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Re: st: optimal configuration for windows 32/64


From   Alan Riley <ariley@stata.com>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   Re: st: optimal configuration for windows 32/64
Date   Fri, 8 Feb 2008 10:25:08 -0600

Julio Estevez (je_123@hotmail.com) asks about an optimal computer
configuration for his Stata needs.  He wants to use Windows
and plans on working with about 2 GB of data:
> I need to work with census data uploading into memory about 2 gigabites of data. My questions are the following
> 
> 1. should I go for windows 64 instead of windows 32?
> 2. If I go for a Microsoft 64 OS, would I notice a performance improvement if i switch from a stata 32bit to stata 64bit?
> 2. Any advice about the best processor around? I have around US$ 4000 to spend in a computer that can allow me to work at reasonable speeds with a census database.

If Julio needs to load 2 GB of data into Stata for Windows, then he
definitely should get a computer with a 64-bit version of Windows
along with 64-bit Stata for Windows.

Given his budget, I would advise Julio to look for a quad-core or
even 8-core machine with 4 to 8 GB of memory.  On such a machine he
can get even more speed out of Stata by using Stata/MP which performs
computations in parallel on multiple cores.  Julio can check to see
what kind of speed increase he can expect from Stata/MP for the Stata
commands he uses frequently here:  http://www.stata.com/statamp/report.pdf

Someone else in this thread mentioned Dell, so I took a quick look at
their web site.  I was able to configure a quad-core machine with one
of the fastest processors available (Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 running
at 3 GHz) and 4 GB of RAM for under $3000.  I was able to configure
an 8-core (dual quad-core processors) machine with 8 GB of RAM for
just under $4000.  Stata would perform very well on either of these
machines.

As was mentioned by David Jacobs (jacobs.184@sociology.osu.edu) earlier
in this thread, Julio should make sure that other software he needs
to run will work under 64-bit Windows before switching to a solely
64-bit environment.


--Alan Riley
(ariley@stata.com)
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