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Samsung Caught Boosting Galaxy S4 Benchmarks

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the not-that-you-should-buy-a-phone-for-its-benchmarks dept.

Cellphones 234

A recent forum post at Beyond3D made an interesting claim: that the Samsung Galaxy S4's GPU ran at 532 MHz for certain whitelisted benchmark applications, and at 480 MHz for everything else. The folks at AnandTech decided to investigate and found out that the phone does indeed let its GPU run at a higher frequency when particular benchmark software is running. They found a similar oddity with the CPU — it wasn't restricted for other apps, but it was forced to run at max speed during benchmarks. Then they decided to look for direct evidence that this was intentional. "Poking around I came across the application changing the DVFS behavior to allow these frequency changes – TwDVFSApp.apk. Opening the file in a hex editor and looking at strings inside (or just running strings on the .odex file) pointed at what appeared to be hard coded profiles/exceptions for certain applications. The string 'BenchmarkBooster' is a particularly telling one. ... Quadrant standard, advanced, and professional, linpack (free, not paid), Benchmark Pi, and AnTuTu are all called out specifically. Nothing for GLBenchmark 2.5.1 though, despite its similar behavior."

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234 comments

And you think they're the only one why? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44433521)

Newsflash. Apple do exactly the same thing, as does every other manufacturer.

Re: And you think they're the only one why? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44433539)

Source, proof, evidence or STFU.

Re: And you think they're the only one why? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44433587)

Here you go

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57593426-92/debate-sparked-about-benchmark-for-intel-arm-chips/

Re: And you think they're the only one why? (4, Informative)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about a year ago | (#44433671)

Here you go

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57593426-92/debate-sparked-about-benchmark-for-intel-arm-chips/

Meh. That link basically says that there are different results from different benchmarks. It says that it's a "not uncommon assertion" that companies "have attempted in the past to "manipulate" benchmarks", but that's not the same as finding code that overclocks the chip specifically when it's running benchmark programs

Re: And you think they're the only one why? (1)

dimeglio (456244) | about a year ago | (#44433945)

This is just like steroids in sports. Shameful.

Re:And you think they're the only one why? (4, Insightful)

beltsbear (2489652) | about a year ago | (#44433551)

No, they don't. There is a difference between optimizing a system and overclocking just for specific benchmark apps. Samsung could get fraud charges on this one if they advertised or published the benchmarked speed. It is less obvious if they did not do the publishing themselves.

Re:And you think they're the only one why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44433597)

No, they don't.

Though I agree the burden of proof is on the accuser, that is a very definitive statement, how do you know for sure? We didn't know this about Samsung either before recently, and digging into this on other phones could reveal more. Without such information I agree with the other response to the OP though:

"Source, proof, evidence or STFU".

Re:And you think they're the only one why? (4, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44433811)

Except they're not overclocking anything because the GPU is rated for 533mhz.

They're just making sure that even if the benchmark apps don't tell it to work in it's most high performance profile that it does, because the whole point in benchmarks is to give a benchmark of the optimal performance of a device.

The danger is that if they don't do this then the benchmark programs will give a misleading view of the performance capabilities of the device because they'll only be running it in the more power saving oriented default mode.

What's the alternative, they don't do this and shitty benchmark apps that take no advantage of the optimisation options for the device suggest it's not as powerful as it really is and so they get slated for it being underpowered even if that's not true?

Re:And you think they're the only one why? (0)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#44433991)

How is it not true that it's underpowered if it only runs in power-saving mode for the user?

Re:And you think they're the only one why? (0, Flamebait)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44434013)

It doesn't. Other applications can run at 533mhz, it's just that that's not usually necessary and hence preferable to save power.

Re:And you think they're the only one why? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#44434095)

Provide an example of a thirdparty app running at 533MHz on the S4.

Re:And you think they're the only one why? (5, Informative)

whisper_jeff (680366) | about a year ago | (#44434131)

It doesn't. Other applications can run at 533mhz...

No. They can't. Please try reading the article.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7187/looking-at-cpugpu-benchmark-optimizations-galaxy-s-4 [anandtech.com]

...all other apps/games were limited to 480MHz.

Other applications can NOT run at 533. The only applications that have access to that speed boost are benchmark apps.

The ONLY apps.

Please read the article before you continue spreading your misinformation.

Re:And you think they're the only one why? (0, Troll)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44434187)

"No. They can't. Please try reading the article."

