Performance Metrics

The Intel PPSTCK1A32WFC ships with Windows 8.1 x86 because the driver support for the Atom SKUs belonging to Bay Trail-T is restricted to Windows 8.1 x 32 bit, and Android x 64 bit. This meant that many of the benchmarks in our standard test suite for low power desktops / industrial PCs could not be processed on the Compute Stick.

Futuremark PCMark 8

PCMark 8 provides various usage scenarios (home, creative and work) and offers ways to benchmark both baseline (CPU-only) as well as OpenCL accelerated (CPU + GPU) performance. We benchmarked select PCs for the OpenCL accelerated performance in all three usage scenarios. Larger-sized systems that beat the Compute Stick in the benchmarks below usually have desktop or notebook-class Bay Trail SoCs. They are clocked higher and also have better thermal solutions.

Futuremark PCMark 8 - Home OpenCL

Futuremark PCMark 8 - Creative OpenCL

Futuremark PCMark 8 - Work OpenCL

Miscellaneous Futuremark Benchmarks

Futuremark PCMark 7 - PCMark Suite Score

Futuremark 3DMark 11 - Entry Score

Futuremark 3DMark 2013 - Ice Storm Score

Futuremark 3DMark 2013 - Cloud Gate Score

In the other Futuremark benchmarks evaluating 3D performance, we find the Compute Stick coming in last - this was to be expected, given that the GPU is clocked low at 311 MHz and also happens to operate mostly in the thermal limits put in place for a tablet platform.

We now move on to look at the benchmark modes in programs used on a day-to-day basis, i.e, application performance and not synthetic workloads.

x264 Benchmark

First off, we have some video encoding benchmarks courtesy of x264 HD Benchmark v5.0. This is simply a test of CPU performance. The Compute Stick manages to score better than the ECS LIVA in most of these tests thanks to the four cores (compared to the two in the latter).

Video Encoding - x264 5.0 - Pass 1

Video Encoding - x264 5.0 - Pass 2


7-Zip is a very effective and efficient compression program, often beating out OpenCL accelerated commercial programs in benchmarks even while using just the CPU power. 7-Zip has a benchmarking program that provides tons of details regarding the underlying CPU's efficiency. In this subsection, we are interested in the compression and decompression MIPS ratings when utilizing all the available threads. Again, the advantages of a quad-core SoC come through.

7-Zip LZMA Compression Benchmark

7-Zip LZMA Decompression Benchmark


As businesses (and even home consumers) become more security conscious, the importance of encryption can't be overstated. CPUs supporting the AES-NI instruction for accelerating the encryption and decryption processes have, till now, been the higher end SKUs. However, with Bay Trail, even the lowly Atom series has gained support for AES-NI. It is quite unlikely that any usage scenario for the Compute Stick is going to involve extensive encryption capabilities. However, the presence of AES-NI support in the Compute Stick's SoC piqued our interest.

TrueCrypt, a popular open-source disk encryption program can take advantage of AES-NI. Its internal benchmark provides some interesting cryptography-related numbers to ponder. In the graph below, we can get an idea of how fast a TrueCrypt volume would behave in the Intel PPSTCK1A32WFC and how it would compare with other select PCs. This is a purely CPU feature / clock speed based test. Interestingly, the Atom Z3735F is the only Bay Trail SoC in the graph below to have AES-NI capabilities.

TrueCrypt Benchmark

Introduction and Setup Impressions Networking and Storage Performance
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  • Deelron - Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - link

    Pretty much this, plus if you're already invested in a moderate sized or greater NAS solution, it seems like it'd be pretty cost efficient to just step up to a low priced NUC anyway, unless the form factor of a large stick out the back of the TV is absolutely critical.
  • zeo - Sunday, April 26, 2015 - link

    Unless your device is using one of a few select Celeron branded Bay Trail's then it does support Quick Sync... Bay Trail uses a Gen 7 (Ivy Bridge) GPU that's just scaled down to 4EU's and slower clock for mobile usage but still supports features like Quick Sync...
  • joex4444 - Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - link

    Running a 1Gbe connection over 480Mbps USB 2.0 is inherently going to limit you. Still better than the 50Mbps or so you *might* get over the 802.11n, but really... running a CAT5 cable out to your TV is bordering on the non-trivial. Even if feasible it's not clean.
  • nathanddrews - Thursday, April 23, 2015 - link

    It's no more complicated than any other cable and is every bit as clean. I bought this a few years ago and it has made it trivial to run all my cables (HDMI, speaker wire, networking) through walls. Very feasible and clean.

    As for the 1GbE connection over USB 2.0 - it is slower than real GbE - but the gains in latency and throughput make it possible to stream so much more than the weak wifi permits. It's worth doing.
  • Hulk - Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - link

    This is an interesting idea but for me there are too many limitations for me to consider it. Now at 10nm with a lower power x86 2/4 processor and 120GB of controller based storage I'd be interested as a HTPC or computer for my kids.
  • jjj - Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - link

    So a SoC that due it's perf is worth 5$ , the NAND+RAM are less than 25$, the wifi must be 3$ or less and all in all 150$ is way too much. Damn x86 monopoly.
  • Refuge - Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - link

    You can bet a lot of it is probably licensing for Windows 8.1. This isn't Windows with Bing.
  • Lonyo - Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - link

    The WIndows license is $40. The Ubuntu version is $110 vs $150 for the Windows 8.1 version.
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - link

    Note that there is 24 GB of extra eMMC for the Win 8.1 version.
  • BMNify - Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - link

    Ubuntu version is cheaper because it has just 1GB of ram and 8GB storage, Windows 8.1 version has 2GB ram and 32GB of storage.

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