Earlier today we reported an incident where Samsung was caught manipulating its devices to get higher than usual benchmark scores. The device in question was the Galaxy S4. The test was conducted by AnandTech which showed how the phone automatically over clocked the CPU and GPU as soon as a benchmark app was launched. This was done through profiles saved within the code that got activated when a specified benchmark app was launched. Samsung took notice of these claims and have given their response.
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.
Samsung Electronics remains committed to providing our customers with the best possible user experience.
Brian Klug of AnandTech once again took the Galaxy S4 out for a spin to see how well Samsung’s response holds up. As it turns out, not very well. The second test conducted showed neither the S Browser, gallery or video pushing the GPU to the claimed 532MHz frequency. It only went as far as 266MHz. In the camera app it did trigger the 532MHz profile, but only for a second at a time.
This refutes Samsung’s claim that the 532MHz profile is reserved for the mentioned apps. The truth of the matter is that the high performance mode is only triggered when a specified benchmarking app is launched. And the profile remains active regardless of whether the benchmark is running or not, which means the SoC load is irrelevant. The profile is activated upon app launch, not depending on load.
What Samsung is doing here is using benchmarking apps to show performance levels that are otherwise not possible in any other scenario.