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Samsung Fudging Benchmarks Again On Galaxy Note 3

timothy posted 1 year,19 days | from the selective-activation-sounds-nicer dept.

Android 258

tlhIngan writes "A few months ago, Samsung was caught gaming benchmarks on the Galaxy S4 (International version). They would lock the GPU at a higher-than-normal frequency when certain applications were run, including many popular Android benchmarking programs. These had the expected result of boosting the performance numbers. This time, the Galaxy Note 3 was caught doing the same thing, boosting CPU scores by 20% over the otherwise identical LG G2 (which uses the same SoC at the same clock). Samsung defends these claims by saying the other apps make use of such functionality, but Ars reversed-engineered the relevant code and discovered it applied only to benchmark applications. Even more damning was that the Note 3 was still faster than the G2 when run using 'stealth' (basically renamed) versions of the benchmarking apps which did not get the boost."

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If this was Apple... (2, Insightful)

thestudio_bob (894258) | 1 year,19 days | (#45004643)

If Apple did this, people would be up in arms!

Re:If this was Apple... (5, Insightful)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | 1 year,19 days | (#45004677)

Are you implying that us android users wouldn't be "up in arms"? It affects us more. While apple sells two models of the iPhone, we have a multitude of android phones to choose from. Samsung messing with the benchmark has the potential to cause a customer to chose samsung over HTC, Google Nexus, or Motorola phone.

Re:If this was Apple... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45004737)

Why would you even consider synthetic benchmarks when choosing a phone? Planning on trying some bitcoin mining on the go?

Re:If this was Apple... (0)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | 1 year,19 days | (#45004795)

I personally don't.

There are people who do otherwise why bother cheating on benchmarks?. Some people would use the benchmark to determine wether or not it's worth upgrading their phone. If their phone feels sluggish (and believe most older android phone do) which phone would they upgrade to that would be more responsive (despite the fact that benchmarks don't actually address responsiveness).

Re:If this was Apple... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45004879)

Android being sluggish is a good reason to switch to Windows Phone.

Re:If this was Apple... (1, Flamebait)

thaylin (555395) | 1 year,19 days | (#45004933)

even if android was sluggish, which it isnt, it still would not be worth the crap that is windows phone.

Re:If this was Apple... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45004983)

Yes Android is sluggish. There are 1.79 million hits on Google complaining or giving tips on how to fix the sluggishness.

It's also obvious that you haven't tried the new windows phone, they are actually quite nice and function well.

Re:If this was Apple... (2)

chucklebutte (921447) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005145)

BlackBerry 10 > all. Seriously the OS is phenominal!

Re:If this was Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005203)

Yeah, Google hits are _such_ a good benchmark! BTW, there are 3.6M hits about iPhone sluggishness and 2.1M about WinPhone.

Re:If this was Apple... (2)

Wookact (2804191) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005209)

I would thought you would have to be logged in to shill, I mean how else will you get paid per post.

Ohh BTW the search term "Windows phone 8 sucks" gets me 14 million hits. Obviously going by hits in Google isn't that great of a bench mark is it?

Re:If this was Apple... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005449)

Yes Android is sluggish. There are 1.79 million hits on Google complaining or giving tips on how to fix the sluggishness.

And the term "Windows Phone raped my dog" has 65,700,000 hits.
So, ya I hope that gets the point across to you.

Re:If this was Apple... (1)

Professr3 (670356) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005663)

... 66 million? I don't want to be on this planet anymore

Re:If this was Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005733)

No results found for "Windows Phone raped my dog".

Re:If this was Apple... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005037)

Why?

If you want a closed down system you might as well get an iPhone.

Re:If this was Apple... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005161)

It isn't just that people make buying decisions based on benchmarks. It is more that review sites make purchase recommendations based on them. If you go look for "top android phones" from review sites, you tend to get ones that benchmarked well and also have decent features. If something got really good benchmark scores, it tends to move up to their top pick - and that does drive sales.

Re:If this was Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45004859)

>Are you implying that us android users wouldn't be "up in arms"?
You aren't. Only 6 comments. On ARS 96 comments.
There should be a shitstorm. Region locking (even retrograde for old devices), benchmark cooking S4 AND Note3 and yet nothing.

WHY?

'Cause it's Samsung?
Samsung-droids are hypocrites.

I bet a million bucks. If these shenanigans would have been made by Apple, there would be thousands of fandroids infected by rabies and hell would breaking loose.

