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Intel Compute Stick STCK1A32WFC 2GB Windows 8.1 Review

By: Steven Bassiri | SFF PCs in Computer Systems | Posted: Apr 22, 2015 3:11 pm
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: Intel

The Teardown




Removing the cover isn't easy and I don't recommend you try it. The cover snaps into place, and is very secure, so removing it can result in damage to the body. You will notice most of the Intel Compute Stick is shielded and heatsinked. Since the device will be in vicinity of TV's and other electronics, it's prudent to try and isolate the PCB from EMI from other devices. The large swatches of aluminum are meant to protect against EMI.




A tiny blower fan is present, during operation it only turns on when needed and is very quiet. Some heat resistant Kapton tape is used to route the wires for the blower fan.




This is the bottom of the device, and there is a battery for the CMOS, as well as another shield/heat sink.




The metal shielding you see all around (the black tape is the underside of the shield) is held down by tiny latches and slots, and some thermal pads are added to cool important areas. On the image on the left, the thermal pads cool down the processor chip as well as a power regulator I will cover down below. On the image to the right, the thermal pad is positioned right on the PCB to cool the back of the processor through the PCB.




The Atom processor is located dead center with 2GB of Samsung DDR3 (H5TC4G63AFR x 4) and a Winbond 64Mbit BIOS ROM on the topside. On the back of the stick a Samsung 32GB eMMC (KLMBG4GEAC) drive is provided, along with the rest of the DDR3.




On the left there is a Realtek RTL8723 which is a WIFI a/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless adapter. On the right is an X-Power AXP288D, a specialty power management IC designed for Bay Trail and Cherry Trail. It provides six buck converters with different outputs, 14 LDOs and a variety of options to handle all the power management on the stick.

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