Anthrax kernel supposedly running at 3GHzAnthrax kernel developer Chad Goodman has produced a fake kernel that reports reaching 3.096GHz on the Samsung Galaxy S III, to prove a point. That point is that kernels for that device don’t go that fast, and many of the ones released on many different phones reach what they’re claiming as the top end of their overclock range.

If you’ve ever flashed a kernel and felt that your 30% overclocked phone didn’t perform at all faster, you might be playing with a kernel with some bad data in the kernel that reports incorrect clock speeds.

The “lie” evidently comes in the form of a series of numbers – eight numbers for each clock speed. One of these is what’s being displayed as the speed, and another is a multiplier that actually sets the speed.

The main lie in Chad’s example (shown in the picture on the right) is that the device will report any number you put in the first entry as the speed – you can even choose to report your kernel overclocked to 9.9GHz  if you want, as it will make no difference to speed or performance. Only the multiplier has any effect. Alternately, you could overclock your kernel 30% and claim that it’s running at stock speeds, and that you just write better code than all the other people that write stock speed kernels.

Chad claims that not one kernel on XDA currently is using the correct multipliers as of this writing (although if this is specific to Galaxy S III kernels or everything). Eighteen months ago, he claimed the same issues were true of HTC EVO 3D kernel development.

The kernels he’s profiling on his site include one claiming 2.1GHz and evidently reaching a max of 1.86GHz, and another kernel claiming 1.5GHz but actually overclocked to 1.8GHz. It’s a bit worrisome that an unscrupulous developer could add a couple of lines of code to make the phone look like it’s clocked all the way to elephant and receive donations based upon adding a false speed line that literally looks like:

{ 1, {  1512000, HFPLL, 1, 0, 0×44 }, L2(16), 1200000 }

In the above example, you change the 1512000 to whatever you want it to claim, and the result would be the same to the phone.

Whatever the case and your feelings on Anthrax’s usually controversial developer, if a kernel sounds a bit too good to be true and doesn’t perform up to what you’d expect, maybe it’s simply not. While we say benchmarks aren’t generally a good indicator of a kernel’s speed, sometimes they are. Chad’s fake 3GHz kernel, which runs at 1.5GHz, is available on Anthrax.us, although registration is required if you want to download. Supposedly the fake 3GHz kernel runs very nicely for a 1.5GHz kernel.

What do you think?

[anthrax-kernels.us]