A wrong article is still wrong. Samsung themselves have quoted a number of their apps that run at 533mhz. You'll have to let other vendors tell us whether they use the same optimisations or not.

Realistically the biggest problem is that most people don't bother to optimise specifically for the GS4 because it's extra work for not really any worthwhile benefit (an extra 53mhz isn't going to change that much, especially at the expense of higher power consumption) so not many apps will run at the full 533mhz and I agree that's an issue, but it doesn't change the fact that 533mhz is the correct clock speed to benchmark the phones optimum capability at.

Re:And you think they're the only one why? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#44434151)

Other applications being other benchmarks?

Re:And you think they're the only one why? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44434007)

Wow. Did you even read the article. Or even the summary? They aren't doing this to ensure the device isn't running in power saving mode. The enhanced frequency is _ONLY_ available to benchmark tests. The code even refers to it as BenchmarkBooster. What do you possibly think BenchmarkBooster does?

Seriously, you are the personification of "fandroid" right now.

Re:And you think they're the only one why? (3, Informative)

hattig (47930) | about a year ago | (#44434009)

But the device doesn't do 533MHz for the GPU in any other use case, the top clock for the GPU is 480MHz.

This isn't "forcing the system into optimal mode for benchmarks so that power saving, etc, doesn't futz the result".

This is forcing the GPU into a state that never can be attained by any other software on the system.

Of course I'm not ignoring the fact that another Samsung device runs at 533MHz and this was a bad cut and paste job onto the new device!

Re:And you think they're the only one why? (-1, Redundant)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44434079)

"But the device doesn't do 533MHz for the GPU in any other use case"

Yes it does, and given that the rest of your post is based on that incorrect premise then you are simply wrong.

Re:And you think they're the only one why? (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#44434107)

Does it?

Re:And you think they're the only one why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44434199)

You are a liar who's spamming the hell out of this thread with your lies. The original article clearly states that 533MHz is not available for any other apps nor games - it's only available for benchmark tests.

Stop spreading lies.

Re:And you think they're the only one why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44433881)

You know this how? There's no way to tell if Apple does this or not since their OS is closed source..

Re:And you think they're the only one why? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44433645)

Posts like this is proof to me that as much as the Fandroids out there claim they have a better gizmo in their pocket that they know the truth is that Apple is better. You don't compare yourself to someone who you think you're leaving in the dust. A real winner doesn't look back at the competition and spit in their eye to make themselves feel better... they feel better because they are better.

No different than how Samsung made tons of commercials poking fun of iPhone users. If you make a better product just show the product. If you make an inferior product then take cheap shots at the competition.

Re:And you think they're the only one why? (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#44433663)

No different than how Samsung made tons of commercials poking fun of iPhone users. If you make a better product just show the product. If you make an inferior product then take cheap shots at the competition.

Yep. Apple would never make adverts poking fun at the competition...

Re:And you think they're the only one why? (-1, Troll)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year ago | (#44433687)

Yep. Apple would never make adverts poking fun at the competition...

Apple makes fun of competitors. Samsung makes fun of their competitor's customers. Big difference.

Microsoft on the other hand also did an advert making fun of fanboys and fandroids (in other words, not the typical user) which was quite funny for everybody who cares for these things (and probably went over everyone else's head).

Re:And you think they're the only one why? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44433793)

So those Apple Commercials where the Apple spokesman is a "hip guy" while the "PC" guy is some nerd are not making fun of the customers?

Re: And you think they're the only one why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44433859)

Nope. Those ads are making fun of PC guys.

Re: And you think they're the only one why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44434051)

And "PC guys" are customers of IBM PC compatible brand. so yes, they made fun of the competitions customers.

Re:And you think they're the only one why? (4, Insightful)

dugancent (2616577) | about a year ago | (#44433721)

That's nice. It's still unethical and should be treated as such.

Re: And you think they're the only one why? (1)

Mabhatter (126906) | about a year ago | (#44433781)

They lose TWO INTERNETS today!

Don't make us take away another one.

Re:And you think they're the only one why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44434205)

That's nice. It's still unethical and should be treated as such.

They are no different than any other modern corporation, just assume everything they say or publish is a lie and go from there. You'll never be disappointed and sometimes (though rarely) you'll be pleasantly surprised when the advertized hype is somewhat close to the truth.

Re:And you think they're the only one why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44434213)

You are feeding a troll/flamebait.

