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Re: st: Sloooow Graphics
At 10:18 AM 6/29/2004 -0400, Jean-Philippe C. Stijns wrote:
First, Graphics were completely rewritten as of Stata 8, and they are
slower than before. But you get much more capability and customizability.
Hi All, Does anyone know why Stata is so slow to produce graphs. I have
already set my mem to 200m. Is there any other potential issue? Thank you.
For my own use, I do not use graphics often, and I have not learned much
about the new graphics. So, for the rare times I need graphics, I will
often use the old version -graph7- or -gr7-. While this is retro
technology, and you could criticize me for not keeping up-to-date, it has
two advantages: I already know how to use it (as far as I need it), and it
is faster. Often, the speed advantage alone is compelling enough to make
me prefer it.
See -help graph7- or -help gr7- for more details, including links to other
version 7 graphing programs.
The other matter is that you set mem to 200m. You should be aware that at a
certain point, setting mem to a high value will cause major slowdown -- a
quantum leap downward in speed. This is when you run out of actual memory
and you start to use virtual memory. When this happens depends on several
factors, some of which are a bit unpredictable. These are: amount of
physical memory on the machine, how much memory is allocated to other
processes, and what operating system you use. (My experience with Windows
is that, with no other user processes running, I can take about 85% of the
machine's physical memory before virtual memory kicks in. This is my
experience, whereas some system experts have told me to expect this to be
more like 50%. It may be that the portion needed by the system is
relatively constant -- rather than proportional.) It's actually more
complicated, as what you really need is contiguous memory, if I understand
it correctly. There may be some FAQs or archived Statalist messages on this
And I should add that, as I understand it, prior to the point of invoking
virtual memory, taking more memory will not speed up your processing; but
it will make the difference in whether your processing can run at all.
I hope this helps.
Institute for Policy Studies
Johns Hopkins University
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