After chip benchmark revised, Samsung and ARM gain on Intel

A widely-used processor benchmark has been revised, allowing an ARM-based Samsung processor to gain on an Intel x86 chip.

Questions were raised about benchmarks that pit the Lenovo K900, with an Intel chip, versus the Galaxy S4, with an ARM chip.  So, the testing lab revised its benchmark.
Questions were raised about benchmarks that pit the Lenovo K900, with an Intel chip, versus the Galaxy S4, with an ARM chip. So, the testing lab revised its benchmark. Samsung

An Intel chip showed slower performance when tested against the processor in Samsung's Galaxy S4 after a popular benchmark was revised.

EE Times posted a story titled "Has Intel really beaten ARM?" on Wednesday that called into question the widely-used AnTuTu Benchmark. In June, a market research firm published results of an exercise using the benchmark that found an Intel chip greatly outperforming ARM.

The EE Times article disputed the results that pitted the Lenovo K900, with an Intel Atom Z2580 smartphone chip, against the Samsung Galaxy S4, with that company's Exynos 5 Octa processor.

In response, AnTuTu has revised its benchmark.

"Under the revised benchmark, overall scores for the Atom Z2580 dropped by about 20 percent," wrote analyst Jim McGregor of Tirias Research on Friday. He continued:

Technical consulting firm BDTI pointed out that the compiled code for the Intel processor was not executing all instructions that were intended for the RAM test. This artificially improved the results for the Lenovo K900 smartphone and the Intel Atom processors.

A separate critique had been posted on BDTI's Web site earlier in the week that found "the ARM-based [Samsung] Exynos processor performs all the operations specified in the benchmark source code, while the Intel Z2580 processor skips some steps."

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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