Samsung boosts graphics in Exynos Galaxy S4 to manipulate benchmark scores

Samsung boosts graphics in Exynos Galaxy S4 to manipulate benchmark scores
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is the fastest selling Android smartphone of all times and it’s scored tremendously well in benchmarks. It would be safe to say that for many users those high benchmark scores were perceived as influencing factors or bragging rights, and in both cases were important.

What’s more - synthetic benchmarks are often taken at face value without further looking into the results. That’s what benchmarks are about after all, a quick and easy way to tell how powerful a device is compared to others.

Now however digging deeper into the Galaxy S4 reveals some very interesting things happening under the surface.

This applies to the Exynos 5 Octa based international version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and its graphical performance in apps like games.

It turns out that while generally the PowerVR SGX 544MP3 graphics unit runs at 480MHz, whenever you start benchmarking applications like AnTuTu, Quadrant and GLBenchmark 2.5.1 Samsung unlocks an even higher clock speed of around 533MHz.

This gives the device an artificial boost that only applies to benchmarks, but does not otherwise appear in daily use and for games. That difference is a solid 10% or in some cases even more. So next time when you fire up those benchmarks, take the results with some grain of salt. Hit the source link below for a detailed study of how the Galaxy S4 manipulates benchmarks.

source: AnandTech

Related phones

Galaxy S4
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, Quad-core, 1900 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2600 mAh(17h 3G talk time)

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87 Comments

1. Alexa

Posts: 22; Member since: Oct 24, 2008

you see...Samsung...lol hahaha playing cheat

11. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Let us see what the fanboys have to say about this now... "The GPU was wrong"!?! Or maybe "Anandtech couldn't be trusted".

14. mobi_user

Posts: 152; Member since: Jun 18, 2013

I believe if it was Apple or Nokia, there would be 120 comments by now, instead of only 12

60. sgtdisturbed47

Posts: 965; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

In a Smartphone world that boasts specs above reliability, this is no surprise.

74. tedkord

Posts: 17202; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

And sixty of them would be making excuses for Apple, or calling Samsung plastic or saying that Google sells your bank account password.

29. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

Anandtech didn't discover this. Anandtech simply is taking the material from another source. Stop hyping anandtech as if they are some sort of demi-god. Brian Klug was informed by a well-known Exynos developer AndreiLux about this. This has been in the forums since a long time. As usual PA has to find this long only after Anandtech "DISCOVERED" this.

32. jove39

Posts: 2143; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

why so much hate for anandtech?

42. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

Because uneducated people think Anandtech is the "ONLY" tech site worth reading. The hype around AT is just too much. In reality they are just another review site. These guys are also mere journalists. BTW, AT's bias towards Intel/Apple is well-known. There was a time when only Apple products used to get full-blown review.

47. jove39

Posts: 2143; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

It certainly is not only review site...but it is one of very best...their reviews are heavily detailed...and I haven't seen any bias lately...take it easy and have fun!

36. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

You missed my point...well, the plane flew away. Will come back to you soon as you understand what i meant. Meanwhile, be patient.

46. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

It doesn't take me long to understand what it meant. Maybe it might be a news for you, but I am a long time member of b3d. I don't need AT to tell me something "new". If your knowledge on this subject is limited to what Anandtech told you, then you are not worth discussing. You may find Anandtech as "cool", but for me I find it just average/above-average. For someone who makes a living on enterprise (read data center) systems performance analysis, I do a lot of benchmarking than most folks around here. And those benchmarks are not for small-petty mobiles, but for multi-PB systems.

50. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Where did i even say Anandtech is the best or i worshipped it? It was just a reference since it was a part of the article...and what fanboys usually do. Spew your bitter-hate somewhere else man! Sheesh.

57. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

I always knew your knowledge is always limited to what someone else (AT in this present case) says. Waste of time for me to debate with you.

61. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Suit yourself your 'highness'!

62. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

Not my fault if you didn't receive proper education. You should ask yourself.

64. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

What the hell is your problem? If you're oh so high up there, would you mind EDUCATING us 'low life'?

48. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

You sound mad. Lol the article isn't about Anandtech. Was a fanboy

49. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

Yea, I feel surrounded by uneducated people like yourself. Best part is that I can't even have a technical discussion with you. You are just too ignorant to discuss anything. Only thing you can do is troll. Maybe if the population was bit wiser, it would have been a much better discussion. Why don't you do some studies in meanwhile?

53. AppleHateBoy unregistered

It's funny that PA didn't mention anything about the CPU boost that is applied to benchmarks on both the Snapdragon and Exynos versions. Also the thermal limit too is lifted by about 10 °C to improve performance. But I guess Samsung is not alone. Nvidia's so-called "Tegra Optimized Games" have been doing something like this for quite a while. These games only apply the max. setting if they see Tegra GPU. But it only takes root access and some file modification to get the details to the max. I guess now I understand why Nexuses score so low in benchmarks and yet their real life performance is great.

18. rf1975

Posts: 264; Member since: Aug 01, 2011

This called Shamesung Innovation. They thing that they can fool all people by add and paid reviewers.

28. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Comment #26 please.

33. jdoee100

Posts: 334; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Samsung shouldn't be doing this, but they weren't the first ones to do it and won't be the last one. Moreover, it's interesting to see that when intel "cheated" with their AnTuTu test, nobody called them cheaters. Bias much? Plus, the epitome of sports car makers, Ferrari, cheats as well. Ferrari do not let car magazines test their cars without optimizing their cars(changing suspension settings,etc) on specific test surface to be tested.

37. jdoee100

Posts: 334; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

So, don't forget to call Ferrari, Intel, Nvidia, etc,,,,cheats as well. Samsung is in good company.

38. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

oh god how many gs4 are there and how many different type of chipset for that, oh god i'm so confuse......!!!

2. ajac09

Posts: 1482; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

your just now realizing benchmarks dont matter?

9. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

The benchmarks that simulate real-world performance absolutely do matter, question is: do you know how to read them?

17. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

The real question is: Do you know how to manipulate them? :P

3. jove39

Posts: 2143; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Well...this is shameful samsung...people reported this earlier... http://forum.beyond3d.com/showthread.php?p=1760026#post1760026 And now anand and brian have confirmed !!!

4. Jack58221

Posts: 157; Member since: Feb 23, 2013

that was a cheap little trick.

63. giani

Posts: 269; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

Mate, 'Sammy plastic fan club' is hurt. I mean how much can a plastic fan take these days ?! I used to think that isheep's are the worst. But then Nokia fanboys came along....and just when u thought u seen them all..these new breed of fanboyism..I mean I think they are by far the most pathetic human beings. And their beloved Sammy just makes it so hard for them..to belive in the plastic cause. exynos lagging in benchmarks - statement " no benchmarks are not everything real world performance is everything" Exynos gets better " yeah number one the most powerful machine benchmarks are everything" Htc pulls the pr stunt with htc one outside s4 lunch " Ohhh how could they totally uncool and unacceptable" Sammy hires students to bitch about competition on forums " Aaa yeah brilliant marketing" Sony Htc unveal quite a large number of phones during 2012 " ahhh the confusion..bla bla how can they bankruptcy " Sammy releases 20 models starting with s4 " yeah we love it Sammy gives us choice" Htc does the + cycle 2 years in a row " ohh bankrupt..how could they the betrayal" Sammy does the same this year " Aaa nothing wrong here move along" And many others. Bottom of line ?! The most double faced brain washed (if there even was one to wash) pathetic fan boys out there. The Sammy boys.

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