Intel Unveils 5 New Compute Stick Models Powered by Intel Atom x5 and Core M Skylake Processors

Intel has introduced 5 new models of their Compute Stick with two models based on Intel Atom x5-X8300 Cherry Trail processor, and three more power and expensive models based on Core M Skylake processors, namely Core M3-6Y30 and m5-6Y57 vPro.

Intel_Compute_Stick_Atom_x5Let’s get started with the specifications for the two Cherry models STK1AW32SC and STK1A32SC:

  • SoC – Intel Atom x5-Z8300 Quad-Core “Cherry Trail” processor @ 1.44 GHz/1.84 GHz and Intel HD Gen8 Graphics
  • System Memory – 2 GB DDR3L @ 1600MHz
  • Storage – 32 GB eMMC + micro SDXC v3.0 slot with UHS I-Support up to 128GB
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI 1.4b
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi  and Bluetooth 4.0 (via Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265)
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x USB 2.0 port, 1x micro USB port for power
  • Misc – Power button, security notch
  • Power Supply – 5V/3A via micro USB port.
  • Dimensions – 113 mm x 38 mm x 12 mm

So what’s the difference between STK1AW32SC and STK1A32SC? The former comes pre-loaded with Windows 10, and the latter does not have any operating system. There’s no hardware difference at all. Compare to the Bay Trail compute stick, the new versions mostly add support for 802.11ac instead of 802.11n, and one USB 3.0 port. Smaller differences include HDMI 1.4b vs HDMI 1.4a, and higher requirements for the power supply probably because of the USB 3.0 port.

Intel_Compute_Stick_Core_M_Skylake

The Core M Skylake compute sticks looks very similar from the outside, except the connectors are arranged differently, and the USB 2.0 port is gone. STK2MV64CC, STK2M3W64CC, and STK2M364CC models feature:

  • SoC
    • STK2M3W64CC & STK2M364CC – Intel Core m3-6Y30 dual core/four thread processor @ 900 MHz/2.2GHz with Intel® HD Graphics 515 @ 300MHz/850Mhz (4.5 W TDP, configurable to 3.8W and 7W)
    • STK2MV64CC – Intel Core m5-6Y57 vPro dual core/four thread processor @ 1.1 GHz/2.8GHz with Intel® HD Graphics 515 @ 300MHz/900Mhz (4.5 W TDP, configurable to 3.5W and 7W)
  • System Memory – 4 GB DDR3L @ 1833MHz (Dual channel, 2GB per channel)
  • Storage – 64 GB eMMC + micro SDXC v3.0 slot with UHS I-Support up to 128GB
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI 1.4b
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi up to 867 Mbps and Bluetooth 4.2 (via Intel Dual Band Wireless AC 8260)
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, and 2x USB 3.0 ports on power adapter.
  • Misc – Power button, security notch, TPM (STK2MV64CC  and STK2M364CC)
  • Power Supply – 5V/4A via power port.
  • Dimensions – 114 mm x 38 mm x 12 mm

The model with a W (STK2M3W64CC) will come with Windows 10, and the other two models without operating system. The specs should make these last three sticks perfectly usable as desktop replacements, although the difference between base and turbo frequencies for the CPU and GPU is very large, so proper thermal management will be critical. I also find it very interesting that due to the small size of these sticks, they’ve decided to add two USB 3.0 ports on the power adapter itself. You can find a comparison of all existing and new Compute Sticks on Intel website.

Linuxium reports that the Cherry Trail sticks will sell for $159 with Windows 10 and production taking place now, while the Core M3 stick will go for $399 with Windows 10, and the Core M5 Compute Stick for $499 without OS starting in February. That’s a little odd since the “recommended customer price” for both Skylake processors is $281, but these are the prices listed in the press release.

[Update: April 2016: You can now but the Core m3 Compute Sticks on Amazon for $339.95 (STK2M364CC without  OS)  and $384.95 (STK2M3W64CC with Windows 10)

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Steve
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Steve

With 2xUSB3.0 sockets on the power Adaptor for the Core-M version, that suggests it may be using a USB Type-C connector with USB 3.0 as the power supply on the more expensive models?

linuxium
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Pricing is taken from official press release – see http://download.intel.com/newsroom/kits/ces/2016/pdfs/Compute_Stick_FactSheet.pdf

RK
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RK

@linuxium
Any chance you could review the state of the current first gen bay trail devices with linux? The way I see it, if I still can’t run a stock Debian properly on a Meegopad without resorting into very specific kernels and such, I won’t be buying these new Cherry Trail Atom sticks.

Ron
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Ron

1. Why does Intel use Z8300 at a time when its updated version – Z8350 – is supposed to be available?!

2. Z8300 is supposed to be 14nm:
http://ark.intel.com/products/87383/Intel-Atom-x5-Z8300-Processor-2M-Cache-up-to-1_84-GHz

but for the new Z8300 compute sticks, Intel writes that they are 22nm:
http://ark.intel.com/compare/86612,86613,91065,91064,91979,91980,91981

So is the mentioning of 22nm just a mistake?

linuxium
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@RK

My recommendation to anyone who wants a device that fully works with a specific Linux distro would be to buy a device that has been tested and shown to be fully working. Preferably by someone independent to the manufacturer and retailer.

So this pretty much means you probably shouldn’t be first in the queue for a Cherrytrail stick!

And again as a general comment for anyone buying a cheaper alternative or a different device to those that have been shown to work is that they should ensure their expectations are set to ‘hope’ rather than ‘presume’ everything will work.

Unfortunately both the quality and functionality of seemingly similar devices is often different. And typically getting something to work on a device means actually having the device to develop and test on. Manufacturers and retailers hand out devices like confetti to reviewers but devices for developers are as rare as hen’s teeth for some reason. As for source code they keep that locked up in the box with the unicorn horns.

Minja
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Minja

I really hope the USB C is a full USB 3.1. It would be awesome to just connect it to a screen, and not power and display signal could be delivered through the USB. There are 2 USB 3.0 on the charger, if both are 5 Gbit it would add up to 10gbit, so maybe it is a USB 3.1? Can anyone confirm this?

Minja
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Minja

May the charging USB C even be USB 3.1 since it splits up to two USB 3.0 on the charger?

maybachfan67
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maybachfan67

I find this products interresting but I’m surprised by config differences by the Core M versions.
It’s weired that the version shipped with Windows 10 has no TPM when both others have TPM and that the only one with vpro is the STK2M364CC (source http://ark.intel.com/compare/86612,86613,91065,91064,91979,91980,91981)

Comming back to the price it’s true that the Core M are more expensive (and at this time not realy availaible in Europe) but I noticed that the Core M have longer warranty 3 years vs 1. It’s not uninteresting because other laptop’s only have 1 or 2 years. Related to the price I find it not so bad.