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Re: Any recommendations for new hardware (quadcore/GPUs)?

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  • Subject: [mg117054] Re: Any recommendations for new hardware (quadcore/GPUs)?
  • From: "Emilio Martin-Serrano Sobrino" <emartinserrano at>
  • Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2011 06:05:48 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <iknsc6$k98$> <>


Good advice!

I have just moving to new hardware, currently testing  a desktop Acer  i5
dual core, 3.2 GHz 64bits plus  4Gb RAM (Windows 7) with NVIDIA GForce 315 -
512Mb; I am a bit disappointed with the new desktop, since I  have not found
much difference in performance in respect to my,  veteran but yet at work,
HP 3.60 GHz, 32 bits plus  1Gb RAM (XP/SP3).  In particular the response to
heavy use of dynamic devices (sliders, manipulators and others, which I
sometimes use to trigger fairly entangled computations). I make heavy use of
Dynamic and I thought that this  new machine was going to solve some
significant performance problems tied to the feature IMHO.

I  gather from what you say that RAM is, with Mathematica,  far more
important than CPU (is this that with Dynamic too), and  so I might go
beyond the 4 Gb RAM;  and that the  GForce 315 - 512Mb  card the Acer I5
brings (yet  with CUDA & OpenCL support) would be not enough either. Since I
am to return the brand new Acer to the dealer, (Acer, or maybe the dealer,
advertised the machine had 6Gb RAM instead of the 4Gb it actually has), I
would tray another  machine with larger configuration.

Something additional to take in account, in my case,  is that  the V8 HE
that  I am now using only supports 34Bits. So, in which degree could this be
more or less balanced (in respect to 64bits support) by installing more RAM?

Any additional comments will be welcome.

Thank you.

E. Martin-Serrano

 An additional consideration is that the V8 HE  I am using now  does not
support 64 bits.  

-----Mensaje original-----
De: telefunkenvf14 [mailto:rgorka at] 
Enviado el: lunes, 07 de marzo de 2011 11:47
Para: mathgroup at
Asunto: [mg116998] Re: Any recommendations for new hardware (quadcore/GPUs)?

On Mar 3, 5:00 am, Yves Klett <yves.kl... at> wrote:
> Hi,
> there are not too many benchmarks for current (especially mobile) 
> hardware to be found, so perhaps someone can give some information on 
> their preferred hardware?
> Two things interest me in particular:
> a) will a quadcore (i7) offer significantly more performance than a 
> dual core? Of course this depends on the nature of the task...
> b) Is there any difference between cheaper gaming cards (e.g. NVidia
> GTX) versus expensive professional cards (e.g. NVidia Quadro), 
> especially concerning CUDA/OpenCL?
> Any impressions are welcome.
> Yves

Beware of laptops with switchable graphics. My Sony Z is awesome...
EXCEPT for the fact that the switchable graphics mechanism makes it
impossible to update the NVidia drivers (without either hacking together a
custom driver package or hacking the bios to force the machine to use only
the NVidia graphics). I'm beginning to wonder if Sony will ever update the
graphics drivers for my machine. (very irritating to have Sony blathering on
about supporting CUDA... and then failing to support CUDA).

Laptops I'd consider if I had to do it all over again (by order of

Lenovo w510
Dell Precision Mobile Workstations (4500 and 6500) Lenovo T410 (uses Optimus
-- software switching between internal and NVidia graphics. Confirm driver
upgradability before you leap!)

As for the quad vs dual-core... i7's do come in dual-core as well as
quad-core. You'll probably want to go with a dual-core i7 if you're going
with a laptop, so worry less about CPU and more about screen quality, video
card, memory and hard-drive. IMO, solid state drives are a must---but you
should probably upgrade the drive yourself as Lenovo and Dell were waaaay
overcharging for these components. The Intel x25-M is a good choice
(although appears to be currently phasing out due to Intel releasing it's
new 510 series).


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