Throwback Thursday: Musings on Mobile Overclocking

It must have been around 2013 when smartphones, particularly ones using Google’s Android OS, really came of age, becoming almost totally ubiquitous. It is also around this time that it became relatively simple to adjust the settings of your handheld device to make it go a little faster, and of course there were benchmarks around where you could test and compare your performance. Yep… I refer to the advent of Mobile Overclocking, the topic of a post written in December of 2013 by our very own Pieter-Jan 'Massman' Plaisier. Here are just some of the thoughts expressed. Thoughts which ultimately led to the development of the Mobile HWBOT Prime benchmark and the integration of Mobile Overclocking with HWBOT.

The idea is simple. As a community, overclockers have been able to force hardware manufacturers to care about the product quality. Through overclocking – how irrelevant the benchmark scores may be – and the competitive nature of the overclockers, we motivated marketing teams primarily, and engineering teams secondarily, to look at how to improve the design of their product. The companies wanted not only to prevent the power users from spreading the word on poor design, but also to win the race to feature in the world record system. The result we know: better bios, better hardware, more tuning, and better design. A win for everyone!

This eco-system does not exist for mobile devices. There are tons of applications for mobile architectures outside the space of smartphones and tablets to be uncovered. We cannot let poor hardware design stop us. Let’s kick-start the eco-system! The proposed trajectory is as follows. First we introduce the competitive spirit through a benchmark application. The open-source Android version of HWBOT Prime seems to be a good start. The hope is that through rankings and leader boards, developers get interested. Who can build the fastest ROM? Who can build the most overclockable kernel? We hope that in the Hackerspace we can find a couple of people who can help work on a specific device project. For us, it will be one of the Hardkernel Odroid devices. Mainly because we have a bunch of them, and they are easy/easier to work with that smartphones or tablets. Especially when it comes to experimenting with different types of cooling.

You can read the full piece from December 10th 2013 here, which also talks about the Taipei Hackerspace.

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