[R] Best Hardware & OS For Large Data Sets

David Winsemius dwinsemius at comcast.net
Sat Feb 27 21:03:04 CET 2010

On Feb 27, 2010, at 12:47 PM, J. Daniel wrote:

> Greetings,
> I am acquiring a new computer in order to conduct data analysis.  I
> currently have a 32-bit Vista OS with 3G of RAM and I consistently  
> run into
> memory allocation problems.  I will likely be required to run  
> Windows 7 on
> the new system, but have flexibility as far as hardware goes.  Can  
> people
> recommend the best hardware to minimize memory allocation problems?   
> I am
> leaning towards dual core on a 64-bit system with 8G of RAM.  Given  
> the
> Windows constraint, is there anything I am missing here?

Perhaps the fact that the stable CRAN version of R for (any) Windows  
is 32-bit? It would expand your memory space somewhat but not as much  
as you might naively expect.

(There was a recent  announcement that an experimental version of a 64- 
bit R was available (even with an installer) and there are vendors who  
will supply a 64-bit Windows version for an un-announced price. The  
fact that there was not as of January support for binary packages  
seems to a bit of a constraint on who would be able to "step up" to  
use full 64 bit R capabilities on Win64. I'm guessing from the your  
failure to mention potential software constraints that you are not  
among that more capable group, as I am also not.)


> I know that Windows limits the RAM that a single application can  
> access.
> Does this fact over-ride many hardware considerations?  Any way  
> around this?
> Thanks,
> JD

David Winsemius, MD
Heritage Laboratories
West Hartford, CT

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