[Numpy-discussion] Numpy and the Pentium 4

Tim Churches tchur at optushome.com.au
Sat Apr 28 20:11:29 CDT 2001


Does anyone have any experience running Numpy under Linux on a Pentium 4
(P4) system? P4 boxes appear to have some attractions: a 1.7 GHz model
is now available, they reputedly have a 400 MHz CPU-to-RAM bus, the
Intel 850 chipset used with them supports ECC and the cost of ECC RDRAM
needed has fallen to the point that 1 Gbyte of RAM is now quite
affordable. It's the high CPU-to-RAM bandwidth which suggests that P4
systems might offer a gain in performance when used with Numpy to
manipulate large arrays which is disproprtionate to their higher clock
speeds, compared to Pentium 3 systems, which are limited to a 133 MHz
CPU-to-RAM bus. Is this born out in practice? Ideally we would like an
Alpha box, but they just cost too much from Compaq and I don't think
Microway or other alternative Alpha box manufacturers are represented
here in Australia. Our problem domain involves a mix of manipulating
very large integer arrays and then floating point calculations on
smaller arrays,  so FP speed is probably not of paramount importance,
but memory bandwidth and clock speed probably is (perhaps, maybe,
possibly).

Tim C
Sydney, Australia




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