Easy to start a flamewar pointing to Apple, while the facts of the story have to do with GPU which is specced at 533 MHz but running it at that speed causes overheating. Apple does not use a GPU clocked at 533 Mhz - it uses a 350 Mhz GPU which is of a similar architecture, but without Direct X.

YMMV (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year ago | (#44434029)

I suppose the old car analogy now applies to phones too.

Government Regulation (5, Insightful)

ElementOfDestruction (2024308) | about a year ago | (#44433531)

When every sixth topic on Slashdot is about the evils and perils of Government Regulation, why are we constantly seeing examples of companies misleading, blatantly lying, to their customers? We need more teeth on consumer regulation. I bought my Samsung Galaxy S4 on certain assumptions of power. Remember Hyundai blatantly lying about their fuel numbers for half a decade? They were doled out a punishment, but the boost in sales due to in part by their chain-wide efficiency offset any net losses.

Slashdot readers will remember this, and probably choose an S4 when faced with so few choices. Samsung sees no benefit to not skewing numbers in the future.

Re: Government Regulation (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44433565)

Samsung is blacklisted in my house. Would definitely not choose an S4 even if it would be the last remaining Smartphone.

Samsung = Scamscum.

Sony, for example (2, Insightful)

ElementOfDestruction (2024308) | about a year ago | (#44433635)

Sony has betrayed consumers more than almost any Tech company can name. They're universally hated across all spectrum of Slashdot users.

Yet they're largely poised to win the next "Console War" and they're still one of the premier names in the home entertainment business.

Companies have NOTHING to fear from consumer retaliation. Consumers are by and large stupid, with an extremely short term memory.

Re:Sony, for example (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44433673)

You're assuming that peoples purchasing decisions are actually related to the bluster they put online. ... and that /. represents a significant proportion of the population...

Re:Sony, for example (1)

Ignacio (1465) | about a year ago | (#44433907)

Yet they're largely poised to win the next "Console War"

Only because they're the only one left that has any "wiggle room" within their target parameters; XBox has no need to run CoD any prettier or faster, and Wii still makes money hand over fist per unit (with Wii U at a slight loss, but really, who cares about the Wii U).

Re:Sony, for example (3, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | about a year ago | (#44434233)

Part of that is that unlike his predecessor (Stringer) - Hirai realizes that treating your customers like shit is bad for business.

Sony under Hirai is very different from Sony under Stringer - this is most obvious if you look at Sony Mobile, who are one of the largest contributors to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and the only manufacturer that actively maintains AOSP builds for some of their devices. There are numerous signs that, rather than squash the anomalous behavior of the former Sony-Ericsson, the rest of Sony is starting to adopt Mobile's ways.

Re: Government Regulation (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44433649)

And in my house:

Sony = Pony
Panasonic = Wankasonic
Apple = Crapple
Nokia = Cock-ia

I live alone.

Re: Government Regulation (4, Funny)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#44433761)

Sony = Pony

What's wrong with ponies? :(

Re: Government Regulation (4, Funny)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#44433855)

Pony and trap, crap. AC is a cockney.

Re: Government Regulation (1)

rot26 (240034) | about a year ago | (#44433935)

U mad bro?

Re: Government Regulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44433941)

pony and trap = crap

Re: Government Regulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44433949)

My Little Sony
I used to wonder what bad tech could be
My Little Sony
Until all about it Sony taught me

Re: Government Regulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44434087)

It's *one* pony. Way too few ponies.

Re: Government Regulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44434251)

An actual 30-second spot for the show riffed on Apple's "There's an app for that" ad campaign [youtube.com] : "And if you want a sun-stealing, princessnapping, lover-of-darkness stick-in-the-mud, there's even a pony for that. Yep, there's a pony for just about anything..."

Re: Government Regulation (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#44433827)

That is well and good, but if you refuse to buy any phone whose manufacturer has not done some shady stuff, what does that leave you with? I don't immediately recall hearing anything about HTC being evil, but that's undoubtedly due more to me not really being interested than them being a company of saints.

Re:Government Regulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44433619)

Because you can't opt out of government regulation. Nobody's forcing you to buy an S4.

Re:Government Regulation (3, Insightful)

Bornhuetter (2804691) | about a year ago | (#44433641)

Arguments about whether "more regulation" is good or bad are in my experience almost always misguided. We need better regulation, but that is much harder to define, and doesn't make for as good a soundbite.

