Samsung fudges Note 3 benchmark

Samsung has been caught out fudging the benchmarks of its Galaxy Note 3.

Ars Technica was testing the the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and noticed that it was scoring rather well on the official benchmark tests.

The reviewers smelt a rat when they noticed that Samsung’s 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 did really well against LG’s 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800.

What appeared to be happening was that Samsung was boosting the US Note 3’s benchmark scores with a special, high-power CPU mode that kicks in when the device runs popular benchmarking apps.

This is not the first time that Samsung has been caught out. In fact the same trick was tried with the international Galaxy S 4’s GPU.

Now it seems that Samsung is playing the same game in the US.

After a bit of research, Ars worked out how to disable this special CPU mode, so for the first time we can see just how much Samsung’s benchmark optimisations affect benchmark scores.

Normally while the Note 3 is idling, three of the four cores shut off to conserve power and the last core drops down to a low-power 300MHz mode.

When a CPU benchmarking app is open, the Note 3 CPU locks into 2.3GHz mode and the cores never shut off.

Using Geekbench’s multicore test, the Note 3’s benchmark mode gives the device a 20 percent boost over its “natural” score. With the benchmark stripped away, the Note 3 drops down to LG G2 levels.

Looking that the java code on the phone they found an app which tweaks Geekbench, Quadrant, Antutu, Linpack, GFXBench, and even some of Samsung’s own benchmarks.

Ironcially with the benchmark booster disabled, the Note 3 still comes out faster than the G2 in this test, so it was entirely an unnecessary fudge. Samsung could still say that would have won the benchmark races, just not by as much as it did.

Having been caught out, no one will actually believe that the Samsung phone was ever faster. Own goal or what?