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st: choosing Vista versus XP for Stata MP/SE on a 64-bit machine


From   James Muller <james.s.muller@gmail.com>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   st: choosing Vista versus XP for Stata MP/SE on a 64-bit machine
Date   Tue, 05 Aug 2008 21:55:25 -0400

Hi all,

Recently a few people have come to me asking for advice on whether to choose Vista or XP as the operating system on workstations for relatively heavy numerical work using Stata. All 64-bit, assume a single dual-core or quad-core CPU.

One of these conversations involved some correspondence with Stata Corp (not by me personally), where the Stata guys were advocating Vista over XP rather avidly. I don't have any more information as to why they had this position.

Now to the point. I'm interested in getting people's views on Vista versus XP for a workstation primarily used for medium-size data work (requiring data between, say 2GB and 6GB to be held in RAM) on Stata MP/SE 64-bit.

It's worth noting that Microsoft have stated they will be supporting XP until 2014, so this is not an issue of XP becoming depreciated, just, possibly, outdated. That is to suggest, Vista may in fact be or become better than XP as a system for numerical work.

Take it as given that physical RAM can be upped to satisfy Vista's requirements (rule of thumb, Vista uses 1GB more RAM than XP to run). The only issues are stability and performance.

As a starting point, I get a little chatter about XP 64-bit having general memory management problems that do bad things to Stata's performance on big jobs. Gripes are generally on the topic of sloppy garbage collection (deallocation of memory) when a Stata instance maxes out physical RAM and swaps to virtual memory.

So, over to y'all. Comments, thoughts, musings or experience. Standard thanks in advance for anything you have to say.

Cheers,

James
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