Performance Metrics

Many of our mini-PC benchmark programs are available only on 64-bit systems. Since the Intel PPSTK1SW32SC ships with a 32-bit version of Windows 10, many of the benchmarks in our standard test suite for low power desktops / industrial PCs could not be processed on the Compute Stick. As a result, these benchmarks were either removed or adjusted, and this is noted where necessary.

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. They key takeaway from these graphs is that the red scores (Cherry Trail) are quite a bit better than the blue scores (Bay Trail) when considering the fact that they are both systems with a similar form factor and power consumption profiles. Obviously, the more powerful / higher TDP Braswell systems such as the Beebox come out on top when compared to the Cherry Trail Compute Stick.

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 - Cloud Gate Score

The lead in the GPU section is much more for Cherry Trail compared to the benchmarks where both CPU and GPU both matter.

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. We should be expecting Cherry Trail to win easily, but repeated benchmark trials always placed it a bit below the Bay Trail Compute Stick in the first pass (the second pass is as expected). Though we didn't track how long the Cherry Trail unit spent at the maximum burst frequency (1.84 GHz in theory, but only 1.6 GHz in practice, as we will see later), we believe that the Bay Trail unit is able to spend more time in that mode (max. burst of 1.83 GHz) compared to the Cherry Trail unit. It should also be noted here that the Bay Trail SoC has a SDP of 2.2W compared to the Cherry Trail's 2W. It is possible that the change in OS might also have played a role. Everything other than the Cherry Trail Compute Stick in the graph below was evaluated with Windows 8.1 Professional x64.

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. The observed results are similar to what we obtained for the x264 benchmark.

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. The Atom x5-Z8300 in the Cherry Trail Compute Stick does have AES-NI support. TrueCrypt, a popular open-source disk encryption program can take advantage of the AES-NI capabilities. The TrueCrypt 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 PPSTK1AW32SC and how it would compare with other select PCs. This is a purely CPU feature / clock speed based test and Cherry Trail comes out on top easily.

TrueCrypt Benchmark

Introduction and Setup Impressions Networking and Storage Performance
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  • 074geodude - Monday, January 18, 2016 - link

    Very technical review, but overall not very useful if you're a consumer. Things I would like to know that weren't answered in this review:

    - How long does it take to boot up?
    - Can it stream 4K video?
    - How's gaming performance? Are casual titles like Minecraft or League of Legends playable?
    - How's web browsing with only 2 GB of RAM? How well does Chrome run?
    - Can you clone the eMMC drive onto a microSD card and boot from that instead? (That way your external storage acts as your primary drive and you can have a 128 GB primary drive).
  • fackamato - Friday, January 22, 2016 - link

  • wyewye - Tuesday, January 19, 2016 - link

  • trivor - Tuesday, January 19, 2016 - link

    Actually, I think micro PCs like the Dell 3050 or HP Stream are much better options. They have plenty of output options (4 or more USB ports, the Dell has a "real" M.2 SSD (user upgradeable up to a 2260 SSD - the 32 GB one is 2242), Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11AC WiFi, Celeron J1800). I think it will be fine as a media streamer with 13 GB left after installing the latest build of Windows 10. It may top out at 1080P but I think it's a couple of years before I'll worry about a 4K TV and 4K streaming. OBTW, I snagged the Micro 3050 over XMas @ $129. It also has both HDMI and Displayport and the RAM was easily accessible to upgrade to 8 GB for $30.
  • ComputerExpertsCA - Thursday, January 21, 2016 - link

    Why aren't there more ultra small PCs, tablets, and netbooks with 4GB of ram. Even smart phones have 4GB of ram. Do Microsoft's discounted OS license require a small amount of RAM?
  • Teknobug - Tuesday, January 26, 2016 - link

    Yes 2GB ram and 32GB storage is the point where Windows 10 is free and doesn't need a key.
  • SilverBlade - Sunday, January 24, 2016 - link

    No HD audio = not interested.

  • floobit - Monday, January 25, 2016 - link

    Ganesh or other staff writers - The W10 space restrictions seem to be an issue for all of these "limited devices". Presumably some thought from the Microsoft marketing dept has gone into the thresholds, and I can't imagine they intend for the whole market segment to be crapware. Have you reached out to your contacts at MS (or Intel) to ask how they recommend making this category of device usable?

    Incidentally, some quick googling doesn't show anyone else with your deactivation issue, which doesn't sound like intended behavior. Have you reached out to MS about this?
  • Asherlying - Wednesday, March 9, 2016 - link

    I do not know exactly the advantage of Intel chipset, which is more commonly used in laptop, and the price exceeds the MINIX ,
  • hindi-tips - Monday, October 9, 2017 - link

    Does this work on a 4K TV at 4K resolution?
    Please help me.

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