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Back in July, AnandTech discovered that Samsung had included a portion of code in the Galaxy S4, called the "BenchmarkBooster", that unfairly optimized the phone for benchmarking applications. With the release of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the company has been caught inflating benchmarks once again through special optimization code.
Ars Technica ran some benchmarks on the Galaxy Note 3 while monitoring the device's CPU, and discovered each core ran at the maximum 2.3 GHz regardless of the load the system was under. Similar to what was observed in the Galaxy S4, a file was detecting when benchmarks were being run, overriding the CPU's normal clock speed throttling, and forcing the CPU to run at full speed.
The boosting code is used exclusively for benchmarks, including Geekbench, GFXBench, Quadrant, AnTuTu and Linpack, and reporedly causes an artificial benchmark increases of around 20%. Stealth versions of the applications, where the package name is changed so the app can't be detected, aren't affected by the boost.
For typical users, the benchmark boosting code doesn't inhibit the usability of the smartphone, however it's frustrating for reviewers and performance enthusiasts that like to compare their device to others on the market. If a benchmark gives the Galaxy Note 3 a 20% advantage over another Snapdragon 800-powered device, such as the LG G2, you would assume it's 20% more powerful in games; but with benchmarks being artificially inflated, this isn't the case.