Re:If this was Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45004927)

You've seemed to have confused actual android users with the shills paid for by Samsung. It's been reported several times on how Samsung pays for comment and blogs that are negative for their competitors.

Re:If this was Apple... (1)

bennomatic (691188) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005049)

Actually, I think I've noticed a significant drop-off in the Apple hate. It used to annoy me that anything bad--even if it was incorrectly reported to look bad--that Apple was accused of would get a thousand or more vitriolic comments here on /., but recently, it seems like those numbers are waning. Even the cracking of TouchID seemed to get a pretty rational, "Ho hum, nobody expected it to be perfect, but it's still better than no security" reaction.

Re:If this was Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005255)

Samsung stop paying for trolling when they were forced to admit they were astroturfing the korean media.

Re:If this was Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005261)

I do take the ho hum approach to the toucid feature.
While it is better then no security it is also a little bit disappointing that the typical user will probably depend upon it even though it isn't that secure.

Re:If this was Apple... (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | 1 year,19 days | (#45004869)

Last I check the Nexus was a rebranded, unlocked, Samsung phone.

Futhermore, most of the common people, when they now say an "Android Phone", what they mean is a Samsung phone. That's the product they now associate with being the "Android Phone/Tablet". You'd be surprised how many don't get that LG, HTC, and others have the same "android" OS.

In fact I think it will be interesting to see what happens in a few years and if a couple players in the Android phone market drop out, after all I don't think the other Android venders make much money selling their devices, what will happen. At some point does Samsung decide they no longer need google and have the in house expertise to fork and maintain their own version of the OS?

Re:If this was Apple... (5, Informative)

mspohr (589790) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005031)

Not so much Samsung in the Nexus dept.
Nexus One was by HTC
Nexus 4 was by LG
Nexus 7 is by Asus
Nexus 10 is by Asus
Anyway, it doesn't matter to me who makes the phone, I look at the features, OS and apps. Samsung has done a good job of marketing the Galaxy series. Some people buy because of good marketing. I still hate it when the manufacturer or the telecoms giant mess with the interface and applications... it's usually not an improvement.

Re:If this was Apple... (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005105)

Nexus 5 is LG as well.

Galaxy Nexus was Samsung.

Re:If this was Apple... (1)

rea1l1 (903073) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005325)

I used to do that too, until I started taking them apart. So far, Samsung and LG are the easiest to disassemble and reassemble compared to HTC & iPhone.

Re:If this was Apple... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005061)

The Nexus 4 and up coming Nexus 5 are LG devices.

The Galaxy Nexus was the last Samsung Nexus device and it is already over a year out of date.

Samsung could try that, but then they lose access to the google play market and that ends their game right there.

Re:If this was Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005077)

You are an idiot then. Latest Nexus and well the last 2 of them actually are done by LG. Get your shit straight first

Re:If this was Apple... (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005141)

Last I check the Nexus was a rebranded, unlocked, Samsung phone.

Check again, the current Nexus 4 is manufactured by LG Electronics. The first Nexus was made by HTC. The Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus were made by Samsung.

Futhermore, most of the common people, when they now say an "Android Phone", what they mean is a Samsung phone. That's the product they now associate with being the "Android Phone/Tablet". You'd be surprised how many don't get that LG, HTC, and others have the same "android" OS.

Citation? Nexus 4 is a very popular android phone made by LG. The "Droid" phones are manufactured by Motorola. The HTC One isn't doing bad either.

In fact I think it will be interesting to see what happens in a few years and if a couple players in the Android phone market drop out, after all I don't think the other Android venders make much money selling their devices, what will happen. At some point does Samsung decide they no longer need google and have the in house expertise to fork and maintain their own version of the OS?

I think Samsung, Motorola, HTC, and LG will continue dominate the phone market (squeezing out any potential newcomer). It's too early to give the award to Samsung. HTC is following Motorola's lead by concentrating on a single flagship line and Motorola is finally offering phones outside of Verizon in the US.

No Implication (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005227)

Are you implying that us android users wouldn't be "up in arms"?

No implication is needed, we can see quite plainly there is very little outcry over this, just as there wasn't before. Android users simply accept this is the way things are, in a way they do not with any Apple problem whatsoever.

Re:No Implication (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005369)

Who are "we" and which metrics did you use to "see quite plainly", except your gut feel and preconceived bias?

