The big selling point of Intel’s Compute Stick is how compact a system it is. With a micro-USB cable and a compatible plug, you can have a fully functioning PC in your pocket whenever you need it. But it turns out the new Core M version of that micro-system is quite a powerhouse too, even beating out some desktop chips and discrete GPUs from a few years ago in recent testing.
The Core M Compute Stick being tested in this instance featured a Core M3-6Y30 CPU running at a base block of just 0.9GHz, though it can turbo up to 1.5GHz as and when required. This is paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of on-board storage, and utilizes the on-board HD Graphics 515 core for 2D and 3D rendering.
While none of that sounds hugely impressive, consider the fact that it’s all packed inside a USB stick. Pair that up with the performance numbers as we now know them, and it’s even more surprising.
In the first of several benchmarks run by Linuxium, Passmark, the Core M Compute Stick holds its own against a Radon HD 5770 in 2D testing, destroys a Core 2 Duo E8400 (running at 3.0Ghz) in the CPU test, dominates a GeForce GT 630 in 3D testing, and isn’t far behind an 8GB set-up in the memory test.
In PC Mark 8, it scored just 10 percent below a gaming laptop from 2013 and achieved some reasonable scores in the easier 3Dmark benchmarks: 41,605 in Ice Storm and 4,213 in CloudGate. Although it must have been a bit of a slideshow, it also managed just shy of 600 points in FireStrike.
Of particular note however is the Octane Score, which saw the Core M Compute Stick perform around 20 percent faster under Ubuntu than it did with a Windows 10 configuration.
While it is unlikely to beat any overclocking records, or be capable of playing the latest AAA games at high resolutions, these results show that the Core M Compute Stick is quite a powerful little system that is far more capable than many likely gave it credit for.