Samsung accused of benchmark cheating with Galaxy S4

Samsung denies claims of 'benchmark boosting' with Galaxy S4

Samsung might have been letting its Galaxy S4 smartphone cheat in benchmark tests to score higher than rival devices.

The Samsung Galaxy S4: cheating benchmarks?
The Samsung Galaxy S4: cheating benchmarks?

Research conducted by Anandtech on the Galaxy S4 has led to allegations that Samsung cheats on benchmark tests, aka 'benchmark boosting'. The respected tech site found that both the Exynos 5 and Qualcomm models of the Galaxy S4 allow the clock speed of the CPU and GPU to increase for certain benchmark tests.

The research discovered that for benchmarking apps AnTuTu, Quadrant and GLBenchmark 2.5.1, the Galaxy S4 GPU (Exynos 5 model) clock speeds gets boosted to 532MHz. "Running any games, even the most demanding titles, returned a GPU frequency of 480MHz" confirmed Anandtech.

This means that the benchmark scores often used in reviews of the Galaxy S4 could be seen as skewed and don't reflect the performance users will actually see on a day-to-day basis.

Interestingly, the later version of GLBenchmark which we now use at PC Advisor, version 2.7, uses the lower clock speed. We don't use AnTuTu or Quadrant either.

Anandtech also found that the CPU speed for the Exynos 5 and Qualcomm models was being granted permission to work harder than normal. This speed is available to all apps but it appeared that the chip was forced to maximum power for the benchmarks.

It's unclear whether any of Samsung's other Galaxy smartphones or tablets have been given the same treatment.

Despite these findings Samsung denies any allegations of cheating, stating that the different clock speeds are both normal and necessary.

"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." Samsung told CNET.

"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."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags consumer electronicsqualcomm

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Martin

PC Advisor (UK)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?