PS: I like how you're now implying by contrast that Apple fans are objective, honest and all crying foul whenever something shady happens on Cupertino front and Android fans should follow the lead. I also like how you came in an article flogging Samsung to bitch about perceived Apple persecution. Tells something about Apple fans, in a way.

Re:If this was Apple... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005245)

His original claim is right on the mark. Had Apple pulled this stunt, it would be on all the major news networks, and all the iHaters would come out of the woodwork to crucify Apple. Lawyers would come out and file class-action lawsuits on behalf of mysterious individuals that say they were harmed by Apple antics. You guys very well know that.

But not here. Samsung does this and barely a whimper and just not much reaction from the Android community. Talk about a double-standard.

Re:If this was Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005259)

I used to like Samsung, but after their cavalier attitude towards serious issues like the ExynosAbuse exploit and SuperBrick, I'm very disappointed and can't take them seriously. Also, where I live you can count on rarely ever getting any updates and when you finally do, it's something still way outdated that will suck even more than the previous version.

The latest official update I was dumb enough to try on my GT9100 messed up both 2G, 3G and WiFi. Previously it would switch between UMTS and GSM pretty nicely, prioritizing UMTS and falling back to GSM/EDGE only where UMTS reception was bad. After the update, it tries to stay on 3G even when the signal is very weak, forcing 2G only also won't solve all issues, as it constantly tries o listen on a weak channel when there are others with much better signal, delaying incoming SMS delivery and losing incoming calls. WiFi suffers random disconnects even with a strong signal, power management seems to be fscked as well, trying to turn WiFi on will often times not work. You can't try to turn WiFi off and on again, you have to wait 90+ seconds until it fails, but if you let the screen turn off during that time, the phone simply reboots. You have to be careful to turn WiFi off or keep the screen on after rebooting, or else you risk a rather long reboot loop as it happens several times.

Yes, I know, I can just download a better firmware from XDA. But why do I have to trust strangers to get a working firmware? Why can't Samsung offer downloads directly from their web site or just make their OTA feature work as intended? Why do every official firmware is so bloated with shovelware? Why do I have to break the law and use non-validated (by my country's telecom regulatory agency) modem firmware just to make my phone work as intended? I just can't stand that POS called Kies, it's probably the single thing I hate more than iTunes. At least iTunes does something useful (despite sucking really hard), but Kies' only purpose is to cause frustration, anger and screw things up.

Seriously, just avoid Samsung, they may be pretty, but it's just not worth it.

Even more damning? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005351)

Why would you switch from Samsung when it's "even more damning" [sic] that the Note 3 was faster without resorting to shenanigans? Doesn't this all show how truly innovative Samsung is?

Re:Even more damning? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005601)

It shows, at least, how their managers and/or marketeers have no trust in their own engineers and their phones. The fact it's ~5-10% faster on its own is now buried as an irrelevant detail deep in the story about cheating to look like it's ~50% faster - good job, Samsung marketing!

I still fail to see how it's "more damning", though.

Re:If this was Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005649)

I'm not particularly up in arms. Perhaps after the Snowden files I've just come to assume that everyone in tech is gaming everything all the time, but wrong though it is for companies to game the results, why would you fret over a 20% difference in performance? Both the Samsung and its similar competitors are likely good enough for the apps available at the time they're launched, and both will look incredibly dated in a year's time. Don't fret the small stuff.

Re:If this was Apple... (1)

mveloso (325617) | 1 year,19 days | (#45004697)

You'd think they'd stop doing this, since they keep getting caught. However, crime pays. They've made substantially more money off of their phones than the puny fine they had to pay in the Samsung vs Apple trial. They doing it again to Dyson vacuums.

The market is rewarding their bad behavior, and they're going to just keep going.

Samsung's integrity is closely tied to the size of their profits. Once the lack of integrity starts impacting their bottom line, they'll find some. Until then, it's business as usual.

Re:If this was Apple... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45004813)

I can tolerate a bit of benchmark fudging. Most every tech company has been caught doing it at this point. I really don't trust synthetic benchmarks in general, for this reason and many others. Samsung are still very much the good guys, and their hardware is still clearly the best. I'm not fond of benchmark fudging, but it doesn't make me get out the torch and pitchfork.

Re:If this was Apple... (3, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | 1 year,19 days | (#45004835)

Samsung are still very much the good guys, and their hardware is still clearly the best.

You've obviously never used their Blu-Ray players.

Re:If this was Apple... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,19 days | (#45004909)

You've obviously never used their Blu-Ray players.

