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Re: Mathematica 3 speed on a Sun Ultra1/200e ?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg14338] Re: Mathematica 3 speed on a Sun Ultra1/200e ?
  • From: John Doty <jpd at>
  • Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 00:28:43 -0400
  • Organization: Wampler-Doty Family
  • References: <6vurf3$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Jim Jennings wrote:
> Is anybody out there running Mathematica 3 on a Sun Ultra1/200e ?
> I have been running Mathematica on an old PowerMac 7100/80 and I am
> looking for a way to get more speed.  We have a Sun Ultra1/200e running
> Solaris 2.5.1.  I am considering buying Mathematica for it but I would
> like to get some idea of how much faster things will be.
> I have checked Karl Unterkofler's Mathematica benchmak web page
> <> and see an entry for...
> Machine: SUN Ultra 1, 200MHz, 196MB RAM  Version = Solaris 3.0 (November
> 22, 1996) Benchmark = 0.975
> I ran the benchmark on my Mac and got...
> Machine: PowerMac 7100/80, 104MB RAM, 105MB Virtual Version = Power
> Macintosh 3.0 (May 6, 1997) Benchmark = 0.422
> So it looks like the Sun will be only 2.3 times faster.  Can this be
> right?  Our Sun has 384MB RAM, will that make a significant difference?

Extra RAM won't make a difference unless you're using significantly more
virtual than real.

> It looks like I could do much better by just adding an upgrade card to
> my Mac...
> Machine: Power Macintosh 7100/66, Newer MAXpowr G3 PDS, 88 MB, MacOS
> 7.5.5  Version = Power Macintosh 3.0 (October 5, 1996) Benchmark = 2.27
> ... 5.4 times faster!
> Can somebody explain to me what is going on here?  Are the benchmarks
> missleading?  Can someone running Mathematica 3 on a Sun Ultra1/200e
> with a memory configuration closer to mine tell me about their
> experience?  Could you run the benchmark for me & email me the result?

You might also check out the benchmarks at They're
consistent with what you're saying. G3's and the faster 600-series PPC
processors (and even a Linux Pentium) trounced a SPARC Ultra 1.

SUN's have never had particularly good speed/cost relative to the
competition. To me, the big advantage of SUN has been that it has
offered a stable foundation for premium software. Things like CAD
packages may run faster on PC's, but the SUN implementations almost
always have fewer bugs. This doesn't seem to be an issue with
Mathematica: at least on MacOS, I find it works very well indeed.

John Doty		"You can't confuse me, that's my job." Home: jpd at
Work: jpd at

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