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Re: st: platform/OS/ver for max mem?

From   Jeph Herrin <[email protected]>
To   [email protected]
Subject   Re: st: platform/OS/ver for max mem?
Date   Thu, 15 May 2008 11:10:23 -0400


I use 64bit stata on xp64 with 16gb of RAM, and am very
pleased with it as an alternative to SAS for processing
large datasets. I have never loaded anything bigger than
about 14gb, but still - not only is it Stata, but it is
much faster than SAS doing the same job. 64bit also means
you can go to two processors, which is faster than one.

A few caveats:
 - recent versions of Stata allow users to write plug-ins;
   but 32-bit plugins won't run on XP64 without recompiling.
 - XP64 is by all accounts more reliable than Vista (also 64bit),
   but some 32-bit applications have trouble running on it.
   My 64bit box sits on the floor doing nothing but Stata,
   so it's not a problem, but if you want to ditch your desktop
   for a 64bit replacement, you find yourself missing some
   of your favorite applications.

Hope this helps,

Frakt, Austin wrote:

Our research group loves and uses Stata except when analytic files are
too large, in which case we reluctantly and with a heavy heart turn to
SAS. We recently had a brainstorm that we might be able to use Stata
exclusively if we only had a machine with more RAM and an operating
system and Stata version that could take full advantage. I made an
inquiry to Stata Corp. in this regard and am told that on a 64-bit
Windows machine we may well be able to run a 64-bit version of Stata
with quite a large amount of allocated memory. The Stata Corp.
representative said that (s)he had encountered Stata sessions with as
much as ~30GB allocated.

Are there members of this community that have done such a thing, i.e.,
worked in Stata with files of this size or larger? If so, did you use a
Windows platform or another? What is the upper limit on the memory you
have allocated and used in Stata? What, if any, problems have you
Thanks for your help and advice. Becoming equipped to run jobs of this
size would be a non-trivial expense for our group so I want to be as
informed as possible in advance of all the issues before we proceed.
Austin Frakt, PhD
Health Systems Research Scientist, Health Care Financing and Economics
Research Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management, Boston University School of Public Health

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