I've got one, and haven't found it that bad.

Granted, there's no way in hell I'm connecting it to a network so they can decide on a whim to update it, so I haven't seen the full extent of how annoying they can be.

But the device itself I've never had issues with ... what unspecified evil are you alluding to?

Re:If this was Apple... (1)

operagost (62405) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005575)

The fact that if you DO decide to attach it to the network so you can use the streaming features, its performance will be horrible.

The horrible reviews for Samsung players led me to break my boycott of Sony. I have a BDP-S390 and S590 and they are great for streaming and DLNA (except that volume control is not supported... which makes sense).

Re:If this was Apple... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005687)

The fact that if you DO decide to attach it to the network so you can use the streaming features, its performance will be horrible.

I'll take your word for it.

I've never been interested in whole streaming thing, and I think the whole idea of having my DVD player hooked up to the internet means sooner or later someone will disable something/break it for me because it can access the internet and update itself.

I just don't trust the vendors of consumer electronics with direct access to the internet -- because they either want to gather and report data I'm not willing to allow, or because they want to be in control of the device that I purchased.

Since I don't want any of the on-line features, there's nothing in it for me to give these things a network connection. To me it carries more down-side risk than potential benefits.

And for a device which plays movies, I'm not giving the movie studios the option to decide they want to exert even more control over how I use it.

Re:If this was Apple... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45004863)

In other words, you're already biased in Samsung's favor and no negative reports will shake your faith in your favorite brand.

Re:If this was Apple... (1)

thaylin (555395) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005597)

I think he fairly clearly showed that it is neutral.

Re:If this was Apple... (5, Informative)

Old97 (1341297) | 1 year,19 days | (#45004943)

My you are full of unsupported assertions today. "Most every tech company has been caught". Really? Any evidence? "Samsung ... the good guys" You must be kidding. They copy and they clone. Apple does gold so Samsung does gold. Apple sells a 64-bit phone with a 64 bit operating system and conversion tools to take advantage of it. Samsung announces that they'll be building 64 bit phones too, one day. Of course unless Android is converted to 64 bit that will be pointless and there is nothing from Google indicating that is going to happen any time soon. Chrome OS seems to be more important to them these days anyway. And finally, "their hardware is still clearly the best". Evidence or just your opinion based on your limited experience? I've tried Apple, Nokia, HTC and Samsung and liked Samsung the least hardware wise. Consumer Reports and other customer satisfaction survey's I've seen don't rate Samsung all that highly. Apple leads the pack in every survey I've seen.

Re:If this was Apple... (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005269)

Nvidia, AMD, and Intel have all been caught doing it. I'm seriously done caring. I'll look to REAL WORLD benchmarks instead of synthetic ones.

http://www.geek.com/games/futuremark-confirms-nvidia-is-cheating-in-benchmark-553361/
http://tech.slashdot.org/story/09/10/12/2341240/intel-caught-cheating-in-3dmark-benchmark
http://community.futuremark.com/forum/showthread.php?141723-AMD-cheating-by-turning-Tessellation-off

If you think that adopting a 64 bit processor is "copying", then you are completely deluded, and there's little point in discussing it with you. Suffice to say that droids have reached their 32-bit memory cap, and there's only one logical move to make.

As for best hardware, I don't think Apple really competes in this regard:
http://www.gizmag.com/galaxy-s4-vs-iphone-5s/29030/

But neither do other droids.
http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/08/02/motorola-samsung-htc-and-sony-comparing-android-flagships

5s smokes S4 (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005517)

Your precious gizmag article didn't benchmark the S4 and 5s (and surprisingly did not provide battery-life statistics for the S4, which has been out for a while now). If they did, they'd find the 5s is twice as fast as the S4--basically as fast as the Note 3. All this speed is achieved with fewer cores and at lower GHz, because the 5s is a smart, custom design that even includes a motion co-processor. The S4 can not be reasonably used one-handed either, unless you play in the NBA.

Re:If this was Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005385)

Ya, I hear you. Nothing wrong with a bit of fraud when a company is advertising. Is that what you are saying? Perhaps you meant to say that you don't mind being fooled ( as in made a fool of) by companies. I think the majority of people would be upset about it. Let's face facts here - Samsung is run by a bunch of lying fraudsters with small penises.

Re:If this was Apple... (0)

Dahamma (304068) | 1 year,19 days | (#45004745)

But it would never be Apple, because Apple really doesn't give a shit about benchmarks other than how much marginally faster it is compared to last year's iDevice...

