Re: [R] Maximum amount of memory

From: Tim Cutts <tjrc_at_sanger.ac.uk>
Date: Tue 22 Mar 2005 - 04:54:25 EST

On 21 Mar 2005, at 4:42 pm, marvena@tin.it wrote:

> Hi,
> I have a problem:I need to use the maximum amount of memory in order to
> perform a very tough analysis. By purchasing the suitable computer,
> what's
> the maximum amount of memory obtainable in R?

Assuming that R is happy to use 64-bit memory pointers, the limit will be your wallet. You could buy an SGI Altix and just keep buying more and more memory for it. I don't know the limit - I know that SGI have sold one machine in Japan with 13 terabytes of memory. We have two of them here with 192 GB of RAM each, but I haven't tried R on them yet - they're used for other things.

Whether such a course of action is sensible is another matter. Large memory machines rapidly become *extremely* expensive; once you have to use DIMMs larger than 1GB each, the price becomes prohibitive. Consider spending the same amount of money on employing several programmers and/or statisticians to break your problem down into smaller tasks than are tractable on smaller machines.

Our 192 GB machine cost quite a lot more than 192 desktop PCs with 1GB of RAM each. In fact, the memory becomes so expensive the rest of the machine is virtually free, in comparison. :-)

If you can get away with more modest amounts of memory, then a machine like the HP DL-585 might suit you - a quad processor Opteron, which can take up to 32GB or so of memory. Fairly modest price.

Tim

-- 
Dr Tim Cutts
Informatics Systems Group, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
GPG: 1024D/E3134233 FE3D 6C73 BBD6 726A A3F5  860B 3CDD 3F56 E313 4233

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Received on Tue Mar 22 05:07:28 2005

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