[R-sig-hpc] Multicore processors alternatives

Matthieu Stigler matthieu.stigler at gmail.com
Mon Nov 23 11:03:17 CET 2009


I'm sorry my question is a little bit off topic as it concerns
hardware, but as I'm buying material in order to use it with R, I
permit to ask the question.

Having to buy a new laptop, I want one which enables to do parallel
computation. Simplest solution would be to have an intel dual core,
but I would be interested in having more computing power. Solutions
would be:

-the Intel core i7 processor, which has 4 cores/8 threads, and would
increase the price of the laptop by around 500$.
-the AMD Phenom II X4, with 4 cores and cheaper, but less available on laptops.

Did anyone use R parallel packages on machines with such processors?
Are some special complications likely to arise compared to a Intel
dual core? Would for example the multicore package be able to run on
those 8 threads with the Intel i7 or would be only 4 cores effective?
Any advice otherwise on alternative solutions? Just want to make sure
not to spend supplementary 500$ for nothing :-)

Thanks a lot!!

Matthieu Stigler

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