Re:If this was Apple... (4, Funny)

waddgodd (34934) | 1 year,19 days | (#45004887)

Wrong, they DID care about benchmarking once, while Macs were still Power PC based, then they got caught fudging the benchmarks approximately like Samsung did. They suddenly decided that benchmarks didn't matter soon thereafter. They ought to sue Samsung again, because business methods are patentable...

Re:If this was Apple... (4, Informative)

Space cowboy (13680) | 1 year,19 days | (#45004937)

Citation required, because all I can find is: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/06/25/apple_denies_fiddling_g5_xeon/ [theregister.co.uk] ... which seems to be refuting the claim...

Simon.

Re:If this was Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005171)

Samsung denies also, i guess it's all fine then.

Re:If this was Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005333)

You are benchmarking it wrong!

Re:If this was Apple... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005669)

Samsung denies also, i guess it's all fine then.

Refutation and denial are not synonymous terms. While the G5 case has decent responses, Samsung's responses have been less than honest.

With the Galaxy S4 GPU, their rationale was that other apps (not benchmarking tools) *can* enjoy the higher speed, yet to avoid heat issues this will be strictly limited in availability and time. Portable computing always has to strike this balance, so that's fine. But why then would benchmarking applications get carte blanche to run at higher speeds if the apps (including games) that people are actually using on the platform will either see no boost or a very time limited one?

To use a car analogy, Samsung have secretly inserted a "new car smell" dispenser in their cars, and set it to be triggered when the car is driven by motoring journalists. Hooray, the amazingly persistent new car smell is touted in reviews, and then in reality most owners find the smell gone within a week. Samsung's defence? The new car smell is not just a trick they put in to fox the reviewers. The smell is available to all owners, but in order to conserve the fluid used, it'll only run at unbridled full power if the driver is named Jeremy Clarkson.

Re:If this was Apple... (1)

wchin (6284) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005079)

I think you are lying. Sources?

Approximately the same way would be deliberately checking for a benchmark and artificially boosting performance to do well on that particular benchmark which is un-producable outside of that benchmark.

That is not the same thing as choosing benchmarks your product is good and and highlighting those benchmarks in your marketing material. That's just highlighting your strengths.

Re:If this was Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005177)

Bullshit.

(It's a shame Slashdot doesn't allow for succinct replies.)

Re:If this was Apple... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45004837)

If Apple did this, people would be up in arms!

Both Apple and Android use ARM CPUs.

Now, if it had been happening on the Surface tablets (non-RT, of course) people would be up in Atoms.

Re:If this was Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005525)

Sorry to ruin your joke, but the Surface Pros use x64 processors. Ivy Bridge or Haswell to be precise.

However, you can replace Surface with any of the many Atom tablets around and have your joke back.

Re:If this was Apple... (5, Funny)

DickBreath (207180) | 1 year,19 days | (#45004875)

> If Apple did this, people would be up in arms!

If Apple did this, they would be suing Samsung for copying.

Re:If this was Apple... (1)

jpvlsmv (583001) | 1 year,19 days | (#45004885)

If Apple did this, people would be up in arms!

Both Apple and Samsung use ARM CPUs.

Now, if this had been a Surface (non-RT) tablet, people would be up in Atoms!

Re:If this was Apple... (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | 1 year,19 days | (#45004891)

If Apple did this, people would be up in arms!

There's a long history of apple making exaggerated claims of what their devices are going to do for you. People have been up in arms for a long time.

Re:If this was Apple... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005189)

Not really. The iPhone 5S is marginally better than any Android device out there on the market today. Fact! Why? I know, I know, it doesn't have shitton of RAM or 8 cores (which is just a PR trick but lets skip that), but what Apple phones do have is extremely long battery life, compared to the competition. A very slick and easy to use OS that controls them, and a application store full of apps with NO malware, NO viruses, NO advertising notifications (NOTIFICATIONS) and above all else, apps that do NOT lag even on 3 year old phone which in "today"'s market IS a marvelous achievemt.

So, Get your head out of your fanboy ass and start checking out the fine print of your product. I pay for quality, I don't need my phone vendor to "cheat" on a benchmark. I want that shit to work for years when I pay the premium price, and that's what happens. The phone just works....for years :)

Re:If this was Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005651)

Apple has never done anything like what Samsung has done here.

