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RE: st: optimal configuration for windows 32/64


From   "Wallace, John" <John_Wallace@affymetrix.com>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   RE: st: optimal configuration for windows 32/64
Date   Fri, 8 Feb 2008 11:07:36 -0800

I upgraded to Stata MP last year, and went with a 64-bit Windows XP
system.  Stata runs great on it, but I do have some compatibility issues
with other programs (Adobe Acrobat, for one - not the reader).  There
are also weird things that happen even within Microsoft software, such
as charts not displaying within Word once I paste them into a document
(sometimes refreshing the screen or scrolling up and down causes the
display to work).  

I kept my 32-bit system and that's what I do my authoring on now, with
the multiprocessor workhorse pretty much being Stata-only.  Someday I'll
invest in a KVM switch so my computers won't take up so much room in my
office.

-JW

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
[mailto:owner-statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu] On Behalf Of Alan Riley
Sent: Friday, February 08, 2008 8:25 AM
To: statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject: Re: st: optimal configuration for windows 32/64

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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