[R-SIG-Mac] R GUI slow on mac?

stefano iacus stefano.iacus at unimi.it
Wed Apr 20 17:43:40 CEST 2005

On 20/apr/05, at 16:40, Samuel E. Kemp wrote:

> Hi,
> I have R version 2.0.1 on my PowerBook G4 1.5Ghz, 512RAM, running OS X 
> 10.3.9. I have noticed that the "official" R GUI runs considerably 
> slower than R in the terminal and also JGR. Whilst the differences in 
> speed are unimportant for simple parametric stats, it becomes a bit of 
> a pig when doing non-parametric stats e.g. neural nets, feature 
> selection algorithms.
> In all my experiments I have set my CPU speed to "maximum" in system 
> preferences. I have also looked at the CPU usage for each 
> implementation: on average R in the terminal and JGR manage to get 98% 
> of CPU usage, compared to only around 75% for the R GUI.
> I guess my questions are:
> 1) Why the difference in speed when its on the same machine?
R.app is a GUI app (embedding R) and not just a wrapper around a 
terminal command. Which means that R.app calls R for computation, but 
during R computation some time is spent to handle user events back in 
R.app. It's a real problem, we can't do anything in this direction 
until we change the R internal event loop (you can search r-devel 
maling list).

> 2) Is there any way of tweaking R GUI to make it run faster, a la R in 
> the terminal?

The best thing to do is to use the cmd line version in batch mode, i.e. 
R CMD BATCH --vanilla myscript.R

This is what I actually do when  I don't need interaction on unix as 
well (which is the case of very long computational tasks)

> Any help would be appreciated.
> Best regards,
> Sam.
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