Samsung reportedly cooking benchmark books for Exynos-powered Galaxy S4
30th Jul 2013 | 21:01
'BenchmarkBooster' points to suspicious activity
When one first thinks of performance enhancement, it's impossible to not instantly think of the current predicament plaguing sports and the litany of players caught "juicing" to generate better stats.
It would appear these athletes have been a bad influence on more than just impressionable young children, as new evidence suggests mobile manufacturer Samsung might be guilty of a different kind of boosting of its own.
New benchmark tests for the Exynos 5 Octa processor variant of the Samsung Galaxy S4 have revealed some startling performance numbers, figures that are apparently only achievable thanks to some test-taking trickery.
While benchmarking has been a way to determine just how a mobile device's CPU and GPU will perform compared to another, these tests don't always equate to the actual abilities of the device in real-world situations.
Still, that Samsung has possibly rigged testing in the S4's favor doesn't make the Korean company look like its playing fair with the competition.
Do you even benchmark, bro?
According to AnandTech, Samsung has rigged the GPU of the Exynos version of the Galaxy S4 to run at a higher frequency when being tested, and the same is true of the CPU.
During its normal usage, the Galaxy S4's GPU performed at 480MHz, but when being put through the paces using benchmarking tools like GLBench, AnTuTu, and Quadrant, the phone miraculously recorded a 533MHz.
When the CPU was put through the same type of testing, the smartphone's Cortex A15 cores pulled down a bragworthy 1.2GHz, as compared to the normal baseline of 500MHz.
The site dug a bit deeper to uncover the reasoning and method behind this dramatic turnaround, and happened upon a string of code for something called "BenchmarkBooster."
In that block of code, specific details naming the above benchmark tests were found, indicating the phone is set to push harder when it recognizes those testing applications.
No game suspensions here...
Even though the phone you'll use day-to-day won't really ever record such remarkable performance numbers, it's a shame Samsung has apparently implemented such measures to make the Exynos 5-powered S4 look that much more impressive.
Perhaps instead of worrying about fooling benchmarks into believing the Galaxy S4 is a better phone than it really is, maybe Samsung should put more effort into making the device perform better in the real world.
However, just like in baseball, now it brings into question every other device and manufacturer who may be guilty of the same practice by mere association.
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