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Re: laptop recommendation to run mathematica fast?

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  • Subject: [mg101070] Re: [mg101020] laptop recommendation to run mathematica fast?
  • From: John Fultz <jfultz at>
  • Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2009 07:05:54 -0400 (EDT)
  • Reply-to: jfultz at

Most people wouldn't consider the Eee PC a laptop.  Wikipedia lists it as a
"subnotebook/netbook".  If you were looking for speed first and portability
second, you're at the wrong end of the hardware scale.  The design of netbooks 
factors portability and battery life as strong primary and secondary goals, withperformance as a distant tertiary goal.  I have an Eee PC, too, which serves me 
very well.  I have Mathematica and a couple of other CPU-sucking applications
on it.  But I understand that, if I expect to use them, I'm going to be
engaged in some thumb-twiddling.  That's the price I pay for a six hour
battery life in a two pound package.

On the other hand, there's a lot more variety in laptops.  Some laptops favor 
portability strongly, some favor performance strongly, and some attempt to 
balance the two (this is a gross simplification...there are other factors, too, 
but you get the idea).  I don't follow laptops on a regular basis, so I
couldn't give you any helpful suggestions for what's on the market now.
But I replace my own laptop about every three years, and I never have
trouble finding something in the $2500-$3300 range with a nice large screen,
decent sized hard drive, and reasonably fast CPU.  Such laptops are
available from all of the major vendors (e.g., Dell, Lenovo, Apple).
And in the modern day and age, dual core is standard even in many of
the cheaper laptops.

Good luck in your shopping.

John Fultz
jfultz at
User Interface Group
Wolfram Research, Inc.

On Sun, 21 Jun 2009 07:04:58 -0400 (EDT), underante wrote:
> hello,
> perhaps someone can recommend me a laptop to run Mathematica fast?
> i bought a asus eee pc 901 recently, which tho very cute pink and quiet,
> (when the fan is off anyway!) it does return a rather disappointing
> internal benchmark of around 0.32 for both Mathematica v7 and v5.2 with
> windows XP.
> what with Moore's law and all that i had vaguely reckoned that in 2009 a
> new machine should be running a lot faster than that since i have a circa
> 2001, 8 years old 1 GHz pentium dell inspiron laptop with 128Mbyte of RAM
> that benchmarks Mathematica 5.2 at 0.27 under windows ME, so that the
> small increase in speed that i do see could be wholly put down to the
> intel atom N270 in the asus running that little bit faster at 1.6 GHz.
> anyway, i am looking to buy a somewhat bigger screened laptop in the next
> few weeks, so if you have, or know, of something that will run the
> internal Mathematica v7.0 benchmark at, well, lets say, 3.0 or more?,
> i.e. about ten times faster than what i have now, i would be very
> interested to know what make and model it is, as i have had little luck
> so far trawling the web for such info, and tho the wolfram benchmark
> report mentions various intel xeons running at speeds of 3.75 or more i
> cant say ive ever seen a laptop with one of these chipsets inside it, and
> no mention whatever is made of these ubiquitous intel core 2 duo things,
> quadcore or not, or what i could expect from them.
> thankyou
> f.c
> (oh, i would just add that since i will be using the machine for other
> things besides mathematica it would be best for me to continue with
> windows a while longer, but if you get a nice turn of speed under
> linux or mac OS please feel free to say so!)

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