08-04-2013 10:33 AM
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  1. slackerjack's Avatar
    I'm plenty happy with my S4.

    I don't give a **** about silly articles/studies like these. It's just a phone folks, ya need to relax and not spend so much energy trying to bi*ch/complain about it.
    From an academic perspective, it's very important. And the guys at Anadtech are hardly writing troll bait articles like most tech sites (present company excluded of course, I have at lot of respect for what Phil and the team do here) Brian Klung, An and and the rest of Anand's team are consummate professionals and have forgotten more about modern computer technology than people could even conceive of. Hell, I work with the GPUs every day, writing somewhat complex AA/AF algorithms, I've been doing it for 15 years, and I'll still go read an article from Anandtech and learn something new almost every time.

    Posted via Android Central App
    Kevin OQuinn and karmamule like this.
    07-30-2013 08:48 PM
  2. Farish's Avatar
    Smartphones have put a big dent into the mobile gaming industry(DS, PSP, etc) because of their gaming capabilities.

    When you have a potential buyer of a smartphone whose one of their primary concerns is gaming, benchmarks start to matter because they are believe to give an unbiased result.

    If you Google what is the fastest smartphone for gaming,

    This article appears in the top 5: Galaxy S4 Benchmarks Reveal It Boasts The Fastest Gaming

    This does matter. This affects search engine results, people's opinions and changes word of mouth.

    Remember we are talking about people's perceptions and billions of dollars.

    I know that this optimization was for the Octa processor but it still doesn't change the fact that this kind of gamesmanship is going to hurt not help Samsung in the long run.
    07-30-2013 09:46 PM
  3. Kevin OQuinn's Avatar
    If he thinks it's just Samsung that does that, news flash. Intel, AMD, Nividia all do that. Still doesn't make it right though.

    Posted via Android Central App
    I'm not sure you read all of my comments in this thread. I specifically said that Samsung was just caught first, but I'm sure others do it.

    Maybe, I dunno if it's as rampant as it was back in the day when people actually bought high end PC hardware...it was always a nice of a niche market, and it's now easily a 10th the size it was in its heyday

    Posted via Android Central App
    I actually do have a bit of knowledge about the PC gaming market, and believe it or not, it's at an almost all-time high right now. The fact that companies like nVidia see a market for a $1k GPU speaks volumes about the popularity of PC gaming, even if they will only sell a relatively small number of Titan's.

    As an aside, just because Samsung is gaming the system in a different way than other companies have historically done doesn't make the result any different. Skewed numbers in benchmarks. Does it really matter how you do it?
    07-31-2013 12:11 AM
  4. JHBThree's Avatar
    I don't really see this as the phone being slower than it really is, because if Samsung could do this, it means the phone has the potential to run at that speed. Even if normal apps use the processor at a lower speed, it could potentially be used at that speed (if rooted) so in a way, its still fast....right?
    No.

    The normal user will never see the performance that the benchmarks indicate. It is built into the code to prevent that from happening. The guys at anandtech specifically tested apps and games, and the software wouldn't let it reach that higher performance outside of the benchmarking apps.

    There is obviously a reason Samsung does this, but its a cheap move on their part. They're embarassed that they were caught, so it may be a while before they explain why they're allowing benchmarking apps to have access to a level of performance that regular users can't.

    Sent from my SGH-M919 using Tapatalk 2
    07-31-2013 12:36 AM
  5. smooth4lyfe's Avatar
    No.

    The normal user will never see the performance that the benchmarks indicate. It is built into the code to prevent that from happening. The guys at anandtech specifically tested apps and games, and the software wouldn't let it reach that higher performance outside of the benchmarking apps.

    There is obviously a reason Samsung does this, but its a cheap move on their part. They're embarassed that they were caught, so it may be a while before they explain why they're allowing benchmarking apps to have access to a level of performance that regular users can't.

