Samsung responds to benchmark-rigging accusations

Yesterday, we head some scandalous claims made about Samsung, the Galaxy S 4, and the phone’s benchmark performance. Based on tests conducted by Anandtech, the Exynos-based GS4 appeared to be keeping its GPU running at a lower clock speed for the vast majority of apps, and would only crank things up to full-speed performance when running a benchmark app named on a hard-coded list stored on the phone. If true, that would suggest that Samsung was manipulating benchmarks in order to deliver figures not reflecting the phone’s real-world performance. Now Samsung has responded to these allegations, but what it has to say is a little less than reassuring.

Basically, Samsung’s position is that the GS4 totally runs a 533MHz GPU, just as the benchmark apps tested, and it’s only occasionally underclocked to 480MHz for certain apps like games where they might otherwise cause an “overload.” Full-speed 533MHz mode, it explains, is indeed used by apps like S Browser, Gallery, Camera, Video Player, and, of course, certain benchmark software.

Something about that doesn’t quite sound right, though. Shouldn’t a higher-speed GPU offer graphic-intensive games better performance? Is there a problem with chip stability at those high speeds? If so, that’s a potentially more damning problem than any benchmark funny business. And then there’s the matter of that list of specific benchmark apps chosen for 533MHz mode – wouldn’t the sensible thing be adjusting GPU clock speed on demand, based on usage? Cherry-picking a fraction of all available apps for this behavior neither seems very effective, nor particularly on the up-and-up.

What do you think, are we being too harsh on Samsung, or are you also not fully satisfied with this explanation?

Source: Samsung Tomorrow (Google Translate)
Via: SamMobile

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!