Intel Compute Stick Performance Surprises Under Ubuntu Linux

Written by Michael Larabel in Computers on 1 June 2015. Page 4 of 4. 8 Comments

If you've been curious about the performance of the Intel Compute Stick while running Ubuntu Linux, hopefully these results were enlightening. While slower than the Intel Celeron N2820 NUC, the very small form factor and portability are the main selling point of the Compute Stick. With the Intel STCK1A32WFCR you can carry the device with you and plug it into any HDMI monitor/TV and instantly create a basic computer with WiFi and Bluetooth. The device is also very low-power with being able to pull all necessary power from a USB port.

Ubuntu 15.04 does run fine on the (Windows version) Intel Compute Stick that offers 32GB of onboard storage and 2GB of RAM rather than the Ubuntu Compute Stick version that ships with just 8GB storage and 1GB of RAM. The main component I've had issue with under Linux is getting the WiFi working, which isn't supported by the mainline kernel as of Linux 4.1. For getting the WiFi on the Compute Stick to work you have to mess around with the out-of-tree Realtek 8723bs WLAN driver.

Outside of benchmarks, the performance of the Ubuntu desktop on the Intel Compute Stick is very reasonable. This Atom Bay Trail-T system is powerful enough for light desktop work, etc. The Intel Compute Stick is a fun little $150 USD device for those wanting a very low-power, tiny PC to connect to an HDMI display.

Those looking for the Intel Compute Stick with Atom Z3735F SoC can find it at Stay tuned to Phoronix for more Linux Compute Stick benchmarks.

If you wish to see how your own Linux systems' performance compares to these devices, via the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software it's as easy as running phoronix-test-suite benchmark 1505313-BE-JETSON99161 for carrying out your own fully-automated, side-by-side performance comparison with these same exact tests and parameters.

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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via