    Sent from my SGH-M919 using Tapatalk 2
    Yeah I'm curious as to know why, and I think it's wrong that they did it...I think if they came out clean from the beginning to say these Benchmarks show the capabilities of the phone but lowered it due to.... Then it would have been less of a big issue

    Sent from my Galaxy S4 Exynos via Tapatalk 4... I LOVE THIS PHONE
    07-31-2013 12:39 AM
  6. slackerjack's Avatar
    Eh, there have always been super high end video card solutions for that relative price point... the $600 price point being the golden era equivalent of the 1k card 10 years ago is less about inflation and more about there now being able to add multiple gpus and gobs of memory to single card (foot long, extra power supply requirement "single card" solutions).

    Once the consoles became powerful enough to stand in for high end hardware (circa 2007/8ish) the pc only game scene all but vanished.... It's cheaper and easier to develop for consoles and it makes less sense to develop for a platform with fewer user. Look at PC only titles in the last 5 years... It's dominated by world of Warcraft (and a handful of other MMOs) and like Metro Last light... pretty bleak of you ask me, especially when the changing of the guard (from Id and epic over to crytek) see pic platform as assn afterthought.... It's a pretty good sign that times have changed. The next wave of consoles is only going to drive another nail in that coffin. Microsoft isn't making pc gaming any more attractive either with Windows 8' Mac Osx has always been a joke of a gaming os ... and since that just leave consoles.... Well pretty easy to see how it happened. Who knows maybe windows 8 on the xbox one will help matters, but time will have to tell... as it stands today, the only less appealing gaming platform than the PC is the Wii u... and even that will eventually get some 1st party support

    Posted via Android Central App
    07-31-2013 01:52 AM
  7. Kevin OQuinn's Avatar
    Eh, there have always been super high end video card solutions for that relative price point... the $600 price point being the golden era equivalent of the 1k card 10 years ago is less about inflation and more about there now being able to add multiple gpus and gobs of memory to single card (foot long, extra power supply requirement "single card" solutions).

    Once the consoles became powerful enough to stand in for high end hardware (circa 2007/8ish) the pc only game scene all but vanished.... It's cheaper and easier to develop for consoles and it makes less sense to develop for a platform with fewer user. Look at PC only titles in the last 5 years... It's dominated by world of Warcraft (and a handful of other MMOs) and like Metro Last light... pretty bleak of you ask me, especially when the changing of the guard (from Id and epic over to crytek) see pic platform as assn afterthought.... It's a pretty good sign that times have changed. The next wave of consoles is only going to drive another nail in that coffin. Microsoft isn't making pc gaming any more attractive either with Windows 8' Mac Osx has always been a joke of a gaming os ... and since that just leave consoles.... Well pretty easy to see how it happened. Who knows maybe windows 8 on the xbox one will help matters, but time will have to tell... as it stands today, the only less appealing gaming platform than the PC is the Wii u... and even that will eventually get some 1st party support

    Posted via Android Central App
    I can find numbers that say steam has more registered accounts and active users than xbox live.

    MS and Valve both release numbers about active users, and there are more on Steam. But I digress.


    I want to know why samsung only allows benchmark apps to see this extra level of performance that no other app can. I also would love to know what other companies are doing the same thing (htc? Sony? LG?)

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD
    07-31-2013 03:02 AM
  8. aapold's Avatar
    If you use a hex editor to edit the names of the boosted apps could you get better performance in demanding apps you actually do run frequently? Just swap glbenchmark with riptide2 and so on... Maybe even make an app to swap then out....

    Posted via Android Central App
    07-31-2013 05:31 AM
  9. Almeuit's Avatar
    I'm plenty happy with my S4.

    I don't give a **** about silly articles/studies like these. It's just a phone folks, ya need to relax and not spend so much energy trying to bi*ch/complain about it.
    This.