Re:Government Regulation (2)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#44433713)

You bought the phone on certain assumptions of power. OK, that's fine. Would a difference of at most 10.8% difference in the benchmark results have changed your choice? Or would you still have bought the Galaxy S4 for its features? Do your applications run acceptably fast? Has the slow speed made you wish you had bought a different phone?

This is not at all the same thing that Hyundai did. They actually lied about their test results from standard tests and were caught when the EPA did the same test and got much lower numbers. If you run the benchmarks on your phone, you will apparently get the same numbers as Samsung published, even if nothing else on your phone is allowed to run that fast.

I'm not saying what Samsung did was right. I'm just saying you're exaggerating the significance.

Re:Government Regulation (4, Funny)

ElementOfDestruction (2024308) | about a year ago | (#44433867)

It's about getting lied to. It fucking sucks. If the operates 10% slower than it performs on tests, I would expect - at the least - an explanation or a discount off the outrageous selling price. Yes, I really don't care if it operates at peak performance, the way I use my phone I suspect I wouldn't see any performance differential.

But I wouldn't want to buy a Delorean advertised to be capable of going 95 mph, only to find out that it can go 95 mph when it's being timed on a closed course; when normally used, it can only physically run at 86mph. I need 88 mph in a mall parking lot, otherwise the mother fucking Libyans will get me.

Re:Government Regulation (-1, Flamebait)

the computer guy nex (916959) | about a year ago | (#44433729)

Samsung has received no punishment to date for creating a 150 page report on how to change their phones to look more like iPhones. Until they are actually punished, they will continue to mislead the public.

The other recent topic is how ridiculous their "waterproof" phone is. They clog up the connectors with rubber plugs. If the rubber plug gets loose, your phone is fried.

Re:Government Regulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44433731)

Hate to burst you bubble, but how many American companies flat out lie about there products? You seem to be against anything made in or from China/Chinese!!

Mentioning Samsung and Hyundai, but leaving out American products hmmmm... There are regulations in place and they have done little to stop American and other (countries) companies from lying or cheating. And it will be a miracle if they passed any new ones without loopholes or without regulating bodies ignoring which ever company they fell like or which ever company they pick and choose to go after.

And if you have any evidence of Samsung falsely promoting there phones with high speeds CPU's/GPU's please share it, unless Samsung did the benchmarks themselves and release there findings there is no false advertising.

Re:Government Regulation (-1, Troll)

the computer guy nex (916959) | about a year ago | (#44433751)

Hate to burst you bubble, but how many American companies flat out lie about there products? .

A small minority compared with these Asian knock-off companies.

Re:Government Regulation (1)

ElementOfDestruction (2024308) | about a year ago | (#44433819)

Samsung and Hyundai are Korean you fuck. Nice try anonytroll!

I find it far more interesting that the US Government will not buy Lenovo's because of the Chinese government's practice of installing espionage software on factory machines.

Re:Government Regulation (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#44433757)

Your post is ironic given that this article is about the public policing itself. I wouldn't be surprised if civil litigation came out of this. We'll see.

Re:Government Regulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44433895)

When every sixth topic on Slashdot is about the evils and perils of Government Regulation, why are we constantly seeing examples of companies misleading, blatantly lying, to their customers?

Regulatory bodies are inevitably subverted by the groups they're supposed to be policing. At best they're merely dishonest, at worst they become a tool for the largest corporations to prevent competition. You end up with the same problems you started with, except when you discover the problems and try to fix them, you will be funding the opposition to your efforts.

If a government bureaucrat releases an obviously flawed benchmark, what's my recourse? Stop paying taxes? Wait two years and vote for someone who says he'll appoint a new department head? This is in every way worse then the situation I have now.

Liars (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44433629)

They are liars and no self-respecting nerd should buy a phone from Samsung to boycott actions like this.

Re:Liars (1)

Pikoro (844299) | about a year ago | (#44433653)

I disagree. Any self respecting nerd SHOULD buy one of these. Then publish an app to overclock it for every application.

Re:Liars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44433733)

I disagree. Any self respecting nerd SHOULD buy one of these. Then publish an app to overclock it for every application.

Why would you do that? All you'd end up with is a device with a shorter battery life that is more prone to overheating.

Re:Liars (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#44434083)

Well, then you get a phone that fails much earlier, use the warranty and get another phone!

Of course, that one will probably require overclocking too...

Plus, you can use them when camping in the mountains as a sleeping bag warmer.

