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Re: st: Windows XP x64?

From   "Joe McCrary" <>
Subject   Re: st: Windows XP x64?
Date   Fri, 30 Jun 2006 09:03:49 -0400

I have been using Windows XP64 Professional for about 6 months.

Software: I have had very few compatibility problems, and the number
of software vendors who have been building 64-bit products has been
increasing steadily. In almost all cases, products written for 32-bit
Windows work fine. I had problems with Acrobat (not the reader), but
use CutePDF instead (which is free). Kaspersky Labs has released a
64-bit compatible virus scanner that works pretty fast.

Hardware: Here is where I've run into some compatibility problems.
I've had to replace my scanner and TV Tuner (this is my home
computer). Canon had drivers ready for my printer. Everything else
(Logitech mouse and keyboard, Creative sound card, external hard
drives) have worked fine.

All-in-all, except for a few hardware compatibility problems (never
buying another Epson product again), the switch to XP64 has been
great. It's been rock solid. Stata is a good bit faster (although I've
not tried the multiple-core version) and I too work with very large
datasets (student NAEP data which has to be run through a 62 jackknife
iteration for each of 5 plausible values).

You might want to look at the forums in
There's a lot of information there about drivers and applications.
Also, check the websites of hardware manufacturers to see if they have
64-bit drivers.

On 6/29/06, M Hollis <> wrote:
Thanks for for everyone's input so far.  I'm still
undecided, but leaning slightly towards sticking with
the the 32-bit operating system.  One thought I have
is that I can later add a second hard drive with the
ability to boot a 64-bit OS from there.  I'm not a
computer whiz, though, so I don't how feasible or easy
that would be.

Right now, I'm hesitant to take the 64-bit plunge
because I feel like I might spend more time resolving
application and driver issues than I would save by
using 64-bit Stata.  I've already spent too much time
as it is planning this new computer purchase.

Any further comments or advice would be welcomed,
I'll be making the purchase on Monday.

Thanks for the help.  I realize this is more of a
computer question than a Stata question, but since my
primary goal is to improve Stata performance (while at
the same time minimizing difficulties of running other
programs), your insights are very useful.


--- M Hollis <> wrote:

> I'm hoping to get some advice about Windows x64.
> I've
> got money to buy a new desktop and I'm looking to
> get
> a pretty fast computer to reduce my time waiting for
> Stata do-files to finish.  I have recently been
> running a computationally intensive analysis that
> takes about 48 hours to complete on my
> run-of-the-mill
> desktop, but more often I'm running analyses of
> large
> datasets like 1.5 million observations from the
> Current Population Survey, which can take 45 minutes
> to an hour to run.
> I think I have the computer picked out, a Dell
> Precision 490 with two dual-core processors (our
> school only buys Dells).  I'll get Stata/MP for
> 4-processors to compliment the system.
> My final decision is whether to go with regular
> Windows XP or with Windows XP x64 for a 64-bit
> system.
>  I know many of you are Linux folks, but I'm not
> really up to making that plunge right now.  From
> what
> I understand, Windows x64 offers the potential to be
> faster, but it also creates some software and
> hardware
> compatibility problems.  It seems like some of the
> compatibility problems are being solved over time,
> but
> it's not clear to me whether the gains of Windows
> x64
> outweigh the potential headaches.  The choice of
> operating systems doesn't impact the cost.
> So, I'm wondering if folks have experience with
> Windows x64.  If so, does it make a big difference
> in
> running Stata?  Is it worth the trouble negotiating
> all the other compability problems?
> Thanks for your input.
> Matissa
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Joe McCrary

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