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MathGroup Archive 2007

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Re: hardware for Mathematica 6.0

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg80047] Re: hardware for Mathematica 6.0
  • From: Urijah Kaplan <uak at sas.upenn.edu>
  • Date: Sat, 11 Aug 2007 02:12:12 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: University of Pennsylvania
  • References: <f9gv7e$b73$1@smc.vnet.net>

Well, lets go component by component.

CPU--Mathematica's kernel is only multithreaded for some Linear Algebra 
functions, as far as I know, so a quad-core won't really do much for you 
(if you want to make full usage of more than one core, you can use 
Mathematica Personal Grid Edition 
<http://www.wolfram.com/products/personalgrid/> for quad core or 
gridMathematica <http://www.wolfram.com/products/gridmathematica/> for 
more than that.)

Right now the Intel Core 2 Duo processors are faster for most Mathematica 
use. Intel is releasing their 45 nm versions soon (4-12 weeks?) which are 
quite a bit faster, and support new SSE instructions which will probably 
give the next version of Mathematica a nice boost. AMD's new processor is 
coming out within a month, but is starting out a bit slow at 2.0 GHz, and 
is not really that competitive for your use.

OS--Windows would probably be your best bet. Unless you have some 
peripheral that is not compatible, I suggest a 64-bit version of Vista. 
(64 bit XP or 2003 should also be okay.) This allows you to use a 64-bit 
version of Mathematica which uses 64 bit integers, can use much more 
memory (32 bit is limited to about 2 GB per process on Windows) and CPUs 
in 64 bit mode can use twice as many registers, for another boost.

Graphics card--any mid range card should be fine, even with the new 
graphics capabilities in Mathematica 6.0, GPUs are not given much of a 
workout. A Radeon HD 2600 XT or GeForce 8600GT should be fine.

RAM--8 GB (if you have a 64 bit OS). Do you need ECC RAM? Buying third 
party RAM from Crucial or Kingston would probably save you a bit.

Hope this helps!

Urijah Kaplan


David Cardon wrote:
> I'm about to purchase a new computer and good performance with Mathematica 6.0 is my main priority.  Can anyone prioritize which hardware components (dual-core, quad-core, graphics cards, etc) are likely to give the most "bang for the buck" when it comes to dynamic graphics, number crunching, symbolic computation, etc ?
> 
> I can spend up to about $4000.  I was planning on using Windows XP.
> 
> 


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