1 2 Previous Next 25 Replies Latest reply on Mar 7, 2018 3:52 PM by N.Scott.Pearson

    Will a compute stick work for me


      My main goal is to rip and store my cd collection using an external storage device and a stand-alone optical drive. I intend to use a compute stick to run the system. I have very limited computer knowledge. Will this work, will this give me lossles cd quality playback? Will this give me quick and easy access to my music files? If so, any specific recommendations on storage( 1or 2 tb ) or reader devices? There are audio devices for this purpose but at three times the cost, so am I sacrificing anything by taking this route instead? Any feedback or suggestions are much appreciated. Thank you

        • 1. Re: Will a compute stick work for me

          Which Compute Stick? Model Number, please.

          • 2. Re: Will a compute stick work for me

            Due to my very limited knowledge, this is just a rough plan. There are four sticks listed on this site. Only two come preloaded with Windows. I assume one of these would be my better option since I have used windows in the past but never installed it. Unless of course there is some advantage I am unaware of to using a system other than windows. The processor seems to be the main difference between the two windows sticks. Is the atom sufficient for my use? Or, will I be frustrated in the long run unless I get the core? Sorry to be so vague but I am new to this stuff. I am equally unsure of the specifics on the storage and drive devices so any advice or tips are welcome on any of this. Thanks again

            • 3. Re: Will a compute stick work for me

              Hi Joeporch,


              If you never installed a Windows before, my advise is to go with one of the two models that come with windows 10.


              To see the differences between the two models look here: Intel® Product Specification Comparison


              Main differences are:


              Atom - Windows 10 32 bit <--> Core m Windows 10 64 bit

              Atom 1 USB port <--> Core m 3 USB ports (two are located in the power supply

              Atom 32 GB internal disk space <--> Core m 64 GB internal disk space (Both minus the space used by the Windows installation)

              Atom 2 GB RAM 12.8 GB/s <--> Core m 4 GB RAM 29.8 GB/s

              Atom Max FullHD via HDMI <--> Core m 4K Display support

              Atom 1 Yr warranty <--> Core m 3 Yr warranty


              Both sticks have a MicroSD slot that can handle at least 256 GB (2 TB max I think) and if you want more storage, USB and network drives are an option.


              Hope this helps.



              Leon Merts

              • 4. Re: Will a compute stick work for me

                Thank you for the tip but I am way ahead of you. I tried to do the research and check the specs before posting on various forums. My problem is that I don't speak the language. To me it looks like this stuff is written in Martian. Even tried to take it one step further and look up the meanings but the definitions are always given in further Martian. My hope is that someone can give me more direct advice...using plain English ( and words without too many syllables ). Feel free to comment as if you were speaking to a dummy. This dummy won't be offended . In those rare cases where I do have some understanding of the specs, I still don't understand how they apply to my specific situation. If anyone can help, you will be proving that it is in fact possible to teach an old dog new tricks. Again, thanks in advance.

                • 5. Re: Will a compute stick work for me

                  If all you want to do is rip your CDs and manage their storage on a secondary drive, the Atom x5-Z8300 processor has plenty of compute power to support this. The issue is going to be that this model only has two USB ports (one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0) and you are going to need at least three. Since you will want the USB 3.0 port for connecting your portable hard drive, you will need a powered USB 2.0 hub to connect the portable CD/DVD drive as well as your keyboard and mouse. Alternatively - and slightly better - you could use the USB 2.0 port for your keyboard and mouse and use a powered USB 3.0 hub to connect both the hard drive and the CD/DVD drive.


                  On CDs, music is stored in a PCM-encoded form with a sampling rate of 44.1kHz. You can read audio tracks and store them in .WAV files at this same sampling rate (i.e. completely lossless). You can then compress these files using any of a number of varying lossy/lossless formats, depending upon how much disk space you want to save.


                  Many companies make and sell portable hard drives. In a quick check of Amazon, both Western Digital (WD) and Seagate offer hassle-free 1, 2, 3 and 4 TB (terabyte) portable USB 3.0 hard drives and all are priced below US$100. A terabyte hard drive can store approximately 200,000 songs or 17,000 hours of music.


                  Similarly, many companies make external CD and DVD drives. You only need USB 2.0 speeds for reading from these drives, but it would be better to go with USB 3.0 if you want an ability to play video files.


                  I think that covers it. I dumbed this down as much as I could. If you have any further questions, just let us know...


