What to buy: P4s vs. PIIIs, Windows vs. Linux

What to buy: P4s vs. PIIIs, Windows vs. Linux

Post by Barry M. Wis » Sat, 27 Oct 2001 09:25:33



OK, so here is a question that LOTS of folks are liable to
 have an opinion on:

 I'm trying to figure out what sort of a computer to buy.
 My only reason to own something other than a Mac is to
 run MATLAB, so I don't care if it does anything well
 except that, that's all it will be used for. So....if
 you had to buy something right now, would you opt for
 a P4 or still stick with a PIII? Is there any performance
 advantage of Linux over Windows 2000? (No XP for me, please!)
 If you were looking for a lot of RAM (say 1G or so), CD-RW/DVD,
 40G+ HD, and had a budget of ~$3K, what would you get?

 Thanks in advance!

 BMW

 Barry M. Wise, Ph.D.
 President
 Eigenvector Research, Inc.

 
 
 

What to buy: P4s vs. PIIIs, Windows vs. Linux

Post by Yuval Cohe » Sat, 27 Oct 2001 12:09:33


How about an AMD?
 I have several PCs in my office. I am running Matlab on Win2K. I
 realized that Athlons perform better than P4s.
 The P4 I use is rated at 1.5GHz, 512MB RAM and the Athlon at 1.2GHz,
 512MB RAM.
 Nevertheless, the Athlon is always faster and in some cases by as
 much as %50 (especially long FFT and FIR calculations).

 I didnt have a chance to try out the new Athlon-XP yet. I have
 strong indications to believe that it will perform better than the
 one I have now.

 
 
 

What to buy: P4s vs. PIIIs, Windows vs. Linux

Post by Zdenek Hurá » Sat, 27 Oct 2001 16:39:02


Note however, that P4 is not officially supported by Matlab.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------
Zdenek Hurak, Center for Applied *netics,
Czech Technical University, Prague, Czech Republic

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------


Quote:> OK, so here is a question that LOTS of folks are liable to
>  have an opinion on:

>  I'm trying to figure out what sort of a computer to buy.
>  My only reason to own something other than a Mac is to
>  run MATLAB, so I don't care if it does anything well
>  except that, that's all it will be used for. So....if
>  you had to buy something right now, would you opt for
>  a P4 or still stick with a PIII? Is there any performance
>  advantage of Linux over Windows 2000? (No XP for me, please!)
>  If you were looking for a lot of RAM (say 1G or so), CD-RW/DVD,
>  40G+ HD, and had a budget of ~$3K, what would you get?

>  Thanks in advance!

>  BMW

>  Barry M. Wise, Ph.D.
>  President
>  Eigenvector Research, Inc.

 
 
 

What to buy: P4s vs. PIIIs, Windows vs. Linux

Post by JC Sabe » Sat, 27 Oct 2001 17:30:00



> OK, so here is a question that LOTS of folks are liable to
>  have an opinion on:

>  I'm trying to figure out what sort of a computer to buy.
>  My only reason to own something other than a Mac is to
>  run MATLAB, so I don't care if it does anything well
>  except that, that's all it will be used for. So....if
>  you had to buy something right now, would you opt for
>  a P4 or still stick with a PIII? Is there any performance
>  advantage of Linux over Windows 2000? (No XP for me, please!)
>  If you were looking for a lot of RAM (say 1G or so), CD-RW/DVD,
>  40G+ HD, and had a budget of ~$3K, what would you get?

>  Thanks in advance!

>  BMW

Like others suggested, I'd buy Athlon. A few weeks ago a similar
question was posted in this newsgroup. If you search for it in the
newsgroup archives, you will probably be able to retrieve the thread.
If I recall correctly, someone compared different platforms for
their Matlab performance. AMD came out as the clear winner.

Given your budget, I would buy an Athlon motherboard with VIA KT266A
chipset and the fastest Athlon XP processor (1800+ ??), 1 GB DDR-SDRAM
(make sure it's CL2, most used is CL2.5, but this is somewhat slower
(CL stands for CAS Latency)) and a fast hard disk (at least 7200 rpm).

