[R] 8 fast or 4 very fast cores?

Ben Bolker bbolker at gmail.com
Mon Sep 15 12:21:46 CEST 2014

Leif Ruckman <Leif <at> Ruckman.se> writes:

> I am going to buy a new computer ( Dell workstation T5810 - Windows 8) 
> to work with simulatons in R.
> Now I am asked what kind of processor I like and I was given two choices.
> 1. Intel Xeon E5-1620 v3 - 4 cores 3.7 GHz Turbo
> 2. Intel Xeon E5-2640 v3 - 8 cores 2.6 GHz Turbo
> I don't know what is better in simulations studies in R, a few very fast 
> cores or many cores at normal speed.

  It's **very** hard to answer such general questions reliably, but I'll
take a guess and say that if you're doing simulation studies you're likely
to be doing tasks that are easily distributable (e.g. many random
realizations of the same simulation and/or realizations for many
different sets of parameter values) and so the more-cores option
will be a good idea.

  But it's possible that what you mean by "simulation studies" is

  If you can do some benchmarking of your problems on an existing
machine that would probably be a good idea.

  Ben Bolker

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