Yesterday, it was reported that Samsung had rigged the Galaxy S4 to perform better in benchmarks. Today comes Samsung’s terse response, which answers some questions, but leaves others flapping in the wind.
In part, the reason reporters thought that Samsung was goosing the benchmarks was because the phone’s GPU operates at 533MHz in tests while the actual gaming clock speed performance is 480MHz. It’s not hard to see how an observer might call that artificial inflation.
Well according to Samsung, the clock speeds vary to optimise graphics performance for different applications. Ahem:
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. 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.
In other words, Samsung says it juices the performance whenever possible, but that in certain situations, this might cause an “overload”. That certainly sounds reasonable, although, it doesn’t explain why it appears that the phone is hardcoded to perform different with specific benchmarking tools. Of the former, Samsung was caught with its pants down, and it looks like they’re staying down for now. [Samsung]