Intel Compute Stick Core m3 Review: Skylake On A Thumbstick

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Intel Compute Stick Core m3 Media Streaming And Power Consumption

Setup

Intel Compute Stick Core m3 Setup

Here's a look at the Compute Stick connected to a big screen TV (70-inch Sharp). Since the input area is recessed, we had to use the included HDMI extension cable, as the Compute Stick itself was too long to fit inside.

Streaming

The Compute Stick isn't going to replace anyone's workstation or gaming PC, but it is sufficient for general purpose computing tasks or as a multi-purpose streaming stick. It's a bit overkill for strictly streaming, though for anyone who wants something more flexible and powerful than a standard streaming dongle, the Compute Stick fits the bill quite adeptly.

Intel Compute Stick Core m3 Rogue One
Star Wars: Rogue One Streaming To The Compute Stick @ 4K Ultra HD

Here is a look at the Compute Stick streaming a 4K resolution trailer for Star Wars: Rogue One. It's pulling the content from YouTube from its built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi NIC. Barring any mouse movements, CPU utilization stays around 4 percent. This played back very smoothly, and of course so did lower resolution clips.

Intel Compute Stick Core m3 Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman Streaming To The Compute Stick @ 4K Ultra HD

Another look at the Compute Stick streaming 4K content, this time it's the trailer for Wonder Woman. There is a bit more deviation in CPU utilization in the Task Manager performance graph, though those spikes represent times when we moved the mouse cursor and clicked on different parts of the video frame.

Intel Compute Stick Power

Before wrapping things up, we have some power measurements to share. These were taken at the outlet using a Seasonic Power Anger meter in a variety of states. The results? This is about as lower power as it gets, with the Compute Stick completely conking out during Sleep mode, just 8W while streaming movies, and around 10W when running the CPU benchmark in SANDRA. Fully stressed, we saw the Compute Stick spike to 14W, but it never stayed there very long. It's quite impressive to see what Intel's tiny Core m Compute Stick can do in such a low power envelop; its performance-per-watt metrics are off the hook.

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