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Re: Mathematica 8

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  • Subject: [mg113991] Re: Mathematica 8
  • From: Bill Rowe <readnews at>
  • Date: Sat, 20 Nov 2010 06:11:52 -0500 (EST)

On 11/19/10 at 5:07 AM, sydgeraghty at (Syd Geraghty) wrote:

>So lets look for some data to support the buying decision! Using
>MathematicaBenchmark8 with my current machine:

>Machine Name:          sydsmacbookpro
>System:                MacOS X V 10.6.5 Snow Leopard (64-bit)
>Date:                  November 15, 2010
>Mathematica Version:   8.0.0
>Benchmark Result:      0.41

I see bit better with my MacBookPro, an overall score of 0.60.

>The interesting fact is if I set up Mathematica 8 to use both of my
>MacBooks cores to I get a 61% MathematicaBenchmark8 improvement (an
>impressive result).

Could you elaborate a bit on this? I thought to make use of more
than one core I needed to use commands like Parallelize. Are
modifying the benchmarking code?

>So the disappointing first comparison from my current system (best
>result of .66 using Mathematica 8 to the best MathematicaBenchmark8
>result of 1.0) apparently limits my available upgrade in performance
>to 52%.

Why do you conclude this? I assume you are making this estimate
from the benchmark data included with the current benchmarking
code. If so, it seems to me that is merely the best Wolfram
happened to test. Not necessarily the best that can be done with
Apple hardware.

>I hope someone at WRI will recognize the importance of totally
>upgrading benchmarking to take into account support for GPUs (and
>address the CUDA vs OpenCL issues) and parallelism (multi-core,
>multi-thread) support. Without a serious benchmark upgrade I fear
>the general discussion will not lead to actionable information.

I think the issue isn't just the benchmark. Having benchmark
code that addresses CUDA etc, doesn't really help you get more
performance without understanding how to configure things
optimally. If parallel computing happens transparently to the
user then there isn't an issue. But this doesn't seem to be the
case now.

>The problem is there is no documentation I have found so far that gives
>me a comparison of what that means vs going nVidia and CUDA.

Yes. This is more of an issue since it is unclear as to how to
set up a given system for optimal performance.

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