[R-SIG-Mac] Multi-thread R processes performance on 8-core Mac-Pro

Marra, David David.Marra at ATKEARNEY.com
Wed Apr 18 08:48:16 CEST 2007


I am running R 2.4.1 on the new 8-core Mac Pro with the parSapply
function from the Snow package. Tests using 2,4, and 8 threads with
makeCluster() yield somewhat disappointing results. The 4 thread process
is fastest. With 8 threads, all the cores max out at about 70% power,
and even then it is slower than the 4 thread process which maxes out the
4 threads at about 90-95%. This suggests the additional 4 cores on the
Mac Pro do not improve performance in an embarrassingly parallel R/Snow

The function I tested in parSapply runs a regression (a call to "lm"). I
am using Snow/rpvm package combination. There is no issue of limited
memory. There are over 3 gigs of free RAM in the tests.

Does anyone have suggestions as how to get more power out of a
multi-core Mac Pro machine and/or have 4-core/8-core R multi-thread
computing performance benchmarks/experiences to share? 

Thanks in advance,


David Marra
A.T. Kearney (Tokyo)

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