Re: [R] Ideal Computer and Software (A bit off topic)

From: Don MacQueen <>
Date: Sat 19 Mar 2005 - 02:12:30 EST

I'd like to mention that if using the desktop applications such as MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint, email software, Acrobat Reader, etc. is important to you, then the Mac may be a better choice than a Linux box. Mac OS X lets you use all of those, and also work at the unix level, side by side and simultaneously, on the same machine.

On a Mac you can run R either with a GUI analagous to that of R for Windows, or you can run it as a command line app, as on Linux.

I can't help with performance comparison questions, or the 64 bit issue, I'm sorry to say.


At 11:41 AM -0800 3/17/05, KKThird@Yahoo.Com wrote:
>Hello everyone.
>This question might be a bit off topic, but I thought
>that (a) there couldn't be a better group to address
>my questions and (b) that others might find it useful
>too; It also might start an interesting discussion
>I use R often for simulation purposes (which generally
>involve a lot of for() loops) and for most of my
>general work. I will be purchasing a new computing
>system soon, and I'm wondering the best way to go. I'm
>a Windows user now, and from what I know and have read
>about Linux, it is what I should be using (or possibly
>a Unix machine). I'm not wedded to a Windows system
>and I'm willing to put in the time to learn Linux if
>it would truly be beneficial. Is it the case that
>Linux offers so much more than Windows that it is
>definitely worth the switch?
>For the hardware issue, is it generally better to run
>R on a server and then connect to the server or on a
>stand alone computer (Obviously the performance would
>be related to the specific hardware, but if the
>hardware was essentially equal, would there be any
>advantage to either?).

A server might have other users using competing with you for cpu cycles. A server might have a more reliable backup policy (or might not!). A server might or might not have security patches and OS upgrades done more promptly.
If you need to transfer content from R (text output or graphics files) into reports or presentations,
it might be easier with a local machine, depending on whether the server shares file systems.

>What seems to be better for using R on, an Intel, AMD,
>Unix, or Mac (which I suppose is now a Unix)
>processor? In terms of speed, again given the
>analogous hardware, is there an advantage to one of
>Does it make sense to get a 64 bit AMD processor, or
>is that just an overkill? Would R even make use of the
>64 bit processing power?
>I'm very interested on any thoughts people have on
>this. I'm a big user of computers, but I'm not overly
>knowledgeable about their inner workings.
>Thanks and have a nice day,
> mailing list
>PLEASE do read the posting guide!

Don MacQueen
Environmental Protection Department
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Livermore, CA, USA

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Received on Sat Mar 19 02:19:21 2005

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