I've seen this before (2)

earthforce_1 (454968) | about a year ago | (#44433643)

I remember old articles where ATI and Nvidia were both caught out gaming benchmarks, in one case by embedding particular benchmark game strings in their driver, and short cutting a few algorithms to boost their score.
 

Official answer from Samsung (4, Informative)

pieleric (917714) | about a year ago | (#44433665)

There seems to be an official answer from Samsung here: http://samsungtomorrow.com/4676 [samsungtomorrow.com]

It's in Korean, but here is the translation, provided by sammobile.com:
"Under ordinary conditions, the Galaxy S4 has been designed to allow a maximum GPU frequency of 533MHz. However, the maximum GPU frequency is lowered to 480MHz for certain gaming apps that may cause an overload, when they are used for a prolonged period of time in full-screen mode. Meanwhile, a maximum GPU frequency of 533MHz is applicable for running apps that are usually used in full-screen mode, such as the S Browser, Gallery, Camera, Video Player, and certain benchmarking apps, which also demand substantial performance.

The maximum GPU frequencies for the Galaxy S4 have been varied to provide optimal user experience for our customers, and were not intended to improve certain benchmark results.

We remain committed to providing our customers with the best possible user experience."

Re:Official answer from Samsung (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#44433717)

That doesn't tally with the information extracted from the S4 code: it lists several benchmark apps, which when detected activate a "boost" feature that changes the CPU clock.

Re:Official answer from Samsung (3, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44433763)

That's because the app has to tell the phone to stop saving battery and start performing at it's most optimal speed and the danger is that if the benchmark apps aren't built to do this then the benchmark apps will only give a benchmark for the phones power saving mode rather than at it's optimal performance.

There's no overclocking going on, the GPU is rated for 533mhz so running at 532mhz in that configuration isn't any kind of fudge but a genuine representation of how the phone can perform at peak.

Re:Official answer from Samsung (0)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#44433797)

The CPU isn't "rated" for anything, Samsung didn't release any GPU or CPU clock figures until the denial quoted above.

Re:Official answer from Samsung (4, Informative)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44433851)

Maybe you should learn to use Google. There's plenty of quotes of 533mhz for the GPU from long before this article and Samsung's response.

One example in the comments section of this article from March which a very quick simple search dug up:

http://www.sammobile.com/2013/03/03/galaxy-s-ivs-specifications-leak-confirm-exynos-octa-powervr-sgx-544mp/ [sammobile.com]

Or are you just being a fanboy and not actually interested in the facts? Because the comment you just posted is a complete lie which suggests that maybe that's the real problem you have.

Re:Official answer from Samsung (0)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#44433905)

First line of the article:

Somebody with a Galaxy S IV has just performed an Antutu benchmark and revealed all the specifications of the device!

Antutu being one of the benchmarks that supposedly activates the overclock. You must be a real threat down at the debating club.

Re:Official answer from Samsung (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44433995)

Did you read the comment or was it just too much for you to face the truth?

Re:Official answer from Samsung (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#44434085)

"It is supposedly clocked at 533mHz, which is more than double the iPad 4."?

Re:Official answer from Samsung (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44434119)

Right and you think that figure was just pulled out of thin ever even though it turn out to be completely correct?

But here you go, have some more links to get upset over:

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/150686-samsung-galaxy-s4-dimensions-weight-battery-size-and-hardware-specs-confirmed-ahead-of-launch [extremetech.com]

http://mobileandphone.com/samsung-galaxy-s4-vs-galaxy-note-2/ [mobileandphone.com]

So what's your next excuse? That Samsung paid the whole internet to retrospectively doctor their old news articles and Google to update their indexes and caches?

You could just admit you were wrong instead you know? You'd look a whole lot less stupid than scraping about desperately for excuses to try and prop up your already crumbled argument.

Re:Official answer from Samsung (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#44434143)

Firstly, the comment in the article clearly got its clock speed claim from the article. Secondly, I think every one of those articles got the clock rate from a benchmarking application because Samsung didn't release a GPU clock speed and it's standard practice in the Android community.

Re:Official answer from Samsung (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#44434177)

You come back to me with a GPU clock speed quote that comes from actual Samsung literature and not a benchmark app or a source-less web page, and then we'll talk some more.

Re:Official answer from Samsung (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44434235)

Bless, it must be hard being a fanboy. It seems to demand a lot of mental anguish to deny everything right in front of your eyes with all these rapid posts your making everywhere trying your damned hardest to remove any suggestion that maybe Samsung isn't actually doing much wrong here.

