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Samsung is artificially slowing down your Galaxy smartphone

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Last updated: March 2nd, 2022 at 17:54 UTC+01:00

Ever wondered why games don't play quite well on your shiny new Galaxy S22 despite it packing the best hardware on the market? It turns out that there is more to it than just bad Exynos 2200/Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 performance. The real culprit is Samsung's GOS (Games Optimization Service) which aggressively throttles CPU and GPU performance.

Multiple sources, including a South Korean YouTuber Square Dream, confirmed his findings with a little trickery. He renamed the popular benchmarking app “3D Mark” as “Genshin Impact” and found that merely changing the package name resulted in a significant dip in scores.

Similarly, users on the South Korean forum Clien renamed Geekbench and Genshin Impact and found a nearly 50% drop in single-threaded performance in some instances. The differences varied on a generation-by-generation basis, with older devices such as the Galaxy S10 exhibiting only a marginal dip in performance.

GOS kicks in whenever a game is run and it has a long list of apps that qualify as “games”, which was graciously posted online by Twitter user @GaryeonHan, who also spoke about the problem at length. Some of the curious entrants in that list include Microsoft Office and YouTube Vanced.

Before reaching out for your pitchforks, Samsung appears to be aware of the issue and is actively investigating it, at least that's what one Naver poster says. An official statement should be issued soon, although there isn't much Samsung can say for artificially throttling game performance for no conceivable reason.

Conversely, it'll be interesting to see if renaming games to popular benchmark titles yield any tangible gains in performance. If that is true, it is a clear cut case of Samsung deliberately forcing its hardware to run at higher than recommended speeds to look good in performance charts. We'll be sure to test it on our own Galaxy S22 devices and report back, so watch this space for an update.

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