Intel Compute Stick (2nd Generation) Review

Real World Testing
Obviously the benchmarks on the previous page show the performance of the Compute Stick, but what about real world applications? I did my fair share of testing on the Compute Stick and some things worked quite well, while others did not.

Using the Compute Stick as a normal PC I went ahead and tried to go through my daily workflow. First, understand that I am coming from a PC with a Core i7-3970X processor and 16GB of memory so I could instantly notice a difference. Now with that said I was able to run Pandora (in Chrome) and have a few other tabs open without any issues at all really. The thing that holds the Compute Stick back is the 2GB of memory, after more than 4 tabs and other things running the Compute Stick starts to slow down.

I went ahead and installed Microsoft Office and I was able to edit Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files. Having a couple files opened up at once was no issue at all really. For those who want to do any photo editing on the Compute Stick, you are not going to be running Photoshop here, you are going to be limited to Paint or Paint.net.

Almost all of the media I consume these days is streamed. So let’s start with YouTube. The Compute Stick will have no problem streaming 1080p content in full screen, but when you get into 4K content the video will start to skip. You will also notice a slight slow-down when you are going between windowed and fullscreen mode.

Next up I decided to see how Netflix would perform, and surprisingly it ran the best. I guess their web player is coded quite well as it loaded the fastest and I did not notice a single issue with playback.

I am a huge hockey fan and I have an NHL.tv subscription. This allows me to watch games on my PC. Now I do want to say that the NHL.tv web player is not the best. I even have issues with it on my main PC at times. While it did run on the Compute Stick it would stutter quite a bit and made trying to watch a game hard at times. Honestly I think this has more to do with the web player NHL.tv uses rather than the Compute Stick itself.

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