirmed by John Poole from Primate Labs makers of benchmarking App – Geekbench.
The results of the testing were pretty conclusive. The Geekbench scores for both the Note 3 and Galaxy S4 running Android 4.4.2 are significantly lower than those shown and obtained when the devices ran Android 4.3 originally, with Poole finding that the CPU showed an initial spike when launching the Geekbench App but then appeared to run the Benchmark software ‘noramlly’.
With all this data backing up the findings from the investigation, the conclusion is pretty obvious: Samsung have indeed removed the offending code which caused the S4 and Note 3 to behave differently in benchmarking apps.
It has also be reconfirmed via a tweet from Developer Wanam confirming that the code responsible for the “boosting” behavior has been removed in the Android 4.4 ROMs for both the Note 3 and Galaxy S4.
While Samsung has apparently stopped this practice, we’re still yet to see a level playing field from other manufacturers, so the issue of trusting benchmark results is still present. With the release of new flagship smartphones and updates rolling out these will no doubt be investigated in the near future and hopefully there will be a level playing field in benchmarks in the near future.
Do you think Samsung have done the right thing by removing the benchmark-influencing modifications code from the Galaxy S4 and Note 3 in the Android 4.4 update? Do you think this will create a more level playing field when it comes to benchmark reporting?