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MathGroup Archive 1994

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Yet more Timing[10000!] ...

  • To: mathgroup at yoda.physics.unc.edu
  • Subject: Yet more Timing[10000!] ...
  • From: Paul E Howland <PEHOWLAND%CCF.dnet at hermes.dra.hmg.gb>
  • Date: Fri, 01 Jul 1994 15:09:22 GMT

Well, I've tried this Timing[10000!] test which appears to be all the rage at 
the moment and don't understand what Mathematica thinks it's doing.

On $Version "Windows 387 2.2 (May 13, 1993)" running on a Compaq Despro 4/33i
when I enter
	Timing[10000!]
I get the result
	{0. Second, 2846...bla bla bla...0000}
some 99 seconds later.

When I do the same test on $Version "DEC OSF/1 Alpha 2.2 (March 17, 1994)"
running on a DEC 3000 Model 400 the results are even more bizarre.  The first
time I enter
	Timing[10000!]
I get the result
	{3.55 Second, 2846...0000}
about 15-20 seconds later, and then if I enter the command again, I get
	{0. Second, 2486...0000}
about 15-20 seconds later.

What is this Timing command playing at?  It appears more like a random number
generator, or is it just because I'm asking it to do this on a Friday
afternoon?

Can we realy trust the test "Timing[10000!]" as a measure of Mathematica's 
performance across different platforms?!

Paul E Howland                         

Long Range Radar Sensors Section                         tel. + 44 684 895767
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Defence Research Agency                           email: PEHOWLAND at DRA.HMG.GB 
Malvern, Worcs, WR14 3PS, UK.                      
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