    Sent from my T-Mobile HTC One using AC Forums.
    fulleraj likes this.
    07-31-2013 05:48 AM
  10. donm527#IM's Avatar
    If this news was posted about the iphone or windows phone then people here would be caring more and there would be no guessing why... the obvious answer would be to deceive consumers... whether joe consumer where they may not really know about benchmarks but doesnt hurt for salesman to point it out like a car salesman would point out the horsepower on any car they are selling. and to the tech geeks its a number to pump out because it may not the the primary factor on a purchase but its sticks in your mind... you want the best performing phone you can buy that you're gonna own for a while.

    funny where so many say, i don't care... i love my phone.

    may be true... but i would still care that samsung resorts to deceiving people to sell a phone.

    it's silly to only increase performance on performance tests.. like carrying nitrous in a car and only spraying it on races. if the phone doesnt run at that spec 100% of the time for all apps, it's useless. obviously you'd be running into heat and battery issues. they pumped for bragging rights... but this wasnt the way to to it.

    I want to know why samsung only allows benchmark apps to see this extra level of performance that no other app can. I also would love to know what other companies are doing the same thing (htc? Sony? LG?)

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD
    07-31-2013 06:44 AM
  11. Aquila's Avatar
    Here is Samsung's statement:

    일부 벤치마크 사이트에서 제기한 갤럭시 S4 테스트에 대해 말씀드립니다. [이슈와 팩트] :: SAMSUNG TOMORROW

    (Samsung Tomorrow Site)

    It seems like they're indicating that using the full capabilities of the GPU is possible in any app that uses full screen (no status bar).

    It is interesting that they do not address the code found entitled, "benchmark booster" that is cited in the initial allegations, other than to say, "we did not use a specific tool on purpose to achieve higher benchmark scores". Obviously one of these things are untrue, and the "benchmark booster" in the S4's firmware included had a specific white list of benchmarks that were granted access to the highest speeds by way of a whitelist. That's some pretty specific code to not consider it a "specific tool" that is used intentionally.

    I get that you have a PR office and have to save face, but sometimes saving face is really about honesty and transparency. "Yes, we do that, here is why we don't run your device at those speeds all day long..."
    07-31-2013 06:44 AM
  12. aapold's Avatar
    Anandtech says Samsung should be focusing on the user experience not artificial benchmarks. But knowing you have the baddest phone IS part of the user experience for the S4. So in effect Samsung is enhancing the user experience. It's kinda like putting a spoiler on a car so people think it goes faster.

    Posted via Android Central App
    07-31-2013 07:28 AM
  13. monsieurms's Avatar
    Two things---if Samsung is cheating, shame on them. They shouldn't be. It is not acceptable.

    Second, I own the S4. It's the fastest phone I've ever seen. How that comports with "cheating on benchmarks" I don't know, but it's a useful bottom line. Many of the pro articles I read, btw, recommending this phone also did "real world" testing, not just relying on benchmarks. Everything they did and said NO MATTER HOW TESTED was basically along the same line and same conclusion--blazing fast, about the fastest phone in the marketplace.

    So, if chicanery is going on, just on general principle, I'm a little pissed off. It doesn't change my overall impression of the phone or the real world performance. It is is lightning fast. There's no lie in that.
    07-31-2013 08:21 AM
  14. donm527#IM's Avatar
    From what I read it's a great phone and i think most can agree that it's one of the best phones and performing phones this year comparable to the One. Heck they even use the same CPU so it they should all perform pretty well and pretty much all should be close... but stupid to cheat just to bump up the numbers for bragging rights.

    an S4 would still be on my short list of phones to upgrade... but this is just a black eye to the company itself more than the phone... the funny ads versus apple are cool imo... pumping benchmark numbers and lieing to us... uncool.

    being king of the benchmark hill is so shortlived anyways... why risk it with tricks like this? the new phones with the 800 series processors are coming out anyways so the s4 already went down on my shortlist.

    Two things---if Samsung is cheating, shame on them. They shouldn't be. It is not acceptable.

