[R] equipment

Douglas Bates bates at stat.wisc.edu
Wed Apr 23 20:51:34 CEST 2003

"Ruud H. Koning" <info at rhkoning.com> writes:

> Hello, it is likely that I will have to analyze a rather sizeable dataset:
> 60000 records, 10 to 15 variables. I will have to make descriptive
> statistics, and estimate linear models, glm's and maybe Cox proportional
> hazard model with time varying covariates. In theory, this is possible in
> R, but I would like to get some feedback on the equipment I should get for
> this. At this moment, I have a Pentium 3 laptop running windows 2000 with
> 384MB ram. What type of cpu-speed and/or how much memory should I get?
> Thanks for some ideas, Ruud

If you are buying a new computer then CPU speed will be less important
than memory.  Most new computers using Intel or AMD processors have
CPU speeds in excess of 1 GHz - frequently 2 GHz or more.  You probably
wouldn't be able to notice the difference between a 1.8 GHz processor
and a 2.8 GHz processor for most work in R so paying extra for a
nominally faster processor is not a good bargain.

Try to get as much memory as your budget will allow.  For a laptop
that may be 512 MB.  For a desktop computer consider 1 GB.

We have fit linear mixed-effects models on 300,000 observations and
with 40 or 50 columns in the model matrix in about 5 minutes on
a 2.0 GHz machine with 1 GB memory using recent versions of R.  Linear
models and glms should be faster than this.

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