We noticed an odd thing while testing the Samsung Galaxy Note 3: it scores really, really well in benchmark tests—puzzlingly well, in fact. A quick comparison of its scores to the similarly specced LG G2 makes it clear that something fishy is going on, because Samsung’s 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 blows the doors off LG’s 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800. What makes one Snapdragon so different from the other?
After a good bit of sleuthing, we can confidently say that Samsung appears to be artificially boosting the US Note 3’s benchmark scores with a special, high-power CPU mode that kicks in when the device runs a large number of popular benchmarking apps. Samsung did something similar with the international Galaxy S 4’s GPU, but this is the first time we’ve seen the boost on a US device. We also found a way to disable this special CPU mode, so for the first time we can see just how much Samsung’s benchmark optimizations affect benchmark scores.
So, Samsung detects when a benchmarking program is being used and then specifically goes into a high power mode not normally used, just tso it can look good in benchmarks.
This does not help the user at all. It simply makes groups relying purely on benchmarks to get fooled. It is like a auto maker saying its coupe goes over 180 mph without letting anyone know that this is only the case when Jeff Gordon is behind the wheel.
It will be interesting if this runs afoul of any consumer protection laws.
They cannot sell their machines unless they secretly game the system.
But, their ploy has not worked since someone decided to investigate this conundrum.