Samsung caught juicing benchmarks again, this time with the Galaxy Note 3

Samsung_Galaxy_Note_3_Cheating_Benchmarks_Geekbench3_Stealthbench

Back in July, it was uncovered that Samsung was artificially inflating their benchmark scores on the Galaxy S 4, and it looks like they are up to the same old trick again, this time with the Galaxy Note 3. Arstechnica found that the Note 3 “blows the doors” off LG’s 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800. That would be fine if Samsung was using a different processor, but they aren’t. They are using the same exact Snapdragon 800 clocked at the same speed. There has to be something going on right?

It appears Samsung has a special high-power CPU mode on the Galaxy Note 3 that kicks in when it runs popular benchmarking apps. This is very similar to what was going on with the Galaxy S 4, but that involved the GPU and it was only on the international version. This time, it’s the U.S. version. In this special high-power mode, all cores are active and none of the cores are allowed to shut off like when other apps are running. It’s triggered by package names from the most popular benchmarking apps, so if Geekbench is loaded, the mode will kick in.

Arstechnica put together a renamed version of Geekbench 3 called “Stealthbench” so the phone wouldn’t know it’s running a benchmark. Both apps are identical, just different names. When comparing the results of the properly named Geekbench 3 and the fake named “Stealthbench”, they found a 20% difference in performance. When running “Stealthbench”, the results were much closer to the LG G2.

When this happened in July with the Galaxy S 4, Samsung responded by saying they didn’t do anything on purpose. They claimed the phone would run at higher frequencies for apps used in full-screen mode, but also demanded substantial performance. Benchmarking apps would obviously fall into this category and so would the S Browser, Gallery, Camera, and Video Player. In other words, Benchmarking apps were just an innocent bystander. They explained it as providing an “optimal performance” for their customers. This is an entirely different situation in which, Samsung purposely set this high powered CPU mode to kick in when certain package names are running, namely benchmarks.

In the end, it really doesn’t matter to me, and it shouldn’t matter to you. Benchmarks are useless in the real world, but the fact that Samsung is cheating at something isn’t going to bode well. It will be interesting to see how they respond to this.

source: Arstechnica


About the Author: Robert Nazarian

Robert lives in upstate New York where he was born and raised. Technology was always his passion. His first computer was a Radio Shack TRS80 Color that used a cassette tape to save programs, and his first laptop was a Toshiba T1200FB that sported a CGA greyscale screen and two 720kb floppy drives (no hardrive). From the early 90’s through late 2011, he only owned Motorola phones starting with the MircroTAC all the way through to the Droid X. He broke that streak when he bought the Galaxy Nexus. Now he's sporting a Galaxy Note 4, and absolutely loves it. He has a wonderful wife and a 6 year old son. In his free time he enjoys sports, movies, TV, working out, and trying to keep up with the rapid fast world of technology.


  • Fakab

    Lol…o’m still more comfortable with my S series. Samsung’s the best!!!

  • David Soto

    Samsung is a garbage-ass company. No morale.

  • Gary

    So, Samsung have optimized their CPU to work better in the OS when coping with heavy tasks and dick heads like you lot report it as if it was cheating?? So, when Apple optimize their software to work with the hardware, everyone has an orgasm about it and doesn’t question a thing? I’m sick of the BS propaganda used by the media to slam everything Samsung does!

    • TheBeeNet

      Agreed.

  • TheBeeNet

    The tech media is so biased. If it’s not a iPhone they defame it with fluff. Apple is so behind the curve it is a shame. IOS7 is buggy because the os is not optimized or polished. The so called first 64bit smartphone is a fluke and Apple lied about being the first smartphone to have 64bit capability. I am Samsung all the way and when they come out with their YOUM technology it is going to blow the competition out the water.

  • CarlosZag

    I am not surprised about the news but some comments below.
    I hope they didn’t get paid for it!

    • Oli72

      i said the same here. c’mon man samsung. i have a nexus 4. awesome phone.

  • nigel

    This kind of dirty tricks is why I refuse to buy any samsung products!

  • ChuckN007

    Robert Nazarian is “juicing” his reports to try to tilt his reporting against Samsung.
    Every manufacturer of every type of product tries to present its products in the best light, and tries to design its products to get the best “test scores” whatever the test might be. This is true for computers, cars, appliances, stereos, TV’s, and on and on.
    My belief is that Samsung, like everyone else, is merely “gaming the system” but not doing anything illegal, fraudulent, etc.
    I like Samsung products, and I don’t care about or even look at bench test scores. I like what they do and how they do it. Only tech writers care much about the numbers, because it gives them something to write about, so that they can get a paycheck, since they might have no other skills worthy of a paycheck.
    For Nazarian to use the word “juicing” is his way of admitting that there is nothing illegal, fraudulent, etc., since, if any of that existed, he would call it illegal or fraudulent.
    By Nazarian using the word “juicing”, it sounds evil and inflammatory, but it is actually a meaningless and undefined word. That’s why Nazarian uses it. It would be like me calling Nazarian a doofus.