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RE: st: Op. sys. refuses to provide memory - a cautionary tale


From   "Craig, Benjamin M." <Benjamin.Craig@moffitt.org>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   RE: st: Op. sys. refuses to provide memory - a cautionary tale
Date   Fri, 20 Aug 2010 14:28:30 -0400

Thanks Nick, I have learned that to truly take advantage of the latest
version of Stata, 64-bits and 4 or more cores is required. To be a bit
more specific, lets assume I am using 6-core Stata MP on Windows 7
Professional, 64-bit for computationally intensive simulation analyses.

Does any listserv member think that I should go from 6 to 12 cores?

 Six Core Processor,X5680,3.33GHz,12M,6.4GT/s 
 Dual Six Core Processor,X5680,3.33GHz,12M,6.4GT/s

Is it worthwhile to upgrade from RAM and Hard drive? For example,

 12GB DDR3 ECC SDRAM Memory,1333MHz,6X2GB

 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s,7200 RPM HardDrive with 32MB DataBurst Cache

The purpose is real world speed, so has anyone actually noticed if going
up to 24GB RAM, solid state drive expedited your jobs? In theory, it
should, but I am hoping that someone has purchase a computer recently to
test this hypothesis. 

Cheers,
Ben
 

Benjamin M. Craig, PhD

Assistant Member, Health Outcomes & Behavior, Moffitt Cancer Center

Associate Professor, Economics, University of South Florida 

12902 Magnolia Dr, MRC-CANCONT, Tampa, FL 33612-9416

Phone (813) 745-6710; Fax (813) 745-6525 

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
[mailto:owner-statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu] On Behalf Of Nick Cox
Sent: Friday, August 20, 2010 5:00 AM
To: 'statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu'
Subject: RE: st: Op. sys. refuses to provide memory - a cautionary tale

I think this partially answers itself in that I don't think that it can
fairly be expected that a company website is a proper place for a
company, in this case StataCorp, to offer opinions about anything that
is currently controversial. 

That said, Benjamin's question is obviously practical and a fair one for
members of this list to venture opinions and comment from experience. In
addition, presumably people other than econometricians are not excluded.


Nick
n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk 

Craig, Benjamin M.

To clarify, the website answers essential questions (which systems are
supported?) and provides some advice and education. I need to know more
details on current controversies relating to multiple core, 64-bit and
drive speeds in the real world. In this sense, it is a bit incomplete to
say that more core, more bits, and faster drives are preferable. As was
previously post, I had thought that a 32-bit dual core desktop was good
enough for my needs, and was woefully wrong. Others seem to follow...

http://www.stata.com/statalist/archive/2010-07/msg01337.html

If a listserv member has tried STATA MP on multiple machines, I would
like to know what worked best so that I can buy one. There is an obvious
caveat: speed depends on the task. However, I would counter that some
data are better than none. For example, I recently bootstrapped a ML
with 1000 iteration and inequality constraints. It took 4 weeks. Do you
think your machine can do better? Personally, I do not use stata for
database management, and doubt that many econometricians do. If someone
has a good analytics machine, and he/she thinks that it works well, I'd
like to know its components. Maybe a consensus will emerge. Maybe not.

Martin Weiss

In which respect is the Stata website "incomplete"? There is advice at
http://www.stata.com/products/opsysmp.html, and how is the website
supposed to give more detailed advice? It does not know your specific
setup, hence the reluctance to go into greater depth...

Craig, Benjamin M.

Okay, I give up... I need a new machine. Due to institutional policies,
I need to buy a Dell. Otherwise, I would very much like any advice on
this purchase. My best guess is a 64-bit 8-core desktop for a 6-core
version of Stata MP. I don't need a rocket, just a racecar.

If you have any specifications that you would like to share with me,
please send them directly or post them on the listserv for others
looking to upgrade. I have read the Stata website, which seems
incomplete.


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