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Re: st: Best machine to build for running STATA


From   Dana Chandler <dchandler@gmail.com>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   Re: st: Best machine to build for running STATA
Date   Mon, 22 Feb 2010 18:50:41 -0600

Hi Michael -

This is extremely helpful. I really appreciate the link to the report
and the estimation of how much memory a dataset will take up.

I have a few follow-up questions:
Re: Memory allocation... Christopher Baum mentions that for a 13 GB
data set, 24GB of RAM would be recommended. Are there any rules of
thumb people use in terms of how much memory a system should have to
comfortably do analysis on a dataset of a given size? Also, how much
memory should be allocated to a dataset. If you have a 250mb dataset,
is allocating 1gig overkill, can this be harmful?

Re: hardware... I'm not an expert on different kinds of RAM and hard
drives. Does anyone have any experience with what types of RAM (SRAM
vs. DRAM vs. ??) or hard drives (SCSI vs. SATA or ATA) might work best
with STATA. What about ways to optimize the page file or use virtual
memory?

Re: the report... it is mentioned that they chose a "problem size"
that was relatively large to run all the simulations that measured
speed of X processors vs. 1. I may have missed it, but do they ever
mention if the ratio of the gains or the "percentage parallelization"
stays constant as the problem size grows? I frequently encounter
problem sizes larger than those stated and would like to know if the
percentage parallelizations will remain about the same.

Thanks once again Michael and everyone else for your suggestions!
Dana

On Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 4:56 PM, Michael Norman Mitchell
<Michael.Norman.Mitchell@gmail.com> wrote:
> Greetings
>
>  Two factors come to my mind as being very important...
>
>  1) Having sufficient memory. This has been discussed today on the
> statalist, with links to how you can calculate your memory needs.
>  2) Whether you will be using Stata/MP, and how many cores you want to get
> (both for your Stata/MP license and physical cores). For large statistical
> models, you can save considerable time running models on four cores, for
> example. This link contains a detailed report showing the time savings one
> gets using Stata/MP, and how much time savings you obtain for each
> additional core you add for each command.
>
> http://www.stata.com/statamp/report.pdf
>
>  These are not the only factors, but I feel they are among the major
> factors.
>
> I hope this helps,
>
> Michael N. Mitchell
> See the Stata tidbit of the week at...
> http://www.MichaelNormanMitchell.com
> Visit me on Facebook at...
> http://www.facebook.com/MichaelNormanMitchell
>
> On 2010-02-22 2.27 PM, Dana Chandler wrote:
>>
>> Hi fellow Statalisters -
>>
>> I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions or guidelines for what
>> would be the ideal type of machine to build for intensive STATA-use.
>>
>> In particular, if you wanted to be able to run saturated regression
>> models on large (several gigabyte) data sets in STATA, what would the
>> ideal set up be? This is a computer that will be used exclusively for
>> data-intensive tasks and mostly with STATA.
>>
>> The only requirement is that it has to be built on a windows x86
>> operating system. What type of hardware makes for the speediest STATA
>> experience: harddrive type, RAM type, number of processors, etc. ?
>>
>> Thanks in advance,
>> Dana
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