Re: [R] Performance Difference? Windows vs. Linux

From: Prof Brian Ripley <ripley_at_stats.ox.ac.uk>
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2011 09:10:32 +0000 (GMT)

To try to answer the actual question ....

I run x86_64 Linux and both 32-bit Windows XP and x64 Windows 7 on my home desktop. So from years of experience of using the same hardware on those OSes:

  1. Generally Linux will be a bit faster, mainly because I do not hobble it with --enable-R-shlib (the only way R can be built on Windows). But the difference is small (5-20%).
  2. Linux handles large amounts of memory (and especially swapping) better, so the differences will be more if what you do is using nearly all the address space or physical RAM of your computer.
  3. Linux's process launch and disc access is many times faster, which makes a big difference to R development work.

>From your described usage I would expect you to see a worthwhile
performance gain -- it does matter what you are doing with R. It also matters which database system.

On Fri, 18 Mar 2011, Brigid Mooney wrote:

> I'm not trying to start a Windows vs. Linux debate, but I've been
> using R on a Windows machine for a while, and was recently wondering
> if R's performance would be faster on a Linux machine. And similarly,
> if any incremental increase in processing speed would be worth the
> time it would take me to migrate my entire system to Linux (including
> a database that I access via an R package.)
>
> I don't know how much it matters what R is doing - but I've got R
> pulling a large amount data from a database, performing many complex
> computations on that data, and then writing output data to a database.
>
> Thanks so much for the input,
> Brigid
>
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-- 
Brian D. Ripley,                  ripley_at_stats.ox.ac.uk
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

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Received on Sat 19 Mar 2011 - 09:14:32 GMT

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