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st: Upgrading from v9 to v10mp

From   David Airey <david.airey@Vanderbilt.Edu>
Subject   st: Upgrading from v9 to v10mp
Date   Sun, 1 Jul 2007 10:13:30 -0500

Dear Statalist,

There's several reasons why I'd like to upgrade from Stata 9 to Stata 10. But I have a question about MP and whether this is something I should be looking at (as I have dual core CPU).

From the info I've found ( MP is suitable and *should* be faster for most analyses. The same info also states that not all processes will run in parallel, however. It would seem silly for me to pay extra only to find that the most computationally intensive work I do (which isn't a great deal) cannot make use of this extra processing power. So I was wondering whether anyone on Statalist might be able to offer some thoughts?

Probably the most intensive work involves such things as xtlogit and I've also looked at reoprob - with a large survey and bootstrapping would MP work through user written commands (i.e. reoprob) any faster? Other things that can take time include cycling through large -foreach num- lists and using postfile (neither reoprob nor postfile are covered in report.pdf at http:// to generate a new dataset. Would these be noticeably quicker under MP?
What's my MP criteria? I suppose shaving 1 or 2 seconds of something that takes 1 or 2 seconds wouldn't be that useful, I just don't get another sip of coffee. Similarly, shaving a few hours off something that takes more 24 hours to run probably wouldn't mean that much as I'd be doing something else anyway. It's the 'not quite long enough to go do something useful' tasks where I'd find the extra speed most useful... are the time savings linear over problem size?

Any thoughts greatly appreciated


Since desktop computers will eventually all have multiple cores, eventually all serious statistical environments will too. Why would you want to only take advantage on one CPU? It's only a question now of cost. In the transition, companies will charge a premium to take advantage of multiple CPUs, because they can.

I think all survey commands are parallel. This would be a good reason to upgrade if you work with large surveys.

In my circumstance I need to perform genome scans with categorical dependent variables and nested data structure, so I have decided to buy MP; $900 EDU License to obtain the MP upgrade and all documentation seems an excellent deal, compared to the $900 grant dollars I spend on other equipment and services.

David C. Airey, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor

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