Futuremark Updates 3DMark for Mobile, Delists Suspected Cheats

Posted on November 25, 2013 4:19 PM by Rob Williams

With the latest update to its 3DMark mobile benchmark, Futuremark has made a number of important updates, but one stands out of the crowd: “Devices with suspicious benchmark scores have been delisted from the Device Channel.” Vendors pulling off certain tricks to score higher in Futuremark’s benchmarks is nothing new; we’ve seen it on the desktop before from select GPU vendors. On the mobile front though, this is a first.

When checking out the official mobile rankings page, scrolling all the way to the bottom will reveal delisted models – models suspected of cheating. At the moment, these include HTC’s One and One Mini, and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 and Note III.

We’ll have to wait and see if either HTC or Samsung will comment on this suspected cheating.


Apart from the delisting of select models, the latest version of 3DMark for mobile adds some nice updates to the device channel (Windows 8 tablet support has been added, and devices are now color-coded). Further, NVIDIA’s Tegra and Samsung’s Galaxy S3 have also had their support bolstered.

As always, you can get links to the official 3DMark for mobile download on the official 3DMark site.

  • Rajaram Mohan Roy

    really? did these device cheat on consumer? means do tab 10.1 2014,Note3, HTC one & HTC one mini are not having genuine processor which performs as per stated by their manufacturer? oh if its true then consumer is hugely exploited & cheated my these tarnish tech giants…I’m potential buyer of Note 3 & Note10.1 2014, but this news has raised doubts in my mind…I have faith in Samsung pls don’t let me down else I won’t have option other than rude Apple.

    • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

      Futuremark didn’t go into specifics, so it’s hard to say. Usually in these cases, the manufacturer will tweak something on-the-fly when a benchmark is detected, perhaps overclock the CPU+GPU, but again, it’s hard to assume that here given Futuremark hasn’t given a definitive reason.

      • Rajaram Mohan Roy

        so would this particular delisting affect on negative portraying of Samsung product’s image? or its just politics involved here? bcoz results from other benchmark test show Note 3 & 10.1 products are exceedingly well. This ambiguous test & result confuse the buyer & rise doubt regarding product. Shouldn’t Samsung rep make clarification here? lot of people do study product review in detail before buying so information should be clearly stated.

        • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

          This issue wouldn’t cause me to distrust the product too much; as usual, more than one benchmark should be looked at. If a manufacturer optimizes to “cheat”, it tends to be for just one or maybe two – it’s not a global sort of optimization. That said, if Samsung did knowingly cheat, that’s hardly a great way to instil confidence in its product.

          Futuremark, without stating it the same, is accusing Samsung and HTC of cheating on these devices. But what I’m wondering is why it was with only a couple of models, not the entire lineup. As for Samsung not speaking up, I have a feeling it might soon be forced to, given the way this story has been gaining mass coverage, and until that happens, it’s hard to speculate too much. Futuremark has been quite vague about it all. Here’s an excerpt from the email I received:

          “People rely on Futuremark benchmarks to produce accurate and unbiased results. That’s why we have clear rules for hardware manufacturers and software developers that specify how a platform can interact with our benchmark software. In simple terms, a device must run our benchmarks without modification as if they were any other application.

          When a device is suspected of breaking our rules it is delisted. 3DMark scores from delisted devices should not be used to compare devices. Delisted devices appear unranked, and without scores, at the bottom of the 3DMark Device Channel and the Best Mobile Devices list on our website.

          Naturally, we take any attempt to manipulate our benchmarks seriously. New devices are launching all the time, however, and we can only test a small number of them ourselves. If you discover a device with a suspcious score, I would greatly appreciate it if you could email [email protected] and share the details with us so we can investigate further.”

          • Rajaram Mohan Roy

            Ya, I agree you. If HTC & Samsung cheated knowingly then its tough to survive this tech race with gaining consumer’s confidence. I was planning to buy Note 10.1 2014 but this news raised doubts in my mind & if not sorted out then I will resort to iPadAir unwillingly. Android’s flexibility interests me more & some functions of Note 10.1, but I won’t fall for it if the very Soul is deceitful….

            As this matters is gathering attention, leading tech site are making highlight of it, so this topic is gathering momentum considering discussions carried out on various forums. There are so many testing bench & various parameters are considered in different environment hence how can layman buyer consider best of all while evaluating all gadgets impartially? Do genuine benchmark score exist? Some sites claim that many manufacturer overclocked just provide extra push for any heavy app, but it turns out that only benchmarker apps are entitled to get extra push. Agree that manufacturer code this to stand out in benchmark test then why don’t they stand out in every app or in consumer’s heart, why don’t excel in user experience rather than to limiting power to benchmarkers?

            Better HTC & Samsung clear the dark clouds over their prime products and make high fidelity in consumer hearts….

          • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

            It’s too bad that the 10-inch tablet arena at the moment is rather weak. If Google updates the Nexus 10, then it’d be a GREAT tablet to consider. I am not a fan of Apple per se; I like the design, but the hardware and price combination (and not to mention the lack of flexibility) always kills it for me. Windows tablets are gaining in popularity as well, but I can’t really say they do much to pull me in.