You can find performance comparisons of motherboards and CPU's on
several hardware review sites such as Tom's Hardware pages or
Anandtech:
Tom's Hardware:  http://www.tomshardware.com/
Anandtech:       http://www.anandtech.com/

Hope this helps you,
Jan Cees Sabel

 
 
 

What to buy: P4s vs. PIIIs, Windows vs. Linux

Post by Joshua Baker-LePai » Sat, 27 Oct 2001 21:35:31



Quote:>  I'm trying to figure out what sort of a computer to buy.
>  My only reason to own something other than a Mac is to
>  run MATLAB, so I don't care if it does anything well
>  except that, that's all it will be used for. So....if
>  you had to buy something right now, would you opt for
>  a P4 or still stick with a PIII? Is there any performance

As many people have said, I would tend to recommend going with
an Athlon.  Your bang/$ is much higher -- a 1.53GHz AthlonXP
(i.e. the 1800+) with 1GB of DDR SDRAM is going to be much
cheaper than a 2GHz P4 with 1GB of RDRAM.  Do *not*, under any
circumstances, but a P4/SDRAM system.

That being said, the only way to know for sure which system is best
for you is to run *your* code on sample systems and see which runs
better.  RDRAM *does* have huge bandwidth, and that can help out
for some types of computations.  OTOH, it's latency is higher and that,
combined with the P4's deep pipeline, can mean big penalties for
problems with more random memory access.

Quote:>  advantage of Linux over Windows 2000? (No XP for me, please!)

For our code, we found Matlab/Linux to be faster than Matlab/NT.  We
haven't re-benchmarked with 2K.  And, of course, Linux is just
plain better.  ;)

Quote:>  If you were looking for a lot of RAM (say 1G or so), CD-RW/DVD,
>  40G+ HD, and had a budget of ~$3K, what would you get?

AthlonXP 1800+, as much RAM as the mb will hold, and spend the money
saved over a P4 solution on a nice big monitor.  :)

--
Joshua Baker-LePain
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Duke University

 
 
 

What to buy: P4s vs. PIIIs, Windows vs. Linux

Post by Mark Klei » Sat, 27 Oct 2001 21:41:48


Sure it is Zdenek:

http://www.veryComputer.com/

-Mark


> Note however, that P4 is not officially supported by Matlab.

> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
--
> --------
> Zdenek Hurak, Center for Applied *netics,
> Czech Technical University, Prague, Czech Republic

> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
--
> --------


> > OK, so here is a question that LOTS of folks are liable to
> >  have an opinion on:

> >  I'm trying to figure out what sort of a computer to buy.
> >  My only reason to own something other than a Mac is to
> >  run MATLAB, so I don't care if it does anything well
> >  except that, that's all it will be used for. So....if
> >  you had to buy something right now, would you opt for
> >  a P4 or still stick with a PIII? Is there any performance
> >  advantage of Linux over Windows 2000? (No XP for me, please!)
> >  If you were looking for a lot of RAM (say 1G or so), CD-RW/DVD,
> >  40G+ HD, and had a budget of ~$3K, what would you get?

> >  Thanks in advance!

> >  BMW

> >  Barry M. Wise, Ph.D.
> >  President
> >  Eigenvector Research, Inc.

 
 
 

What to buy: P4s vs. PIIIs, Windows vs. Linux

Post by Zdenìk Hurá » Sat, 27 Oct 2001 22:39:13


Sorry for desinformation. But I have been told so by my reseller.

Best regards

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------
Zdenek Hurak, Center for Applied *netics,
Czech Technical University, Prague, Czech Republic

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------


> Sure it is Zdenek:

> http://www.veryComputer.com/

> -Mark



> > Note however, that P4 is not officially supported by Matlab.

> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> --
> > --------
> > Zdenek Hurak, Center for Applied *netics,
> > Czech Technical University, Prague, Czech Republic

> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> --
> > --------


> > > OK, so here is a question that LOTS of folks are liable to
> > >  have an opinion on:

> > >  I'm trying to figure out what sort of a computer to buy.
> > >  My only reason to own something other than a Mac is to
> > >  run MATLAB, so I don't care if it does anything well
> > >  except that, that's all it will be used for. So....if
> > >  you had to buy something right now, would you opt for
> > >  a P4 or still stick with a PIII? Is there any performance
> > >  advantage of Linux over Windows 2000? (No XP for me, please!)
> > >  If you were looking for a lot of RAM (say 1G or so), CD-RW/DVD,
> > >  40G+ HD, and had a budget of ~$3K, what would you get?

> > >  Thanks in advance!

> > >  BMW

> > >  Barry M. Wise, Ph.D.
> > >  President
> > >  Eigenvector Research, Inc.

 
 
 

What to buy: P4s vs. PIIIs, Windows vs. Linux

Post by Peter Boettche » Sat, 27 Oct 2001 23:56:31



> Sure it is Zdenek:

> http://www.mathworks.com/products/system.shtml/Windows



> > Note however, that P4 is not officially supported by Matlab.

Sure, but performance is still horrible out-of-box, because for some
odd reason TMW did not bother to recompile ATLAS to take advantage of
the P4.  Under linux people have been successful recompiling for
themselves, with much-improved results.  I have not heard of anyone
doing it successfully under Windows.  (Maybe no one has tried?)

--
Peter Boettcher
MIT Lincoln Laboratory                  

(781) 981-5275

 
 
 

What to buy: P4s vs. PIIIs, Windows vs. Linux

Post by Barry M. Wis » Sun, 28 Oct 2001 00:25:45


 >>  If you were looking for a lot of RAM (say 1G or so), CD-RW/DVD,
 >>  40G+ HD, and had a budget of ~$3K, what would you get?
 >
 > AthlonXP 1800+, as much RAM as the mb will hold, and spend
 > the money saved over a P4 solution on a nice big monitor.  :)

 Lots of folks think Athlons are the thing (and yes, I went
 back and read some of the old thread on this). So what
 manufacturer? Looking through IBM, HP and DELL websites
 I didn't see any Athlons featured (maybe I didn't look
 hard enough, but it sure wasn't obvious). Who is reliable
 and uses Athlons?

 BMW

 
 
 

What to buy: P4s vs. PIIIs, Windows vs. Linux

Post by Tony Christne » Sun, 28 Oct 2001 02:39:56


The only advantage that I have seen for a P4 over the Athlon is that the P4 can survive a catastrophic loss of it's cooling mechanism. Note that this is only a problem if the
heatsink physically falls off (which CAN happen during shipping or a prebuilt system.) That said, I am currently typing this on an Athlon with MATLAB running and couldn't be
happier with it, even though it is about 100x louder than my Mac at home.



>  >>  If you were looking for a lot of RAM (say 1G or so), CD-RW/DVD,
>  >>  40G+ HD, and had a budget of ~$3K, what would you get?

>  > AthlonXP 1800+, as much RAM as the mb will hold, and spend
>  > the money saved over a P4 solution on a nice big monitor.  :)

>  Lots of folks think Athlons are the thing (and yes, I went
>  back and read some of the old thread on this). So what
>  manufacturer? Looking through IBM, HP and DELL websites
>  I didn't see any Athlons featured (maybe I didn't look
>  hard enough, but it sure wasn't obvious). Who is reliable
>  and uses Athlons?

>  BMW

 
 
 

What to buy: P4s vs. PIIIs, Windows vs. Linux

Post by Jan Housk » Tue, 30 Oct 2001 05:47:54


Hi Zdenek,

being an employee of your reseller, I wonder - did someone from our
office really told you this with respect to MATLAB R12.1 (6.1)? This was
true for MATLAB R12 (6.0) but is not true for R12.1. Isn't this just old
info still circulating?

