Today, we have something special in store for you as we take a look at Intel's mysterious Compute Card CD1M3128MK and compatible Compute Card Doc, the DK132EPJ. There has been little to no coverage of these new components, and their target market might not seem clear. However, we know a few things; the Compute Card will take over Intel's Compute Stick's legacy, and it's designed to offer affordable upgrade paths in the future. That means, the card will act as a replaceable brain inside different machines, with a standardized mounting system and connector array, you should be able to pop in and out Compute Cards to easily upgrade existing devices.
Not only is that great news for industries, but also for small business, and dare I say, home users alike. Having used the card before writing the introduction to this review, I have to say, I didn't expect the card to be a quick and nimble as it was, it gives the Compute Stick a run for its money, but it's not all fun and games.
Let's see what it's got.
The Intel Compute Card's specifications are lacking. I couldn't even find the processor number except in the product name (it's using a Core m3 processor in our model (hence the m3). Our model comes with 4GB of LPDDR3, and thankfully in dual channel. It also comes with an integrated 128GB NVMe drive. It supports up to two displays through DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 1.4b via DDI (digital display interface, meaning it needs a level shifter most likely in the dock).
Surprisingly, it comes with an Intel Wireless AC 8265 card, which is actually a very nice card, built into the compute card. It supports virtualization, PTT, remote wake, but not vPro or TET. The dock supports a 19v input specification, offers HDMI and mini-DP outputs with a maximum of two displays supported. It also offers three USB 3.0 ports, 1Gbit LAN, audio through display technology, and TPM 1.00 support.
Pulling up CPUz and HWInfo gives us a bit more information. For starters, the CPU is an Intel Core m3-7Y30 mobile processor (Kaby Lake-Y) based on 14nm technology with a 4.5W TDP (configurable up and down to 7W and 3.5W). Maximum Turbo is 2.6GHz with a base frequency of 1.00GHz. The CPU has two core and four threads, 1MB of SmartCache, and a 4GT/s QPI link (half DMI 3.0). It only supports DDR3, but that's okay since, at lower speeds, and tighter latency, DDR3 is better than DDR4 alternatives. Graphics are powered by Intel's HD Graphics 615 built into the CPU, and it supports 4K at 24Hz on HDMI and 4K at 60Hz on DisplayPort, and it even supports DX12 (but that doesn't really matter). It offers four PCI-E 3.0 lanes, with a maximum number of 10 PCI-E lanes (as per the spec sheet).
Moving on, we get 4GB of DDR4 at 1866MHz C14, and Intel SSDPEBKF128G7, which is part of Intel SSD Pro 6000p series. Quite strong specs for a card the size of three to four credit cards stacked on one another containing a CPU, iGPU, Wireless-AC card, RAM, and SSD.
The Intel Compute Card in our model costs between $320-400 as per online stores that carry it. We found the dock from as low as $134 (from Walmart) up to $150. That would put your total around $460-550 for both (you need both).
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