Just How Fast Is The Raspberry Pi Zero?

As an extremely compact computing board, you can probably guess the $US5 Raspberry Pi Zero isn't going to scream through the benchmarks. But how exactly does it fare against its competitors (and siblings)? We need numbers, stat!

Phoronix's Michael Larabel decided to face the Zero against Intel's Compute Stick and NVIDIA's Jetson TX1 and TK1, as well as the Zero's most recent relative, the Raspberry Pi 2. For giggles, he also put it alongside a couple of Intel's NUC devices, which pack desktop processors such as the i3 and Celeron.

For the sake of reference, the Zero had Raspbian 8.0 installed and comes with a 1GHz ARM chip with a lone core and 512MB RAM.

The tests included video encoding, path tracer, encryption and image manipulation... not that it matters, as the Zero came dead last in every single benchmark. Oh, except for one -- C-Ray, a simple ray tracing test.

Ignoring this result, the Zero was around four to 50 times slower, with the worst results courtesy of video encoding. I doubt this comes as a big surprise -- no one is buying a Zero to encode their media library -- but it's interesting to see how well a single-core stick machine does these days.