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Is Mathematica on a PC Too Slow?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg6998] Is Mathematica on a PC Too Slow?
  • From: Dave Smith <buyguy at>
  • Date: Thu, 1 May 1997 14:48:44 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: The R&D Department, Inc.
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Dear Newsgroup,

I have Mathematica 3.0 installed on a Mac IIvx with a math coprocessor 
and System 7.5 with 20 MB RAM, but I'm interested in timing for other 
personal computing systems as well.  

I have tried to benchmark the time required for some common tasks to 
decide if this software in a personal computer environment can support 
a system dynamics and controls R&D consultancy.  

Here's what I found so far:
   NDSolve on a linear, 2nd order, time invariant equation takes 40 
seconds to compute 30 seconds of simulated time.  Real system 
simulations are often nonlinear and of higher order.  I have visions 
of this taking hours on my Mac, if it can be done at all. 
   Neither Eliminate nor Solve can handle the mild, low-order 
nonlinear equations common in modeling gas errors, no 
messages, they simply don't work.  I'm also interested in robot 
manipulator dynamics, but these are more difficult yet so I'm not at 
all optimisitic.

What have you found in dealing with real system simulations and 
controls for gas turbines and robotics?  Please let me know your 
system configurations and your experiences.  Also, please reply to 
e-mail, not the newsgroup.

Dave Smith
A New Mathematica Convert in northern Virginia

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