Recently, Samsung was caught optimising
Galaxy S4's hardware
to rig the benchmark scores it presented. It
seems the South Korean major has repeated the unpopular act yet again. A
new report by Ron Amadeo of ArsTechnica
has revealed that Samsung is artificially boosting the CPU clock
frequency of the Snapdragon 800 powered Galaxy Note 3
that enables the
device to achieve a higher score than normal with popular benchmark
Amadeo reportedly tested the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 against the
LG G2, which runs the same chipset - featuring a 2.26GHz Qualcomm
Snapdragon 800 processor. He found that the Galaxy Note 3 phablet topped
all tests against the LG G2, despite both having identical innards.
report further reveals that by using a CPU monitor, it was evident that
the Note 3's CPU detected certain benchmarks. Some more digging also
revealed that a few popular benchmark apps (such as Geekbench) when
opened, bumped the Note 3's CPU clock frequency to its maximum of
2.26GHz, while other apps and games (non-benchmark app) were limited to
use 300MHz with three cores idling.
The ArsTechnica report also
noted that when simply changing the name of a benchmarking app, like
Geekbench to Stealthbench, it turned the scores lower. The report also
revealed which benchmarks the Galaxy Note 3's CPU detected, a list that
includes Geekbench, Quadrant, Antutu, Linpack, and GFXBench, apart from
Samsung's own benchmarks.
In the past, a simple way for an
end-user to check the potency of an Android-based smartphone was by
running a set of benchmarks that revealed the CPU, GPU and overall
performance of a device. However, it seems now that major handset
players like Samsung are tweaking their smartphones to win the
performance race only in name.
Analysing the issue of rigging smartphones, AnandTech's Anand Lal Shimpi
and Brian Klug, in their post, "They're (Almost) All Dirty: The State
of Cheating in Android Benchmarks," say that Apple and Motorola are
perhaps the only two OEMs that are not optimizing their handsets for the
sake of higher benchmark scores.
Earlier, Samsung was accused
for optimising the Exynos 5 Octa-powered Samsung Galaxy S4 for
benchmarks. The company responded to the claims, and clarified that it
did not use any specific tools to achieve higher benchmarks.
Update: Samsung has issued the following statement to CNET UK in response to the above incident:
The Galaxy Note 3 maximises its CPU/ GPU frequencies when running features that demand substantial performance. This was not an attempt to exaggerate particular benchmarking results. We remain committed to providing our customers with the best possible user experience.