What computer should I use to run Stata/MP?
Stata/MP is a flavor of Stata that can perform symmetric multiprocessing
(SMP) on a computer with multiple processors or cores. Click
here for more information about Stata/MP.
Although Stata/MP licenses are not platform specific, the following
operating systems are supported:
- Windows (64-bit x86-64)
- Windows (32-bit)
- Mac (64-bit Intel)
- Linux (64-bit x86-64)
- Linux (32-bit)
- Solaris (64-bit SPARC)
- Solaris (64-bit x86-64)
A computer’s processor is often called the central processing unit, or CPU.
Computers can have multiple CPUs, and Stata/MP takes advantage of this
design to process data faster.
Also available are computers with processors that contain multiple cores. A
core is the computation engine of a CPU, consisting of integer and
floating-point processing units. Thus a computer with one dual-core
processor is similar to a computer with two processors. In fact, Stata/MP
does not distinguish between CPUs and cores; it is designed to use systems
with up to 64 cores—be they single core (one per CPU), dual core (two
per CPU), or multicore (many per CPU).
Most manufacturers sell multiprocessor computers as servers. Thus your
choice is to buy either a desktop computer with a multicore CPU or a server
computer with multiple processors, each of which might or might not be
multicore. Having more processors/cores means that Stata/MP will run faster.
Be aware of the term “hyperthreaded”, however. Stata/MP runs
faster on hyperthreaded processors, but not as fast as it would if you had
full cores instead of hyperthreads. Computers with multiple hyperthreaded
processors are suitable for Stata/MP. The number of real processors is the
Both Intel and AMD manufacture chips appropriate for Stata/MP. Either run a
modern Windows operating system (7, Vista, or newer) or run Linux.
Mac Intel-based dual-core computers are appropriate for Stata/MP.
Stata/MP supports OS X.
Oracle computers with multicore 64-bit SPARC processors running Solaris are
appropriate for Stata/MP. Oracle Solaris computers on x86-64 hardware can
also run Stata/MP.
Regardless of the system you buy, the most important thing you can do is to
ensure that you have enough memory to hold 1.5 times the maximum dataset
size you plan to use.