Is Samsung cheating with benchmark results, or just better than the competition?

October 1, 2013
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Like the Galaxy S 4 release, Samsung has once again been accused of cooking the benchmark books. This time it’s with their Note 3, and they may have been caught red handed. Ron Amadeo of Ars Technica dug through some Samsung code and found something very unusual, and a bit troubling.


In his research, Amadeo found a file named “DVSFHelper.java” on the Note 3, and it’s pretty damning evidence of Samsung juicing their devices when they notice they’re being benchmarked. Within the code, there was mention of all major benchmarking tools; Geekbench, AnTuTu, GFXBench, Quadrant -- even some Samsung benchmarking tools. The functions applied to them were as follows;

  • PACKAGES_FOR_BOOST_ALL_ADJUSTMENT
  • PACKAGES_FOR_LCD_FRAME_RATE_ADJUSTMENT

Both seem to suggest that Samsung is removing the natural redline a processor or GPU sees during normal use.

Amadeo went on to create a shell game of sorts for the Note 3, recreating Geekbench to hide the name. He renamed the app Stealthbench, and proceeded to use it on the Note 3. While the device still performed well, it didn’t come close to the success it had during Geekbench testing, even though they were exactly the same test.

Over at SlashGear, however, we’re seeing that Samsung is not the only culpable party. In testing out various devices, they found quite a few devices from a variety of manufacturers are putting their best core forward in benchmark testing. From HTC to Samsung to LG, the problem was widespread. While they didn’t poke through code as Amadeo did, the proof is in the results: all or most cores at full throttle, when they aren’t necessarily doing so under normal circumstances.

The real question now is not whether or not Samsung is “cheating”, but whether we should even bother with benchmark testing at all. Samsung may be besting everyone else at altering the results, but they’re clearly not the only ones with some kind of benchmark end-around play.


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  • konaxdi

    “but whether we should even bother with benchmark testing at all” … – right .. when iphone5s benchmark surfaces, everybody start fireing up their android benchmarks and posting screenshots online, now with samsung suddenly “we should even bother with benchmark testing at all”…. genius.

    • http://www.noisetech-software.com/Home.html Steven Noyes

      Had this been Apple caught doing this, it would have been on Fox, MSNBC and the top of Google News for a week.

      • JayQ330

        Don’t think these news programs would care as much as you think ifiend, although maybe Google would just to screw them over, besides some would pay for news not to be aired, dirty fugs

  • Henry

    This out of spec overclocking was done explicitly to deceive the customer.. that is unforgivable

  • JayQ330

    Hey listen the only benefits you’ll get I’d on benchmarks, that’s not overdoing that’s deception for money. And even accreting the real winner with some real good drivers or kernels/whatever. Here’s the point I had my HTC one and it scored so close to gs4 even with there ddr3 ram &higher click rate, so with a score so close does that mean that HTC one with a 1.7 GHz & ddr2 ran had better software & of course smooth as hell! So I went like a big dick & exchanged my HTC one for a galaxy 4s & regretted it. All because of there BS tricking consumers. Say overstocking ask you want but when you buy a phone it’s supposed to be at default settings & no deceit. Bullshit is bullshit plain as day, don’t be riding Sammy’s balls &excuse there crap. No wonder my HTC one would last me so long, give the real people that work hard to bring the best performance in its default out of box performance &then overclock all you want they’re the same hardware soc & GPU anyway.