I finally have got also the Linux version of the Intel Compute Stick. It’s cheaper than the main version but its specs are degraded: it has just 1 GB (instead of 2 GB) of RAM and the eMMC is only 8 GB (instead of 32 GB). It means that free disk space on a new stick is about 1.7 GB. It also uses 1 GB of the eMMC as a swap space.
There are several things that I cannot understand:
- It has 1 GB of RAM which means that system continuously swaps to the disk.
- The pre-installed Ubuntu is a 64bit version. Why? The Windows version of the Stick (which has 2 GB of RAM) has a 32bit system.
- There is even no support for 32bit stuff installed. So Geekbench 2 fails to start. Thus I will provide no benchmark numbers, sorry.
- Although Firefox web browser is not known for a low memory usage, the Chromium – which is even more memory-hungry – is the default web browser (the Firefox is not installed at all).
There are also some good things: the default installation includes a complete LibreOffice package. So you have a quite good office package from the start.
Speed: I first connected the Stick to my 1920×1200 screen and it was slow. On my main screen (1280×1024) it feels as fast as the Windows version of the stick is.
The main limitation of the Stick is the memory size: I can imagine that it can be a near ideal device for an internet access, maybe for use of some Chrombook-like online applications. But the memory can make problems when it will be necessary to simultaneously open several modern large web pages at one time…
To be honest, it looks like the stick can fit most of my needs: I need a modern, and fairly secure, machine for on-line stuff (and for few other things) while continuing to use my SGI O2 for all other tasks.