    Second, I own the S4. It's the fastest phone I've ever seen. How that comports with "cheating on benchmarks" I don't know, but it's a useful bottom line. Many of the pro articles I read, btw, recommending this phone also did "real world" testing, not just relying on benchmarks. Everything they did and said NO MATTER HOW TESTED was basically along the same line and same conclusion--blazing fast, about the fastest phone in the marketplace.

    So, if chicanery is going on, just on general principle, I'm a little pissed off. It doesn't change my overall impression of the phone or the real world performance. It is is lightning fast. There's no lie in that.
    07-31-2013 08:36 AM
  15. Citizen Coyote's Avatar
    You genuinely think 1% of consumers are looking at benchmarks to help justify a buying decision??...ha. Androidcentral users probably represent .01% of smartphone users...and Id guess even a miniscule % of them would do so.

    Again, the concept of "cheating" is similar to what GPU vendors have done in the past...but there's a difference, those cheats have minimized the workload or register calls (or if you prefer "dumbed down" the benchmarks requirements, which is the whole point of doing a benchmark in the first place) to increase performance. Samsung hasn't done this...they've simply allowed the CPU to run the full workload at a higher frequency than it would normally run. I agree that its likely not representative of day today performance...but it's not the same thing as running less to move faster and achieve higher scores (like with real GPU cheating) and it proves out the Samsung hardware is capable of that performance in at least a limited case.

    Let me draw a comparison for you that might make more sense: if you had two identical cars running a track to prove out which was faster, the GPU cheats of old would have changed the length of the track, or lightened the weight of the car. In this case, Samsung's removed the governed from their cars engine, this increasing the maximum output and increasing the chances that you'd run down the engine faster by nature of running it to hard "cheating" is the way you describe either, but the method by which you're "cheating" is completely different and the end result as well.

    I understand also that the analogy is flawed because Samsung was never running an identical car to begin with, the SOC is different, and the memory is faster than its prime competitor...so it was natural to assume that it'd be faster anyway. If you recall, I tried to start a thread to talk about this a month ago that fell largely into the pit of "wah, I like my phone better so Samsung sucks" ( ad these things often do) and th le conversation went nowhere fast. I followed Jerry's test setup recommendation and it proved what we all though...just never posted the results...the Galaxy S 4 was faster...by some margin, its clocked higher and has faster memory when put on a level playing field wit lh the one...shocking...I know.

    At a guess...it's likely done to show max theoretical performance...and I'll agree that it's wrong if you're trying to prove out day to day performance...but NOT the same as changing the test conditions to prove a specific advantage

    Posted via Android Central App
    I agree that the vast majority of smartphone buyers don't care about benchmark numbers. However, they do care (or at least notice) buzzwords and simple "2x as fast!" marketing bullet points. Don't believe me? Look at almost every recent product reveal by Apple and Amazon, to take two examples. Invariably, somewhere in the presentation is a slide or two comparing their device to the competition, with "2x as fast" or "4x as fast" labels on pretty bar charts. These numbers by themselves mean little, but they're likely loosely based off some sort of benchmark (only so they can "prove" the numbers to curious tech journalists). The numbers also look impressive to fans and curious onlookers. Even if they don't go spouting out on forums how their device is 4x faster at rendering triangles than the competition, that little nugget can get lodged in their head when it comes time to buy a device. If that's what pushes them to buy Amazing Device over Brand X, then the company succeeded.

    I think this is what these manipulated benchmarks boil down to: they allow the company's PR and marketing divisions to make those simplistic "2x faster" bullet points and slides. It also leads to misleading articles like someone else mentioned, where the high benchmarks are translated into improved gaming performance. It's dishonest, and we've seen it time and again over the past 15 years in the PC industry. Unless companies know people are watching and willing to call them out on cooked test results, they'll keep doing it.

