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Review: Intel Compute Stick STCK1A32WFC

by Ryan Martin on 5 May 2015, 14:01

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacq2k

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Testing methodology

Comparison Systems

System Name Asus VivoMini UN42 Intel NUC Kit NUC5i5RYH Intel Compute Stick STCK1A32WFC Intel NUC D54250WYK Zotac Zbox Sphere OI520
CPU Intel Celeron 2957U @ up to 1.4GHz. Intel Core i5-5250U @ up to 2.7GHz Intel Atom Z3735F @ up to 1.88GHz Intel Core i5-4250U @ up to 2.6GHz Intel Core i5-4200U @ up to 2.6GHz
CPU Cores / Threads 2 / 2 2 / 4 4 / 4 2 / 4 2 / 4
CPU TDP 15W 15W 4W (approx) 15W 15W
CPU Cooler ASUS VivoMini Intel NUC reference Intel Compute Stick reference Intel NUC reference Zotac Zbox Sphere reference
Motherboard ASUS UN42 Intel NUC5i5RYB Intel Compute Stick reference NUC QS87 reference Zotac reference
Memory Hynix 2GB DDR3 (1x2GB) Corsair Vengeance 16GB DDR3 (2x8GB) (added) Soldered 2GB DDR3 (1x2GB) Corsair 8GB DDR3 (2x4GB) (added) Crucial 4GB DDR3 (1x4GB)
Memory Speed 11-11-11-28-1T @ 1,600MHz 9-9-9-24-1T @ 1,600MHz 9-9-9-24-1T @ 1,333MHz 11-13-13-30-2T @ 1,600MHz 11-11-11-28-1T @ 1,600MHz
Integrated Graphics Intel HD Graphics Intel HD 6000 Intel HD Graphics Intel HD 5000 Intel HD 4400
Dedicated Graphics - - - - -
Sound Card Onboard audio Onboard audio Onboard audio Onboard audio Onboard audio
Primary Storage 32GB SK hynix 240GB Crucial M500 SSD (added) 32GB eMMC 128GB Plextor M5M mSATA SSD (added) 500GB Samsung ST500LM012 HDD
Secondary Storage - - - - -
Optical Drive - - - - -
PSU ASUS (65W, external) Intel NUC (65W, external) Asian Power Devices (10W, external) Intel NUC (65W, external) Delta Electronics (65W, external)
Chassis ASUS VivoMini Intel NUC Intel NUC Zotac Zbox Sphere
Operating System Windows 8.1 (64-bit) Windows 8.1 (64-bit, added) Windows 8.1 (32-bit) Windows 8.1 (64-bit, added) Windows 8.1 (64-bit, added)
Standard Warranty One year Two years Two years Two years Two years
Approx. Build Cost £190 £535 £130 £450 £420

CPU Benchmarks

HEXUS PiFast Our number-crunching PiFast test is used to benchmark the computational power of each system's CPU.
HandBrake Free-to-use video encoder that stresses all CPU cores.

Memory and Storage Benchmarks

AIDA64 Benchmark that analyses memory bandwidth and latency.
CrystalDiskMark Popular free-to-use storage benchmark, used to gauge sequential performance and aggregated 4K QD32 speeds.

System Benchmarks

PCMark 8 System-wide examination that uses the Home preset, run with OpenCL acceleration.

Miscellaneous Benchmarks

Power Consumption Noted for system idling, and using Handbrake video encoding for system load.
Temperature Noted for CPU idling, and using Handbrake video encoding for system load.


The purpose of the Intel Compute Stick is not to replace your traditional computer but to provide enough performance to sustain a usable PC experience. We'll focus on the experience part in due course yet feel it's worth examining the intrinsic quality of the hardware by running a subset of benchmarks.