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MathGroup Archive 2007

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Re: Re: hardware for Mathematica 6.0

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg80170] Re: [mg80047] Re: hardware for Mathematica 6.0
  • From: Curtis Osterhoudt <cfo at lanl.gov>
  • Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2007 07:01:21 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: LANL
  • References: <f9gv7e$b73$1@smc.vnet.net> <200708110612.CAA02774@smc.vnet.net>
  • Reply-to: cfo at lanl.gov

I can't really speak to the AMD/Intel thing, nor to the OS-specific questions 
(though, of course, 64-bit linux seems to be quite common and workable; I've 
used v. 6.0 on both linux and Windows, and the performance seems about 
equal). 
   My main work computer has only Intel integrated graphics, with a relatively 
fast processor (Pentium 4 @ 3.2 GHz) and 1 GB RAM. If I do any 
high-resolution 3D plotting using this computer, things drag to almost a 
halt, and any ListPlots with any opacity enabled or anything like that is 
likely to tax the processor to the point that I have to kill the processes 
and just hope I've saved things recently enough that lots of work isn't lost. 
The ability to offload the visuals to a graphics card (my home computer has a 
nice one) seems to almost completely take care of the slowdowns and program 
crashes, and even cuts down considerably on the massive amount of to-disk 
swapping which goes on when RAM is filling up.
    The new graphics in 6.0 are wonderful, and often stunning. However, 
they're ridiculously intensive (from a system requirement point of view), and 
for my own purposes, I think the single most useful piece of hardware is a 
mid-to-high-end graphics card. . . and lots of RAM, of course.

    Hope this helps, 
                    C.O.

On Saturday 11 August 2007 00:12:12 Urijah Kaplan wrote:
> Well, lets go component by component.
>

> 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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