Re: [R] Linux, UNIX, XP32, Vista X64 or ...? [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

From: <>
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2008 10:08:05 +1100

Dear All,
I am currently using R in Windows PC with a 2 GB of RAM. Some pretty large
datasets are expected soon, perhaps in an order of several GB. I am facing a similar situation like Ralph, either to get a new PC with a bigger RAM or else. I am just wondering if R is getting faster in other systems like UNIX or Linux. Any suggestions are appreciated. Regards,

Jin Li, PhD
Spatial Modeller/
Computational Statistician
Marine & Coastal Environment
Geoscience Australia
Ph: 61 (02) 6249 9899
Fax: 61 (02) 6249 9956

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Prof Brian Ripley
Sent: Thursday, 24 January 2008 12:05
To: Ralph79
Subject: Re: [R] Problems with XP32-"3GB-patch"?/ Worth upgrading to Vista

On Wed, 23 Jan 2008, Ralph79 wrote:

> Dear R-Users,
> as I will start a huge simulation in a few weeks, I am about to buy a new
> and fast PC. I have noticed, that the RAM has been the limiting factor in
> many of my calculations up to now (I had 2 GB in my "old" system, but
> Windows still used quite a lot of virtual memory), hence my new computer
> will have 4 GB of fast DDR2-800 RAM.
> However, I know that 1.) Windows 32 bit cannot make use of more than about
> 3,2 GB RAM and 2.) it is normally not allowed to allocate more than 2 GB of

> RAM to one single application (at least under XP, I don't know if that has
> changed under Vista?).
> I remember from the R-FAQ that you can manually adjust XP so that it
> allocates up to 3 GB to one application ("the 3GB patch"), but I read in a
> PC-magazine and some message boards that this may cause problems. Does
> anybody of you successfully use this "trick" without any problems?

Yes, many people: most 32-bit Exchange servers use it. Please don't rate the advice in the R documentation below tittle-tattle you read on the web.

> Would it be wise to use a 64bit OS, as e.g. Vista X64? I think, under Vista
> X64 it should be no problem to allocate 4 GB of RAM to R. Any experiences
> with that?

That's what the rw-FAQ says, and we do write answers based on experience!

> Thanks in advance,
> Ralph Wirth
> -----
> Ralph Wirth
> University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Statistics
> GfK Group, Department of Methods and Product Development

Brian D. Ripley,        
Professor of Applied Statistics,
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 Wed 23 Jan 2008 - 23:11:37 GMT

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