At the end of the day the device was being quoted at 533mhz way back in March and it's capable of performing at that now. There's no getting away from that as much as you kick, scream, and throw your teddy out the pram.

I'm sorry it upsets you that much but I guess that's the price you pay for being so desperate to refuse to accept reality.

Re:Official answer from Samsung (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44433887)

But according to Samsung, the phone runs certain apps (such as the browser) at 533MHz and others at 480Mhz (certain games). So is it cheating for them to make sure benchmarks run at the higher clock speed, when there are real-world apps that run at this speed as well?

Re:Official answer from Samsung (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#44433955)

That would depend on whether thirdparty apps get the higher performance too. I don't think the fact that a handful of built-in Samsung functions use the higher clock is a good guideline to how the device will perform in typical use.

I'm curious as to how Samsung is maintaining this list of videogames that require an underclock, and how often it's updated. Wouldn't your phone's performance on the new Deus Ex game drop with the next software update?

Re:Official answer from Samsung (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44434041)

'Benchmark booster'

Re:Official answer from Samsung (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#44434191)

If "saving battery" is the phone's state whenever it is not running a benchmarking application, it is the phone's normal state.

Re:Official answer from Samsung (1)

jovius (974690) | about a year ago | (#44433899)

I'm trying to understand what's wrong in making a device to run unrestrained when making the benchmarks. The very idea is to test what the device is capable of.

This calls for more extensive and hands-on comparison and feature testing. It's funny how much people are tuned to numbers.

The benchmark app producers could also be provided with a flag to turn the limiting features on and off. The more transparency the better anyway.

Re:Official answer from Samsung (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#44434053)

"What the device is capable of" is a function of the device's current state - clock speed, cooling, voltages, power supply, etc.. You want to test the device in the same state that it will actually be used. A 533MHz benchmark is a good indication of what this particular chipset would be capable of when it is running at 533MHz. It is not a good indicator of what this chipset would be capable of if you clocked it to 400MHz, or at 1600MHz, or 3GHz.

Re:Official answer from Samsung (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44434103)

Because it doesn't run at those speeds for everything else.

Thus the benchmarks are numbers that you won't ever see in reality.

AKA worthless.

Re:Official answer from Samsung (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#44434179)

Both AMD and nVidia have "profiles" for specific games that try to get the best performance out of them with per-executable tweaks. It's not cheating, just optimization. The problem is people get upset when they do it for benchmarks, but really all it does it show how pointless benchmarks are. Either they don't tweak in which case the benchmark performs worse than it would if it were a game/app, or they do tweak and get accused of cheating.

Re:Official answer from Samsung (2)

ernest.cunningham (972490) | about a year ago | (#44433735)

Except that all testing thus far shows this to not be true, including the discovery of the benchmark booster....

Re:Official answer from Samsung (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#44433737)

The section of code that activates the changes is actually called "BenchmarkBooster". Someone will be fired for that I'm sure.

Re:Official answer from Samsung (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#44433749)

And in fact, Anandtech specifically points out the opposite:

It's interesting that this is sort of the reverse of what we saw GPU vendors do in FurMark. [...] In order to avoid creating a situation where thermals were higher than they'd be while playing a normal game (and to avoid damaging graphics cards without thermal protection), we saw GPU vendors limit the clock frequency of their GPUs when they detected these power-virus style of apps.

Re:Official answer from Samsung (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44433803)

What a joke. Too bad they can do no wrong in Korea, cause thats just nonsense. Government protects Hyundai and Samsung to the end.

Wake up, fandroids! (-1, Flamebait)

TimHunter (174406) | about a year ago | (#44433679)

Waiting for the Samsung fandroids to wake up and start explaining why this isn't cheating, it's optimizing, and even if it is cheating it's Apple's fault.

Re:Wake up, fandroids! (1)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about a year ago | (#44433683)

Nobody mentioned Apple. You mentioned Apple.

Re:Wake up, fandroids! (1)

Cid Highwind (9258) | about a year ago | (#44433835)

Newsflash. Apple do exactly the same thing, as does every other manufacturer.
by Anonymous Coward on 7:15 31 July 2013

So yeah, they're already here and they were mentioning Apple 20 minutes before TimHunter..

Re:Wake up, fandroids! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44433703)

Tuppe666 should be here shortly to provide this.

