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MathGroup Archive 2006

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Re: Comparison of Mathematica on Various Computers

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg64346] Re: Comparison of Mathematica on Various Computers
  • From: Joseph Gwinn <JoeGwinn at comcast.net>
  • Date: Mon, 13 Feb 2006 03:15:04 -0500 (EST)
  • Organization: Gwinn Instruments
  • References: <200602090745.CAA19418@smc.vnet.net> <200602100713.CAA15024@smc.vnet.net> <dsk8m8$i9l$1@smc.vnet.net> <dsmueo$da0$1@smc.vnet.net>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

In article <dsmueo$da0$1 at smc.vnet.net>, albert <awnl at arcor.de> wrote:

> Renan wrote:
> 
> > On 2/10/06, fizzy <fizzycist at knology.net> wrote:
> >> Can someone explain why AMD does so well on this test and Pentium does so
> >> poorly by comparison??
> >> I am planning to buy a new  computer and these tests seem to indicate
> >> that a Mathematica user should buy an AMD machine.
> > 
> > I'd guess that an Athlon 64 CPU is faster than a Pentium 4
> > (32-bit).(most AMD CPU's that I see in the benchmark are 64-bit)
> 
> hm, I hoped for good answers to that, but my guess is also that it is the
> 64-bit vs. 32-bit which explain the difference to a big extent. Obviously
> it will be less often necessary to use software arbitrary precision
> arithmetic and when you have to it should be a big advantage to be able to
> work with words of double size.
> 
> Maybe it would be worth to check whether there are "unfair" tests within the
> benchmark like numerics with a precision which can be done in hardware on a
> 64-bit processor but needs to be done in software on a 32-bit processor?
> This is just another case where just a single number is not enough to
> decide whether one or the other computer is faster for what you want to do
> with it. So you should probably look into the results for specific parts of
> the benchmark if that's possible...

Mathematica 5.x uses 64-bit floats for numerical evaluations.   It 
doesn't matter if the quantity requires 64 bits or not.  Nor should it, 
as Mathematica has no way to know such a thing.

If the platform does 64-bit arithmetic in hardware, so much the better.

 
> > Does Mathematica support special instructions like SSE?

I'm guessing that it does not, because Mathematica is designed to be 
portable to a wide range of computer platforms.

Joe Gwinn


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