    All of the above, including what Slackerjaw said, is why I personally consider benchmarks to be an academic info nugget at best. As long as the device I'm using performs, I don't care what numbers it gets, nor do I care if Brand X is faster or slower since that's not what I'm using.
    TenshiNo likes this.
    07-31-2013 08:51 AM
  16. garublador's Avatar
    The problem with benchmarks is that becasue they're made in a way that it's possible to optimize your device to do well on them, it only makes sense for everyone to optimize their device. Otherwise you aren't comparing anything useful. If some are optimizing and some aren't, then the benchmark is useless. It's on the people developing the benchmarks to make them in such a way that they give a realistic difference between devices. If they don't do that, then they're just selling smoke and mirrors. Blaming Samsung for benchmarks being smoke and mirrors isn't going to improve anything at all. We'll still have benchmarks that don't measure anything useful.
    07-31-2013 09:01 AM
  17. Dapper37's Avatar
    Seriously though, lets not forget this is a company that copied its way to the top with its mobile device hardware. even long before mobile was what it is today. Now their popular because of someone elses OS. I put nothing past samsumg. Sad but true.
    07-31-2013 09:20 AM
  18. Kedar's Avatar
    This is no different than manufacturers claiming to get X hours battery life on their laptop/tablet/phone.

    Samsung, and others, know that people pay attention to benchmarks, and being fastest in any of them is a great marketing bullet point. That's why they do things like this, and why benchmarks will continue to not be indicative of a great user experience. I applaud Anandtech for doing the work to dig into this issues, and hope that if other manufacturers are doing it that it's also discovered.
    Isn't it the fault of those reviewers to be using such benchmarks? Samsung doesn't market the S4 with Quadrant numbers.

    Anyway, move on. Not a big deal. All Samsung did was put it at max clock speed... they didn't even overclock the device.
    07-31-2013 09:43 AM
  19. LegalAmerican's Avatar
    AnandTech | Looking at CPU/GPU Benchmark Optimizations in Galaxy S 4

    Nothing Samsung does should surprise anyone but this is underhanded even for them
    They specially optimized Touchwiz for certain benchmarks to make it look faster than it is. This is explains why the Touchwiz version is "faster" than the pure Google version which never made any sense to me.
    What are the odds Android Central will run this story...
    Personally, I don't even think Samsung makes phones. I stay up at night thinking about all the evil in the world and how Samsung has created all of it. And then I run to AnandTech to see what they can confirm. All tech sites have their small biases (like you hinted at when you wondered if AC would run this story) but not AnandTech. They would never do any of that. They are the opposite of everything Samsung stands for and I will not sleep until I can confirm that Samsung isn't even a real company.
    monsieurms and skipatrol like this.
    07-31-2013 09:55 AM
  20. Kevin OQuinn's Avatar
    This is no different than manufacturers claiming to get X hours battery life on their laptop/tablet/phone.


    Isn't it the fault of those reviewers to be using such benchmarks? Samsung doesn't market the S4 with Quadrant numbers.

    Anyway, move on. Not a big deal. All Samsung did was put it at max clock speed... they didn't even overclock the device.
    So you're passing the buck on to the reviewers? Seriously?

    To use your battery life example, are you also going to say that reviewers shouldn't test battery life against manufacturer claims then? We've always said that benchmarks should be taken with a huge grain of salt, and this is the reason why. As has been stated, though, we don't reach everyone, and there are very justifiable reasons why cheating the benchmarks can be bad for consumers, with the ones that stick out to me being 1) the marketing spin that can be put on it 2) the sites that post the results can rank high in Google search.

    We could argue about what constitutes an overclock, also. Sure, they might not have exceeded the max freq that the chip can run at, but if 99.9% of the time it runs at one freq, and then in a few specific circumstances it gets clocked higher, isn't that by definition an overclock?