            I greatly appreciate the fact that you take this sort of thing seriously, because a LOT of people don’t. If everyone raised questions like you and actually put their money where their mouths are, then companies simply wouldn’t try to pull this kind of thing.

            “Do genuine benchmark score exist?”

            Real-world tests would be best, but on mobile, that’s easier said than done, especially when comparing one platform to the next. In order to get the full picture of performance, it’s best to take a look at a LOT of benchmarks and then surmise the overall picture that way. As far as gaming goes though, I would say I trust Futuremark’s work… the company has been doing what it does for well over a decade, and it takes what it does very seriously. I’d also greatly trust MobileXPRT, as they also take things very, very seriously. It’s a benchmark that’s slow to catch on it seems, but it should be used. We’ll use both of these both when we start posting more mobile stuff, as I consider them to be the most important (outside of battery-life tests and such).

          • Rajaram Mohan Roy

            I consider myself as Layman turn Techie, I being Biology grad its tough to be techie but I try to simplify terms. I am considering to buy best tab which can lead gadget & OS update race for next 2 years. So I’m studying all web updates of 10.1 2014 & ipadair since few month. I have all outdated gadgets like N72(brought in 2006) & Dell inspiron 15R i5 1st gen,Win7(brought in 2011). As I have decided to update my gadgets with best phone & tab in market so I got into all this stuff. Here in India we don’t have Apple craze, but I do agree Apple provide best built quality in their products but hamper lot in iOS with iTunes monopoly & other hand is cheap but practical Samsung’s flexible range. As price don’t affect me I want the best in phone & in tab. So my detail study hints me toward Samsung but concern for its longevity in market survival. Current issues with Samsung is worth concerning. This recent delisting incident put me in doubt, but on considering other benchmark Samsung did well. This create question in my mind.

            1.Will Note 3 & Note 10.1 2014 will get kitkat update, if it get so will current hardware support new kitkat OS?

            2.As stated 10.1 2014 has 1.8GHz Samsung Exynos 5420 (4 x Cortex A15/4 x Cortex A7, Mali-T628MP6) processor. As per functional Cortex A15 or Cortex A7 either of one works at a time by running at 1.8GHz or 1.3GHz respectively, providing processing power to specifically required as per apps. But not works simultaneously. Now my doubt is, in future considering the need, would these two Quad core run at same time to provide enough Octa core processing power to run 2015 or latter version of apps? If it is coded so then this tab will be powerful enough to last couple of more updates of OS & sustain hardware capabilities to run future ready heavy apps. As overclocking of CPU & GPU was done in benchmarks it does provide massive power, so would that power be juiced out to run future coming apps? Once warranty is lapse then I won’t mind to safely tweak hardware to its limits.

            What you think will this scenario be practical enough? & function smoothly with bearing more heating limit than current one?

            While I consider views to optimistic towards benchmark issues to sorted out in coming days, thanks for your views. This found to be good website.

          • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

            I have never owned a Samsung tablet, so I can’t personally speak to their longevity. A couple of my friends have had Samsung tablets for a while that are still running, but they act more as secondary tablets nowadays since these same friends have purchased the latest hotness.

            Apple does have the benefit of building high-quality products, and also treating its customers to OS upgrades for as long as possible. On the Android side, I’d say you’re lucky to be supported past a year, really. It’s the fragmentation problem… companies can’t keep up with 20+ models, whereas Apple just has to worry about a handful. Of course, you can root an Android device and upgrade the OS via community methods, but that’s an area I’ve never cared to delve into.

            For Android OS longevity, Google Nexus is the way to go, as they tend to be supported the longest. But since you’re looking for a 10-inch and Nexus 10 is outdated… it’s bad timing to consider Android 10 I think (I admit I don’t pay huge attention to 10-inch tablets though… I’ve become addicted to 7-inch ones, but I am not using them for productivity).

            1) I’m not a source on that really, but I didn’t realize the Note 10.1 had a recent update. The Note 3 will -definitely- be getting a KitKat update, and likely whatever comes next (it only released a couple of months ago). Where Android is concerned, you’re safe for at least a year, and if vendors are generous, more so. If it’s a Nexus, I’d say it’s safe to say that 1.5 is the guaranteed upgrade life, although I *think* Google has supported them for up to three years.

            2) Those quads cannot be combined as far as I’m concerned, although one app should be able to use one and another, the other (but I haven’t read into it too much). Both are based on the same core architecture, but given their differing clock speeds (which I am guessing couldn’t be matched 1:1), I have doubts this would work. And outside of the quad-cores themselves, the general implementation of them both might disallow turning them into an effective eight-core, which I think is what you’re asking.

            We’re at a point where mobile processors are increasing in performance dramatically from generation to generation. Chances are, by 2015, there will be newer models out that would blow away a theoretical combining of those two quad-cores.

            I really wish I had hard benchmark information for you. We haven’t covered mobile too much outside of news up to this point. That’ll change sooner than later, I’m expecting.

          • Rajaram Mohan Roy

            thanks for your valuable info…Hope Note 10.1 would get updates for longer duration…
            Expecting future update from Techgage…

  • Tushar Patil

    Please check out the LTE version of Note 10.1 2014. Jerry Lee has also uploaded various reviews. This link is of Benchmark & performance.
    Check it out–>http://youtu.be/B1MBwTY2kZo

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