Samsung Artificial CPU Booster On Galaxy S4 And Note 3 Removed On Android KitKat Update; New Firmware More Efficient Than Jelly Bean?

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By Ryan Inoyori | March 6, 2014 7:24 PM EST

Samsung artificial benchmark score boosting has been a criticism on Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3. Currently, the company removed the CPU overclocking code on the Android KitKat update, according to an analyst.

Overclocking CPU Code

Samsung was criticized on manipulating CPU codes of Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 to make the clock speed rise during benchmarking tests. AnandTech team discovered in the previous year that Samsung made a trick to make the octa-core Exynos variant of Galaxy S4 boost during benchmark test to get the best score.

PowerVR SGX 544MP3 GPU in the Exynos chipset Galaxy S4 runs at 480 MHz normally but goes differently at 533 MHz max whenever a benchmark app such as AnTuTu is active and goes back to normal clock speed once the app is closed. For the Snapdragon variant, all cores active during any benchmarking tests.

Artificial boost of up to 10 percent will not significantly affect apps and games as the effects are not obvious. But putting the CPU and GPU chips on overclocking may endanger the device as it causes more heat and drains more battery compared to normal clock speed.

Elimination of the Code

Official Android 4.4.2 KitKat update for Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 delivers more than security patches, minor bug fixes, battery optimization and system stability.

According to Ars Technica via SamMobile, Samsung removed the intriguing code that overclocks CPU and GPU cores whenever a benchmarking tool is running.

They confirmed the offending code, causing devices to run at maximum frequency, eats more power and drains battery unnecessarily that have been removed on the official Android KitKat builds by Samsung. After updating Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, all of their cores are functioning normally even if a benchmark test is running.

Android Version

Single Core Score

Multi Core Score

Android 4.2.2

660

1812

Android 4.3

682

2114

Android 4.4.2

674

1913

The comparison table reflects scores from Geekbench test and shows that Android 4.4.2 KitKat improved the performance vs. Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. But not surprisingly it was drastic compared to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

"I'm inclined to think that the change between Android 4.2.2 and 4.4.2 is due to Samsung tweaking the overall power and performance settings rather than a new harder-to-detect boost," according to John Poole of Primate Labs told Ars Technica.

Samsung did pretty well on optimizing its apps and the hardware components in Android 4.4.2 KitKat, which currently being pushed live and still waited by many Galaxy device users.

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