Furthermore, the iPhone 5s smokes the S4 on Geekbench 3, scoring roughly double, thanks to the 64-bit A7 processor and a fully 64-bit stack. Screw GHz and cores: The A7 processor sits in the sweet spot for high performance and battery life. The S4 and Note 3 sit in the marketing sweet spot for sheep.

Re:If this was Apple... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45004949)

If Apple did this, people would be up in arms!

REALLY?! Did you just drag Apple into this?!?!!!! What a pud......

Re:If this was Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45004989)

This would never have happened if Steve Park were still alive.

Re:If this was Apple... (1)

jones_supa (887896) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005267)

But he is... [wikipedia.org]

Re:If this was Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005071)

No, "people" would praise the new iNGENIOUS iNNOVATION of the iATOLLA...

Re:If this was Apple... (0)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005211)

If Apple did this, people would be up in arms!

If Apple were doing it, rest assured whoever blows the whistle on them would be slapped with a C&D so fast it would make your head spin.

Thing is, Apple may very well be doing the exact same thing but the closed nature of the ecosystem makes it much more difficult to prove. Maybe even illegal. Probably against your licensing agreement.

Re:If this was Apple... (1)

larwe (858929) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005283)

But it's a totally different situation with Apple - because there is nobody else who makes iOS devices. So you'll never get a situation where a fake benchmark will cause someone to choose "HTC iOS phone X" instead of "Apple iOS phone X". And comparisons between different OSes are so apples to oranges (no pun intended) that I would heartily distrust them anyway.

Re:If this was Apple... (0)

jones_supa (887896) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005301)

If Apple did this, people would be up in arms!

No, they wouldn't. They would be rigorously defending their precious iGadgets with arguments like "at least I like the extra performance for GPU-intensive apps" or "every manufacturer does this".

Re:If this was Apple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005605)

Agreed!

Re:If this was Apple... (1)

shentino (1139071) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005703)

If apple *got caught* people would be up in arms.

Should suprise nobody. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45004713)

They probably need the OC to overcome all the fuck-awful samsung bloatware they load on their devices. We don't want your shitty services Samsung. Just give us a clean device.

Koreans will be Koreans (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45004721)

If someone is surprised Koreans are willing to cheat, rip off, etc to get ahead... well you haven't really been paying attention.

Re:Humans will be Humans (4, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | 1 year,19 days | (#45004769)

If someone is surprised Humans are willing to cheat, rip off, etc to get ahead... well you haven't really been paying attention.

Fixed that for you.

I wouldn't want people to unfairly categorize you as a racist moron.

Re:Humans will be Humans (3, Insightful)

Space cowboy (13680) | 1 year,19 days | (#45004955)

That's fair comment on the original post, but let's narrow it down a bit...

"If someone is surprised that a manufacturer with a track-record of fudging benchmarks is willing to cheat, rip off, etc to get ahead... well you haven't really been paying attention"

Not all humans are morally and ethically bankrupt. Samsung (as a corporate entity) is though.

Simon

Re:Humans will be Humans (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005137)

If you think all cultures do this equally you're a fool. Try doing business in east asia, you'll see very different experiences between China, Japan, Taiwan and Korea....

Re:Humans will be Humans (1)

jones_supa (887896) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005357)

If someone is surprised Humans are willing to cheat, rip off, etc to get ahead... well you haven't really been paying attention.

Fixed that for you.

I wouldn't want people to unfairly categorize you as a racist moron.

Samsung represents a very big chunk of Korean electronics industry and they have the responsibility to choose what kind of image they want to give about the practices of that particular industry.

On individual level, I believe there are many honest Korean people too.

Re:Humans will be Humans (2)

operagost (62405) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005607)

Yeah, we can only unfairly categorize 'mericans here.

Should have done a battery benchmark (4, Interesting)

jandrese (485) | 1 year,19 days | (#45004747)

They should have opened up a benchmarking app on both phones (the G2 and the Note3) and then did a battery life test on both phones with them "idle".

Re:Should have done a battery benchmark (2, Insightful)

jovius (974690) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005003)

The benchmarking itself seems to be flawed. Samsung wants to benchmark the devices at their full capacity, to see what they are capable of (the higher setting is reached in normal use of some apps anyway). The testers would probably like to do real world comparison tests (and not rely just on numbers). I don't see Samsung doing anything wrong here, even though the benchmarking apps are specifically chosen.

