Samsung caught tampering with Galaxy S4 scores – The Times of India on Mobile
NEW DELHI: In the world of computers, optimizing hardware to make it run faster in certain programs is a common practice. Over the years, almost all big hardware firms have allegedly fiddled with their products to artificially boost numbers in programs that power users and technology journalists use to test products.
Now, the practice seems to have entered the smartphone market. Samsung has been allegedly caught boosting the score of Exynos Octa processor, which is used in Galaxy S4 sold in India, to make it appear faster than the processors made by other companies.
Hardware testers at AnandTech, a website that keeps tracks of technology and computer hardware trends, have found that Galaxy S4 identifies some benchmarks and artificially boosts the speed of the processor to obtain better results.
On graphics side, whenever the phone finds GLBenchmark 2.5, a popular 3D benchmarking program, it boosts the speed of graphics chip to 533MHz. However, when a user is playing a video game the speed is limited to 480MHz.
On general processing side too, whenever a popular benchmarking program like Antutu or Quadrant is launched, the CPU speed is boosted and maintained at its maximum. This is different from real-world scenario because during the actual use the speed of the processor fluctuates on the basis of load as well as the temperature or heat inside the phone.
AnandTech found that Samsung includes several system files in Galaxy S4 that contain references to popular benchmarking apps. This means the phone identifies those benchmarking apps and creates special conditions to run them. Similar hardware capabilities are not available to consumers when they are using the device.
“You should be careful about comparing Exynos 5 Octa based Galaxy S4s using any of the affected benchmarks to other devices and drawing conclusions based on that. This seems to be purely an optimization to produce repeatable (and high) results in CPU tests, and deliver the highest possible GPU performance benchmarks,” AnandTech reported.
This is not the first instance of a company trying to fiddle with benchmarks. Recently, it was found that Antutu, a popular benchmark, was treating Intel’s Atom processors differently from processors made by companies like Qualcomm and MediaTek. Antutu was reportedly carrying out some hardware-based calculations that benefitted Intel processors.
After his dubious method became public, the developer of Antutu changed the code of his app. The new app gives almost 20% lower score for same Atom processors.
At Times Of India, we do not rely on benchmarks to test phones or tablets even though we use them to identify and estimate low-level hardware capabilities of a device.
We have reached out to Samsung and will update the story when if we get a statement.
Warm Regards / Ganesh Srinivasan
Sent from my iOS device
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