MathGroup Archive 1992

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Re: Which computer to buy (NeXT, Mac, PC)...

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: Re: Which computer to buy (NeXT, Mac, PC)...
  • From: Boss Man <BOSS at>
  • Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1992 17:33 PDT

Mike Tie writes
>My department is in the process of setting up a Mathematica  
>Lab/Classroom, and we are trying to determine which platform (PC,  
>Mac, or NeXT) to go with.  I'm very interested in finding out  
>what other Colleges and Universities are using...

>Which version of Mathematica is the most "User Friendly" and has  
>the fewest bugs?

>What about performance?  How does Mathematica on a 486/33 MHhz PC  
>compare with Mathematica Mac Quadra 950 or NeXTstation Turbo?

>Assuming that we have enough money for any of the systems,  which  
>would you buy, and what would you buy (system type, memory, hard  
>drive space, ...)?  

>How portable are Mathematica Notebooks?  I've heard that the .mb  
>files are written differently on the different platforms...

>Any help that you can provide would REALLY be appreciated.




>Mike Tie                            mtie at       

Just wanted to pass along an earlier mail message regarding platform performance:

>Date: Sun, 31 May 92 14:34:39 -0400
>From: fink at (Howard Fink)
>Subject: Platform speeds
>To: mathgroup at
>Message-id: <9206020209.AA16034 at>

>At the mathematica conference I got a chance to try out a variety of
>platforms, all running Mathematica 2.1.

>The test:  Timing[10000!][[1]]

>HP Apollo 700		11.96 sec
>Silicon Graphics	16    sec
>DecStation 5000/240	18.8  sec
>Dell 450 DE/2		27.03 sec
>Next Turbo		32.65 sec
>Personal DecStation	30.55 sec
>Sparcstation IPX	35    sec
>Next 040		44    sec
>Sparcstation IPC	58.5  sec
>Mac IIci		123.6 sec

>Back in the office, 

>Quadra			65   sec
>Gateway 2000 (486)	49   sec
>Dec 5820		29   sec

>The Timings can vary by several seconds on shared machines.

>It was fun; I'm still looking for a one second machine.

>Howard Fink

Hope this is helpful.

Ed Boss


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