Does not computer (4, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | 1 year,19 days | (#45004773)

Even more damning was that the Note 3 was still faster than the G2 when run using 'stealth' (basically renamed) versions of the benchmarking apps which did not get the boost."

Not sure how this is "damning". I'd have thought it would prove the principle that the optimizations aren't app specific.

What am I missing?

Re:Does not computer (1)

aitikin (909209) | 1 year,19 days | (#45004845)

I'm with you. The only way that makes sense to me is if the code is written such that it works by reading what exactly the app is trying to do and then responding due to that, but even then, it would stand to reason that it'd do that for any intensive app that does gaming or something like that, thus backing up Samsung's claim...

Re:Does not computer (1)

jandrese (485) | 1 year,19 days | (#45004853)

The Note was a couple of percent faster on renamed benchmark apps, and a whopping 20% faster on normally named benchmark apps. The point is that they were already faster so cheating wasn't even necessary.

Re:Does not computer (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | 1 year,19 days | (#45004929)

I wouldn't call it damning, either, but it doesn't prove that the optimizations aren't app specific. The phone might still bench faster with non-renamed tools than with renamed ones (indeed, that's what the summary seems to claim). I would argue, however, that if the Note 3 beats the G2 "naturally", then there wasn't really any need to cheat this way.

Regardless, I'm with others: it's misleading at best, false advertising at worst.

Re:Does not computer (3, Informative)

Space cowboy (13680) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005005)

There is a file containing a list of all the common benchmarking apps, and everything in the list is a benchmarking app - nothing else. When one of those packages is run, the phone locks the frequency of all cores to fMax and also seems to fiddle with the GPU.

The result is a battery-nightmare, but a boost of 20% to *only* benchmark apps. This is despicable - plain and simple.

See http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/10/galaxy-note-3s-benchmarking-adjustments-inflate-scores-by-up-to-20/ [arstechnica.com]

Simon.

Re:Does not computer (4, Informative)

Bill Dimm (463823) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005033)

Here is what the article actually says:

The ironic thing is that even with the benchmark booster disabled, the Note 3 still comes out faster than the G2 in this test. If the intent behind the boosting was simply to ensure that the Note 3 came out ahead in the benchmark race, it doesn't appear to have been necessary in the first place.

Apparently the "damning" part was completely fabricated by the submitter.

Re:Does not computer (1)

moteyalpha (1228680) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005419)

Looks like everybody is playing games to boost scores or readers. I wonder if that works for me , out damn spot.

Here is what the damning article actually says:

Apparently the "damning" part was completely fabricated by the submitter.

This kind of stuff is done by everybody. I was forced to go to COMDEX once and marketing wanted something to draw people at the show and so somebody :) created a " matching tweak" because they looked in the competitors code and saw a cheat. I have seen some really good bench mark cheats and what I saw most at COMDEX was engineers upset because somebody else's cheat was so flagrant and over the top that it reflected poorly on the credibility of their cheating.
YMMV pretty much says it.

Re:Does not computer (1)

Gibgezr (2025238) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005741)

Looks like the submitter confused irony with "damning". Not exactly great journalistic writing in the summaries provided by submitters lately. Meh, that's what we get for paying them absolutely nothing I guess.

Re:Does not computer (3, Insightful)

prisoner-of-enigma (535770) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005317)

Not sure how this is "damning". I'd have thought it would prove the principle that the optimizations aren't app specific.

What am I missing?

It's not app-specific, it's app *name* specific. It's analogous to the Quake/Quack benchmark scandal [hardocp.com] years (OMG, more than a decade...time flies) ago. Samsung wrote this boosting protocol to enable itself when running benchmarks and *only* when running benchmarks. There is no legitimate way to invoke it, so no user will ever see the benefit of it when running any app *other than* the benchmark itself.

For the inevitable car analogy: you take a Samsung car for a test drive, and when you floor it you feel 200hp worth of acceleration. Since the car is identical in almost every other aspect to competing HTC cars and Motorola cars (same price, similar trim, same engine) but they only make you feel about 150hp worth of acceleration, you opt for the Samsung car. Only when you drive it off the lot, you only feel 150hp worth of acceleration. You take it back to the dealer thinking something's wrong only to be informed the car will only give you 200hp when in "test drive by prospective customer" mode, and now that you've bought the car you're no longer in that category and cannot invoke it.

Yawn (3, Insightful)

sunking2 (521698) | 1 year,19 days | (#45004775)

And 95% of consumers could care less as long as the screen looks nice and the battery lasts more than 2 hours.