Jan


> Sorry for desinformation. But I have been told so by my reseller.

> Best regards

> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
> Zdenek Hurak, Center for Applied *netics,
> Czech Technical University, Prague, Czech Republic

> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------


> > Sure it is Zdenek:

> > http://www.veryComputer.com/

> > -Mark



> > > Note however, that P4 is not officially supported by Matlab.

> > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > --
> > > --------
> > > Zdenek Hurak, Center for Applied *netics,
> > > Czech Technical University, Prague, Czech Republic

> > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > --
> > > --------


> > > > OK, so here is a question that LOTS of folks are liable to
> > > >  have an opinion on:

> > > >  I'm trying to figure out what sort of a computer to buy.
> > > >  My only reason to own something other than a Mac is to
> > > >  run MATLAB, so I don't care if it does anything well
> > > >  except that, that's all it will be used for. So....if
> > > >  you had to buy something right now, would you opt for
> > > >  a P4 or still stick with a PIII? Is there any performance
> > > >  advantage of Linux over Windows 2000? (No XP for me, please!)
> > > >  If you were looking for a lot of RAM (say 1G or so), CD-RW/DVD,
> > > >  40G+ HD, and had a budget of ~$3K, what would you get?

> > > >  Thanks in advance!

> > > >  BMW

> > > >  Barry M. Wise, Ph.D.
> > > >  President
> > > >  Eigenvector Research, Inc.

--

====================================================================
Jan Houska                                           HUMUSOFT s.r.o.

http://www.veryComputer.com/                              180 00 Praha 8
tel: ++ 420 2 84011730                               Czech Republic
fax: ++ 420 2 84011740
====================================================================

 
 
 

What to buy: P4s vs. PIIIs, Windows vs. Linux

Post by Jan Housk » Tue, 30 Oct 2001 05:58:38


Hi,



>  >>  If you were looking for a lot of RAM (say 1G or so), CD-RW/DVD,
>  >>  40G+ HD, and had a budget of ~$3K, what would you get?

>  > AthlonXP 1800+, as much RAM as the mb will hold, and spend
>  > the money saved over a P4 solution on a nice big monitor.  :)

>  Lots of folks think Athlons are the thing (and yes, I went
>  back and read some of the old thread on this). So what
>  manufacturer? Looking through IBM, HP and DELL websites
>  I didn't see any Athlons featured (maybe I didn't look
>  hard enough, but it sure wasn't obvious). Who is reliable
>  and uses Athlons?

Compaq seems to have them in the Presario series, see
http://athome.compaq.com/default.asp?ProductLineId=441&page=families .

But, I'd personally go for some local "white box" if some reliable is
known.

Jan

====================================================================
Jan Houska                                           HUMUSOFT s.r.o.

http://www.humusoft.com                              180 00 Praha 8
tel: ++ 420 2 84011730                               Czech Republic
fax: ++ 420 2 84011740
====================================================================

 
 
 

1. Windows vs. Linux vs Unix

We have been fortunate enough to benchmark a model's performance on
two identical servers. One with Windows NT for servers, and the
other with Linux. The two servers each have 2 processors, spreed is
1.40 GHz, RAM is 1.26 GB and also the same storage 36 GB. The Unix
machine is not identical, but similar in most specs.

The same code is submitted on both (using -nojmv), it writes thousand
of files, because I want to test file IO, with the total size of
files reaching between 20 and 30 GB.

My guess was that Linux (and Unix) would outperform (because Windows
automatically takes 1/2 of all RAM avaiable) and I thought it would
have less overhead.

The model finished in about 15 hours in the Windows environment. It
has been running twice that long on Linux, and is not even half done.
 Unix performance looks similar to Linux.

Is this surprising to anyone?
Do you think my Linux system could be improved?
If you were forced to do this much file IO,what would you do to
improve performance?
Any other insights?

Everyone's perspectives on this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Steve

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