    I'm not saying that it's a huge deal and should steer people away from the S4 (I've never said that about benchmarks relative to any device), but this isn't something that needs to be overlooked. It's the beginning of a terrible trend in mobile, just as it was a terrible trend in GPU's on PC's.
    07-31-2013 10:00 AM
  21. blitz118's Avatar
    This is no different than manufacturers claiming to get X hours battery life on their laptop/tablet/phone.


    Isn't it the fault of those reviewers to be using such benchmarks? Samsung doesn't market the S4 with Quadrant numbers.

    Anyway, move on. Not a big deal. All Samsung did was put it at max clock speed... they didn't even overclock the device.
    He's not going to let this go. He is going to drill this to no end.
    07-31-2013 10:10 AM
  22. slackerjack's Avatar
    It's the beginning of a terrible trend in mobile, just as it was a terrible trend in GPU's on PC's.
    Its a reality, and on that was bound to make its way over to the mobile space as it gained in popularity, you can abhore it all you want, but its never going to go away as long as users substitute personal success and achievement with some status symbol (phones in this case), that mankind hasn't been able to get past whipping out their genetalia and comparing size or getting into who can pee furthest contests...the idea that this won't continue is optimistic at best.

    In a lot of ways, its like racism: completely stupid, propagated by those who continue to benefit from it...supported by the ignorant...and its never going to go away.

    Posted via Android Central App
    Kevin OQuinn likes this.
    07-31-2013 10:19 AM
  23. OhAlfie's Avatar
    So you're passing the buck on to the reviewers? Seriously?

    To use your battery life example, are you also going to say that reviewers shouldn't test battery life against manufacturer claims then? We've always said that benchmarks should be taken with a huge grain of salt, and this is the reason why. As has been stated, though, we don't reach everyone, and there are very justifiable reasons why cheating the benchmarks can be bad for consumers, with the ones that stick out to me being 1) the marketing spin that can be put on it 2) the sites that post the results can rank high in Google search.

    We could argue about what constitutes an overclock, also. Sure, they might not have exceeded the max freq that the chip can run at, but if 99.9% of the time it runs at one freq, and then in a few specific circumstances it gets clocked higher, isn't that by definition an overclock?

    I'm not saying that it's a huge deal and should steer people away from the S4 (I've never said that about benchmarks relative to any device), but this isn't something that needs to be overlooked. It's the beginning of a terrible trend in mobile, just as it was a terrible trend in GPU's on PC's.

    At the end of the day, 99.99% of the folks who own this or any smartphone would say "Who cares!!". Seriously, the general public knows pretty much nothing about "bennchmarks" nor do they care. They just care about having the new "it" phone so they can take their vertical videos of their kids soccer game and listen to their Jay-Z while they jog. The amount of folks who "care" about this silly crap is so miniscule it's worthless (IMO) to keep beating the topic to death like some seem to want to do.
    llfloyd79 likes this.
    07-31-2013 10:20 AM
  24. garublador's Avatar
    So you're passing the buck on to the reviewers? Seriously?
    I think it's fair to blame anyone giving credibility to benchmarks that are easy to manipulate.

    It's the beginning of a terrible trend in mobile, just as it was a terrible trend in GPU's on PC's.
    I'm not sure I'd call it a trend. I'd call it, "How benchmarks have always worked and why they only be used as a weak indication of performance in a specific area."
    07-31-2013 10:32 AM
  25. Jerry Hildenbrand's Avatar
    I think it's fair to blame anyone giving credibility to benchmarks that are easy to manipulate.
    Been saying this for 3 years. Nobody listens to me.

    LOL@ all your benchmarks that run in Dalvik.
    1 -- It's no different than running them on your PC through the Android emulator. Neither is fully native, or has direct access to the hardware.
    2 -- The Optimus 3D. LG showed off how great its benchmarks were, and they were really freaking high. You ever hear anyone mention the Optimus 3D (or the AT&T equivalent that nobody remembers) when they talk about the most "powerful" Android phones? Only if that person were also really freaking high ...
    07-31-2013 10:50 AM
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