Friday, 25 March 2016

Performance on Intel Compute Sticks running Ubuntu

Since the introduction of the Intel-based mini PCs there have been plenty of performance and benchmark comparisons under Windows. Because I've previously used a set of benchmarking tests from the Phoronix Test Suite to compare ARM-based mini PCs running Ubuntu I've decided to run them on the Intel Compute Sticks.

To create the baseline I performed a fresh install of Ubuntu 14.04 to eMMC on each device and upgraded each to the latest available packages:

The tests I've chosen aim to show CPU, RAM and I/O performance and include:

  • CacheBench – Memory and cache bandwidth performance benchmark.
  • CLOMP – C version of the Livermore OpenMP benchmark developed to measure OpenMP overheads and other performance impacts due to threading.
  • 7-Zip compression – Uses p7zip integrated benchmark feature.
  • dcraw – This test measures the time it takes to convert several high-resolution RAW NEF image files to PPM image format using dcraw.
  • LAME MP3 encoding – This test measures the time required to encode a WAV file to MP3 format.
  • FFmpeg – Audio/video encoding performance benchmark.
  • GMPbench – Test of the GMP 5.0.3 math library
  • OpenSSL – Measures RSA 4096-bit performance of OpenSSL.
  • PHPBench – Benchmark suite for PHP.
  • PyBench – Python benchmark suite.
  • SQLite – This test measures the time to perform a pre-defined number of insertions on an indexed database
  • Stream – This benchmark tests the system memory (RAM) performance.
  • TSCP – Performance benchmark built-in Tom Kerrigan’s Simple Chess Program.
  • Unpacking the Linux kernel – This test measures the time it takes to extract the .tar.bz2 Linux kernel package.
  • IOzone – This benchmark tests the hard disk drive / file-system performance.

The results:

show just how more powerful the latest Core M device is.

The following is a brief video showing basic system information about Ubuntu 14.04 as installed on this latest Core M Intel Compute Stick (STK2M3W64CC) together with a demonstration of booting the latest "Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus) Daily Build" ISO direct from eMMC as described in

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