Last October, when the Galaxy Note 3 was arriving in testers hands, some people noticed that there was something up with the benchmarks they were getting. After some in-depth reviewing from Anandtech, it appeared that the Galaxy Note 3 was revving up it’s GPU for certain apps like benchmarks and games. Which as a result makes the Benchmark score higher. Which isn’t really a bad thing, since we expect the GPU to start running at a higher speed when playing games and such, but it gives an inadequate result for benchmarks. However, Samsung was not the only one to do this. Just about every OEM except for Google and ASUS were found guilty.
Due to this, 3DMark had decided to delist some of these devices from their database. Which was a pretty big chance they took. However, it did win them lots of praise from their customers and users of their apps. It also sent a message to the OEMs, that they wanted them to be fair and honest with their customers and potential customers.
According to 3DMark it appears that after some testing, they have added the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 back to their database – known as the 3DMark Device Channel. For the Samsung Galaxy S4, the 3DMark scores are valid when using Android 4.2.2 or 4.4.x or later, but are invalid when running Android 4.3 or 4.3.1. Then on the side of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the scores are valid when running Android 4.4.2 or later, but not on Android 4.3. Obviously the changes Samsung needed to make are in the KitKat update, which isn’t completely rolled out for either device just yet. But on the other hand, it’s nice to see that Samsung has fixed this so we have the true score when doing benchmarks for reviews.
While this is all good for OEMs and customers. I’d still urge everyone to take benchmarks with a grain of salt. As they mean little to nothing in day-to-day use. Which is why in our reviews we review the device based on how it performed from day to day to day. While we still add in benchmark results in the review as well.