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Re: your mail

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg2729] Re: your mail
  • From: Tim Mooney <mooney at>
  • Date: Sat, 9 Dec 1995 23:01:32 -0500

When we last communicated, mathgroup-adm at wrote:
)In article <49dp82$8a6 at>,
)Gerhard Braunshausen  <braunshausen at> wrote:
)>Could anyone offer an explanation for the vast differences
)>in speed particularly in comparing the PowerMac 9500 series
)>with the SparcStation 20 series?
)>To my knowledge, the Sparcstations were supposed to be very
)>powerful numbercrunchers.

Oh?  The Sparc has historically been a very poor performer for float
calculations, though it does pretty well for int calculations -- if you're
doing anything involving intensive floating point calculations you
would be much better served by a Power2/PowerPc or HP's PA chip -- both
have superior floating point performance.  The Dec Alpha is just so fast
that it too does well for floating point calculations.

The numbers I've seen for the Ultra Sparc indicate that it has improved
considerably the floating point performance, so a machine with the UltraSparc
would probably be a great performer as well, but the more pedestrian Sparcs
are not as good.

)I tried Mathematica on an UltraSparc, the results were very good.
)They were somewhat better than PowerMac 9500.

If they are only `somewhat better' than a machine with a 32 bit partially
emulated operating system, then the Ultra Sparc isn't as good as I thought...

)I suspect that Mathematica memory management is written for Mac.

?  What makes you suspect that?

)I also suspect that Wolfram Research uses gcc as the compiler
)for minimum hassle when supporting various platforms.

I seriously doubt it, but one should be able to tell by investigating
a Unix Mathematica binary with strings or od.

Tim Mooney                              mooney at
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