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July 31, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S4 cheats on benchmark tests

File under you can't trust anyone or anything these days.

...Running any games, even the most demanding titles, returned a GPU frequency of 480MHz...

...Firing up GLBenchmark 2.5.1 however triggers a GPU clock not available elsewhere: 532MHz. The same is true for AnTuTu and Quadrant...

...We should see roughly an 11% increase in performance in GLBenchmark 2.5.1 over GFXBench 2.7.0, and we end up seeing a bit more than that. The reason for the difference? GLBenchmark 2.5.1 appears to be singled out as a benchmark that is allowed to run the GPU at the higher frequency/voltage setting.

We've seen this sort of thing in years past with PC video card drivers cheating on standard benchmarks.

The S4 is already a dazzling piece of high performance hardware. Why even bother with a cheap swindle like this? You can't get away with it and not get caught; not these days. There's just too many geeks with too many skilz out there.

Aside from the embarrassment of getting caught, offering artificially high benchmarks for generation "n" of product raises the bar that generation "n+1" needs to jump over to have a performance delta that people are willing pay for to get an upgrade.

Unless you're facing stiff, similarly performing, competition in generation "n", which Samsung is NOT, there's no economic incentive to even try cheating. Deliberately understating performance is actually more to your advantage when you have untapped design headroom and no real competition.

Dr. House: "Everybody lies."

Geeky power/heat Q and A below the fold.

Q: People are going to ask why they didn't just crank the damned thing at the 532mhz cheat speed all the time and dispense with the skullduggery?
A: The answer is undoubtedly power consumption, and (possibly) heat dissipation issues. In any given processor design and fab generation, increases in clock speed will mean higher power requirements - the logic gates on chips draw the most power when they transition from one state to another. More mhz = more state transitions/second.

Q: Why boost voltage?
A: At any given clock speed boosting voltage also increases power consumption. Watts=Volts*Amps, BUT with current fab processes, you can often run a higher clock rate (up to a point) at that higher voltage, thus increasing performances. Your heat dissipation issues ratchet up accordingly of course.

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posted by Purp at 03:12 AM

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