Re:Wake up, fandroids! (2, Funny)

robmv (855035) | about a year ago | (#44433777)

Samsung copy everything Apple do, so it is Apple's fault :P

Still way behind even after stacking the deck (3, Informative)

the computer guy nex (916959) | about a year ago | (#44433689)

Shows how far behind Samsung is in terms of hardware engineering. They stack the deck and still can't touch a 9 month old phone. Both browser performance and gaming performance, the 2 most stressful use cases on a smartphone, are way behind Apple.

http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph6914/54294.png [anandtech.com]
http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph6914/54296.png [anandtech.com]
http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph6914/54300.png [anandtech.com]
http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph6914/54298.png [anandtech.com]
http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph6914/54305.png [anandtech.com]

I think we should end this (4, Insightful)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year ago | (#44433775)

I don't think we need to celebrate benchmarking phones, period. This was one of those flamebait trolling things that happened in the PC era where people boasted how superficially fast their beloved shoebox was by putting $10k worth of equipment into and liquid cooling it just to get some high number result in 3D Mark or some other meaningless program.

We don't need this for phones.

Yes phones play games, yes phones are getting faster, but realize that phones and tablets are a HUGE step back from the PC era in terms of performance so benchmarking them means you may as well drag out your dusty Pentium era PC and start boasting about good its benchmark numbers are.

Also when 80% of the apps on the Android platform are unstable POS then I don't care about how fast they crash. Even Chrome quits unexpectedly repeatedly and this is by the company that makes the Android platform on their own Nexus brand devices.

Re:I think we should end this (0)

the computer guy nex (916959) | about a year ago | (#44433801)

Also when 80% of the apps on the Android platform are unstable POS then I don't care about how fast they crash. Even Chrome quits unexpectedly repeatedly and this is by the company that makes the Android platform on their own Nexus brand devices.

Your fault for not doing research ahead of time. I have literally hundreds of games on both my iPad and iPhone and never experience crashes. Android is a terrible gaming platform.

Boosting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44433911)

I not sure that is boosting, normal processing may be 480mhz, because that is what they need, does you computer clock always runs at top of its resources?

Oh FFS (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about a year ago | (#44433973)

This was probably done by the Engineers who designed the phone so they could get an accurate benchmark of the final product without it kicking into power save mode. Then again was it left in for negligence or marketing reasons? Whatever the reasons it doesn't actually appear to be over clocking the GPU so what's the issue? And why does everyone have to look so surprised when corporations lie to us they do it all the time anyway!

/Rant

Re:Oh FFS (1)

gedeco (696368) | about a year ago | (#44434135)

Make sense

Over clocking = Running a CPU/GPU at a higher speed then it was designed for. (This doesn't seems the case here)
Under Clocking: Running a CPU/GPU at a lower speed then it was designed for. (Reduce Power Consumption)

To me, it makes sence not all time running at max speed, since most of time, you will notice the device is running idle.

If it's intenionally done to provide better statistics? Probably,in the other case, at least they lack proper communication.

I wonder how hard it can be to make an app to boost the frequency for any other app?
This will give users the possibility to fry their phone or drain their battery at wish.

Re:Oh FFS (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#44434245)

Given that a single component might be sold to be used at a variety of clock rates up to its hypothetical maximum depending upon need, it's more normal these days to say you're over/under clocking relative to the device's maximum under normal operation. For example, the original PSP's graphics chipset could run up to 333MHz, but all retail units were capped at 222MHz to reduce power consumption. Modders figured out how to unlock this an "overclock" to the PSP to much more than its designed graphics performance. However it was still within the upper limit of the component specifications.

The Point of a Benchmark (1)

nssy (1530925) | about a year ago | (#44434117)

I always thought the point of a benchmark is to show what a device is capable. So if the "phone does indeed let its GPU run at a higher frequency when particular benchmark software is running", Its just showing what its capable of. Though I would definitely want to run benchmarks the whole day and see what happens.

Re:The Point of a Benchmark (1)

the computer guy nex (916959) | about a year ago | (#44434161)

I always thought the point of a benchmark is to show what a device is capable. So if the "phone does indeed let its GPU run at a higher frequency when particular benchmark software is running", Its just showing what its capable of. Though I would definitely want to run benchmarks the whole day and see what happens.

For mobile, benchmarks need to balance with heat dissipation and battery life. If you can't run at that clock speed for an extended period of time due to heat or battery life, this is very misleading.

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