[R] strange slowness of plot

apjaworski@mmm.com apjaworski at mmm.com
Tue Jul 24 21:37:48 CEST 2001

I just ran into this strange behavior.

     y <- rnorm(1000)
     x <- seq(0, length=length(y))

     plot(x, y, type='l', lty=1)   - instantaneous
     plot(x, y, type='l', lty=2)   - 18s plotting lines + 15s plotting axes
= 33s
     plot(x, y, type='l', lty=3)   - 76s          ,,               + 75s
,,            = 151s
     plot(x, y, type='l', lty=4)   - 40s          ,,               + 38s
,,            = 78s

A couple of observations:
(1) The plots for lty>1 seem to be rendered in "one chunk", that is a blank
graphics window appears and stays blank until all the lines appear at once.
Then another long wait for axes.
(2) While waiting for the plot, the computer becomes totally unresponsive.
Typical ctr-alt-del does nothing.  Even pushing the power button does
nothing.  I originally attempted the lty=2 plot with several hundred
thousand observations.  The only way I could get my machine back was to
disconnect the power cord!

My system is as follows:
(1) IBM Intellistation with PIII 1GHz, 512Mb of RDRAM, 20Gb SCSI160 drive,
64Mb FireGL graphics card
(2) Windows 2000 Pro
(3) R-1.3.0 (original version)


Andy Jaworski
Engineering Systems Technology Center
3M Center, 518-1-01
St. Paul, MN 55144-1000
E-mail: apjaworski at mmm.com
Tel:  (651) 733-6092
Fax:  (651) 736-3122

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