                  • 6. Re: Will a compute stick work for me

                    Thank you Mr. Pearson!! Your very first sentence answers my main question perfectly! Of course all the rest was good information too and is appreciated even though I was already aware of all that. So the question of the stick is settled. As for the optical drive I think I know enough to make the right choice. Which brings me to one last question. As I understand it, an external hard drive can be either spinning disc or solid-state. I read that the solid-state is much faster. It is also two to three times the price. When used for music files, will this extra speed be significant/noticeable and worth spending the extra $$ ? Or is SS likely to be good enough? As always, thanks for the tips.


                    ps. Thanks for the down dumbing...:)...I actually understood every word ( for a change )...even the big ones!

                    • 7. Re: Will a compute stick work for me

                      Well, extra speed is always welcome, but it isn't absolutely necessary. It is certainly true that SSDs cost significantly more.


                      I have an alternative for you to consider: Seagate (amongst others) makes a new drive type called a Solid-State Hybrid Drive (SSHD). This is a HDD and a SSD combined into a single drive unit. The SSD is used as a high-speed cache, accelerating the read-write performance of the HDD portion of the drive. The cost difference between a HDD and a SSHD is relatively small. For example, on Amazon, you can purchase a 2TB 2.5" HDD for US$80 (see here: Amazon.com: Seagate 2.5" 2TB BarraCuda HDD). The equivalent 2TB 2.5" SSHD will cost you US$95; only US$15 more (see here: Amazon.com: Seagate 2.5" 2TB FireCuda SSHD). They also make 1TB and 500GB versions of these.



                      • 8. Re: Will a compute stick work for me

                        2tb, extra high speed and only $95 might be the perfect choice. But is this an external standalone device? It kinda looks like something one would install in an existing machine.

                        • 9. Re: Will a compute stick work for me

                          It's an internal 2.5" drive. Another US$10 will get you an external USB 3.0 drive bay to put it into.



                          • 10. Re: Will a compute stick work for me

                            Bingo! Can't thank you enough. Appreciate all your advice and especially your patience. It took weeks to get here but now I believe I'm fnally ready to go shopping. I started this journey on audio related forums because that's a field I know and this is a music related project. Obviously I should have come here in the first place. Move over Batman,    N Scott Pearson is my new hero!

                            • 11. Re: Will a compute stick work for me

                              Not my goal in life. My wife says my head is swelled up enough without comments like this...

                              • 12. Re: Will a compute stick work for me

                                Not to worry. I may have some good news for your wife. As it turns out my questions may not be completely answered after all. Went to Amazon to look into Seagate Fire Cuda and enclosure. Looking into customer questions and reviews I found someone had asked specifically about the Seagate Fire Cuda fitting into the enclosure. The answer given was no. The explanation was that these enclosures are made for laptop hard drives. The Seagate is a desktop hard drive and therefore would not fit. Does this ring true? If so, where would you suggest I look next?

                                • 13. Re: Will a compute stick work for me

                                  That person is a complete and utter idiot. The drives are made in both 2.5" (laptop internal) and 3.5" (desktop internal) sizes. Of course a 3.5" drive will not fit in a 2.5" enclosure!


                                  The prices I quoted are for the 2.5" drives. I bought a whole bunch of these drives on Black Friday when they were on sale (for US$60!) and use them for testing with many of the NUC and Compute Stick products. I don't have a little portable USB 3.0 drive bay; I test with this instead: Amazon.com: Utechsmart USB 3.0/2.0 SATA Hard Drive Docking Station for 2.5" & 3.5" drives.


                                  To make this easier for you, here is a (US$9) drive bay that you could use: Amazon.com: DREVO USB 3.0 External Hard Drive Enclosure for 2.5 Inch SATA HDD/SSD (can't you tell I am a regular on Amazon?). This is just one example; there are a whole bunch of these USB 3.0 portable drive bays at roughly the same price.



                                  • 14. Re: Will a compute stick work for me

                                    Yes, I also am a regular. Pretty good place for shopping. Apparently not as good for information. When that comment suggested I was looking at the wrong item I tried searching for the right item. That search brought me right back to the same page I was on in the first place. Seemed kinda fishy. Seemed like the best thing was to come back here and doublecheck with those who really seem to know. I hear (from one who seems to be a more reliable source) that "that person is a complete and utter idiot". Thanks to your help I am now completely convinced that my original plan should basically work. Any final thoughts on improving or fine-tuning my plan? The end goal is full CD-quality sound on playback. I already pay for a streaming service which I love. Convenience and an amazing selection. But when I stream an album that I already own a copy of for comparison's sake, my own discs sound significantly better. This is why I don't just get rid of my old discs. If I am sacrificing Any sound quality at all then the whole plan is pointless. Other than choosing the best software is there anything else to consider?

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