Intel Compute Stick Core m3 Review: Skylake On A Thumbstick

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Intel Compute Stick Core m3: SANDRA, SunSpider And GeekBench

Both of the previous Intel Compute Sticks we reviewed weren't meant for high-performance computing applications, and to and extent, the same is true with this Core m3 variant. At the same time, it's certainly a step above those models that used hardware typically found in tablet-type form factors. That makes this Compute Stick a sort of in-between product. To get a look at the whole picture of performance, we added benchmarks comparisons to mini PCs such as Intel's Skull Trail NUC to the mix of mobile products.

Before we get into those, let's have a look at how the Compute Stick Core m3 fared in SANDRA.

Intel Compute Stick Core m3 SANDRA Processor Arithmetic
Processor Arithmetic
Intel Compute Stick Core m3 SANDRA Processor Multimedia
Processor Multi-Media
Intel Compute Stick Core m3 SANDRA Disks
Disk Benchmark
Intel Compute Stick Core m3 SANDRA Memory
Memory Bandwidth

The Compute Stick Core m3 is off to a solid start with scores that fall in line where you would expect. In the arithmetic portion of the processor test, it posts an aggregate score 28.46 GOPS, more than twice that of its Cherry Trail predecessor. And it completely dusts the previous Compute Stick in multi-media testing, scoring 74.74 Mpix/s versus 16.67 MPix/s.

We also see improved memory bandwidth that is more in line with mini PCs. The Skylake-powered Compute Stick Core m3 posted an aggregate memory score of 19.91 GB/s, a nearly fourfold increase compared to the 5.44 GB/s its predecessor was able to muster.

The only place where performance didn't show a significant improvement is in storage. While the Compute Stick Core m3 has twice as much storage at 64GB, it only posted an average read score of 166 MB/s, up from its predecessor's 133.32 MB/s. That's still an improvement, but we're not talking about blazing fast storage here.

Intel Compute Stock Core m3 SunSpider

In SunSpider, both the original Compute Stick (Bay Trail-T) and the 2016 model (Cherry Trail) scored in the high 400s. In stark contrast, the Compute Stick Core m3 scored 140.3ms, putting it towards the top and within striking distance of NUC systems. The results here underscore that this is an entirely different class of Compute Stick than we've seen before.

GeekBench 3

GeekBench provides another opportunity to see the performance separation between the previous Compute Stick and this one. Its single-core score leads the way here, while its multi-core performance puts it near the top of the pack.

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