Samsung != Android (2)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | 1 year,19 days | (#45004783)

Take it out on Samsung for doing evil, or at the very least getting caught at it.

Re:Samsung != Android (2)

oodaloop (1229816) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005221)

And who exactly is blaming Android? Samsung is called out in the title and almost every sentence in the fantastic summary. And the word Android is only used once to refer to the benchamarking apps.

Re: Samsung != Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005511)

That isn't how Apple enthusiasts work. For years, even after IBM had moved on to being a minority player in the PC market, after they had ceded the market to the cloners and retreated to the PS/2 line, Apple zealots still thought of "the enemy" as being IBM.

"Samsung" is a generic term to refer to non-shiney hardware not made by Apple.

No shock ... (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,19 days | (#45004805)

There's lies, damned lies, statistics, and vendor performance numbers.

I'm a little disappointed that there isn't actually any penalties for fudging your benchmarks -- it's blatantly lying to consumers about your product.

And to me, that seems like it's bordering on fraud.

Re:No shock ... (1)

jones_supa (887896) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005509)

I'm a little disappointed that there isn't actually any penalties for fudging your benchmarks

But there are. For example here in Finland you could release the hounds of KKV [www.kkv.fi] (Competition and Consumer Authority).

Re:No shock ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005529)

Nah, benchmarking only measures specific activity, not general use. If you fine tune your device to that specific activity, then there is no fraud- just like vehicle MPG and ISP speed tests.

Huh? (3, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | 1 year,19 days | (#45004815)

Even more damning was that the Note 3 was still faster than the G2 when run using 'stealth' (basically renamed) versions of the benchmarking apps which did not get the boost.

Wait, what? How is that more damning? It sounds like that means the benchmark is faster even without cheating, which means that they've changed the kernel scheduler/idle timers/clock stepping in a way that, at least for the sorts of tests performed in the benchmark, improves performance—presumably because their case design and/or battery capacity is better, allowing them to get away with less processor throttling. That sounds like it is almost inarguably a good thing. And that's coming from somebody who has dealt with several of Samsung's products and hated almost all of them. What's with the hate?

Unless, of course, they're being too aggressive about keeping the clock speed high, in which case you might argue that their battery life isn't what it should be... but that's pretty subjective.

Re:Huh? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005197)

I was perplexed too. After reading the article, I figured it out:

It's damning in the sense that it's meant to skew comparisons with other Android devices, not to make it look better than their own previous offerings.

Remember NVIDIA (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005045)

They fudged 3D Mark benchmarks by optimizing specifically for one of the demos. When someone tried debug mode in which you could freely rotate the camera, the scene was incorrectly rendered. The problem would disappear when renaming the executable. Those were the days of FX 5XXX cards which were somewhat inferior to R3XX chips, especially because of inability to use FP24 in shaders (only 32 or 16 bit precision). This wasn't the only incident, though. ATI had it's share too. At some point Catalyst CC even introduced an option to turn game detection (and optimizations) on and off.

Failed to note (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#45005215)

I'm assuming it's the same as the last time this came up, so I may be wrong, but...

The article failed to note that the increased optimizations are not only available for benchmark programs, but also for other programs made by run-of-the-mill developers. The phone and tablets default to the lower clock frequency, because most apps don't need an intense amount of resources. However, particularly in the video game arena, the higher clock rates are available and will be used when needed.

This helps with: battery life, system stability, system longevity, and heating. What's essentially happening is what happens in a typical PC fan. When the device below the fan is cool, it's running at a slower rate. When that device gets hot, the fan cranks up to a higher speed. Same exact concept. It just happens to be the case that many benchmarking tools stress the system in such a way that it triggers the higher settings. This doesn't happen on PCs, but it does happen in the Galaxy S4 and the new Note devices.

If you look in the article(I know...rtfa...imagine that!) They are running a 4 function calculator, which has 3/4 cores turned off and the other core @ 300 MHz. On the other hand, they have a benchmark program, which reaches the max performance of the processor...all cores are on and running @ 2.3(2.27) GHz. It is completely within my expectation that a 4 function calculator takes fewer resources than a benchmarking tool. In fact, that's the point of benchmarking tools(to stress the system to it's maximum potential).

Or do we really need our 4 function calculator app to run at system max settings?

Some People just have to cheat (1)

kawabago (551139) | 1 year,19 days | (#45005331)

It's how Bill Gates built his fortune.
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