Minumum memory requirements to run R.

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
11 messages Options
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Minumum memory requirements to run R.

Prof Brian Ripley
Quite a while back we set the goal of running R in 16Mb RAM, as people (I
think Kjetil) had teaching labs that small.

Since then R has grown, and we has recently started to optimize R for
speed rather than size.  I recently tested R-devel on my ancient Win98
notebook with 64Mb RAM -- it ran but startup was rather slow on what I
think is a 233MHz processor and very slow disc.

R still runs in 16Mb, but that is getting tight.  Does anyone have any
need to run on a smaller machine than my 64Mb notebook?

--
Brian D. Ripley,                  [hidden email]
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

______________________________________________
[hidden email] mailing list
https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Minumum memory requirements to run R.

Kjetil Halvorsen
Prof Brian Ripley wrote:
> Quite a while back we set the goal of running R in 16Mb RAM, as people (I
> think Kjetil) had teaching labs that small.

It's a while since I actually har R used on such small machines, I think
64 MB is quite acceptable now.

Kjetil

>
> Since then R has grown, and we has recently started to optimize R for
> speed rather than size.  I recently tested R-devel on my ancient Win98
> notebook with 64Mb RAM -- it ran but startup was rather slow on what I
> think is a 233MHz processor and very slow disc.
>
> R still runs in 16Mb, but that is getting tight.  Does anyone have any
> need to run on a smaller machine than my 64Mb notebook?
>

______________________________________________
[hidden email] mailing list
https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Minumum memory requirements to run R.

Liaw, Andy
In reply to this post by Prof Brian Ripley
From: Kjetil Brinchmann Halvorsen

>
> Prof Brian Ripley wrote:
> > Quite a while back we set the goal of running R in 16Mb
> RAM, as people (I
> > think Kjetil) had teaching labs that small.
>
> It's a while since I actually har R used on such small
> machines, I think
> 64 MB is quite acceptable now.
>
> Kjetil
>
> >
> > Since then R has grown, and we has recently started to
> optimize R for
> > speed rather than size.  I recently tested R-devel on my
> ancient Win98
> > notebook with 64Mb RAM -- it ran but startup was rather
> slow on what I
> > think is a 233MHz processor and very slow disc.
> >
> > R still runs in 16Mb, but that is getting tight.  Does
> anyone have any
> > need to run on a smaller machine than my 64Mb notebook?

I sure don't, but I wouldn't be surprised if one of these days someone
figures out how to get R to run on a video card...  (I recall that there was
a tutorial session at some datamining conference last year that showed
people how to use the GPU for numerical computation, so this may not be too
far fetched.)

Andy

______________________________________________
[hidden email] mailing list
https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Minumum memory requirements to run R.

Uwe Ligges
Liaw, Andy wrote:

> From: Kjetil Brinchmann Halvorsen
>
>>Prof Brian Ripley wrote:
>>
>>>Quite a while back we set the goal of running R in 16Mb
>>
>>RAM, as people (I
>>
>>>think Kjetil) had teaching labs that small.
>>
>>It's a while since I actually har R used on such small
>>machines, I think
>>64 MB is quite acceptable now.
>>
>>Kjetil
>>
>>
>>>Since then R has grown, and we has recently started to
>>
>>optimize R for
>>
>>>speed rather than size.  I recently tested R-devel on my
>>
>>ancient Win98
>>
>>>notebook with 64Mb RAM -- it ran but startup was rather
>>
>>slow on what I
>>
>>>think is a 233MHz processor and very slow disc.
>>>
>>>R still runs in 16Mb, but that is getting tight.  Does
>>
>>anyone have any
>>
>>>need to run on a smaller machine than my 64Mb notebook?
>
>
> I sure don't, but I wouldn't be surprised if one of these days someone
> figures out how to get R to run on a video card...  (I recall that there was
> a tutorial session at some datamining conference last year that showed
> people how to use the GPU for numerical computation, so this may not be too
> far fetched.)

If you want to run R on a videocard because of its enormous floating
point speed, you have access to quite a lot of RAM (fast cards already
have huge amounts of RAM). Well, my 20 EUR card has 32Mb only, but you
certainly don't want to perform calculations on it... ;-)

Are there already PCIe cards that support fast writing to the main
memory (not only fast reading)?

Uwe

>
> Andy
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel

______________________________________________
[hidden email] mailing list
https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Minumum memory requirements to run R.

Hin-Tak Leung-2
In reply to this post by Kjetil Halvorsen
Kjetil Brinchmann Halvorsen wrote:
> Prof Brian Ripley wrote:
>
>>Quite a while back we set the goal of running R in 16Mb RAM, as people (I
>>think Kjetil) had teaching labs that small.
>
> It's a while since I actually har R used on such small machines, I think
> 64 MB is quite acceptable now.

May I add another note to this - I recently upgraded to 64-bits (AMD
opteron) and noticed the memory foot print of R has shot up. Just
starting R takes up 90+MB virtual. There are correponding increases with
Python and Perl as well; I suspect R suffers a bit on 64-bit
platform due to extensive use of pointers internally. The fundamental
unit in R, SEXP, is 6 pointers + 1 int, (and another
pointer for itself). So I would probably say 64MB is questionable on
64-bit, but then probably nobody is stupid enough to do that...

For those who want to investigate the equivalent in Perl, the equivalent
perl headers corresponding to "R/include/Rinternals.h" is located at
the "-I" flags of the output of:

perl -MExtUtils::Embed -e ccopts

(no idea where python stores its stuff...)

Hin-Tak Leung

>
> Kjetil
>
>
>>Since then R has grown, and we has recently started to optimize R for
>>speed rather than size.  I recently tested R-devel on my ancient Win98
>>notebook with 64Mb RAM -- it ran but startup was rather slow on what I
>>think is a 233MHz processor and very slow disc.
>>
>>R still runs in 16Mb, but that is getting tight.  Does anyone have any
>>need to run on a smaller machine than my 64Mb notebook?
>>
>
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel

______________________________________________
[hidden email] mailing list
https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Minumum memory requirements to run R.

Prof Brian Ripley
On Mon, 23 Jan 2006, Hin-Tak Leung wrote:

> Kjetil Brinchmann Halvorsen wrote:
>> Prof Brian Ripley wrote:
>>
>>> Quite a while back we set the goal of running R in 16Mb RAM, as people (I
>>> think Kjetil) had teaching labs that small.
>>
>> It's a while since I actually har R used on such small machines, I think
>> 64 MB is quite acceptable now.
>
> May I add another note to this - I recently upgraded to 64-bits (AMD opteron)
> and noticed the memory foot print of R has shot up. Just starting R takes up
> 90+MB virtual.
That's a different question.  I said RAM, you quote virtual.  I am
suprised at your figure though, as I am used to seeing 40-50Mb virtual at
startup on an Opteron.

The distinction is important: even those small Windows machines had 100s
of Mb of virtual memory available, it was RAM that was in short supply.

> There are correponding increases with Python and Perl as well;
> I suspect R suffers a bit on 64-bit
> platform due to extensive use of pointers internally. The fundamental
> unit in R, SEXP, is 6 pointers + 1 int, (and another
> pointer for itself). So I would probably say 64MB is questionable on 64-bit,
> but then probably nobody is stupid enough to do that...

We know: we even document it in the appropriate places.

Some of us were running 64-bit R last century on machines with 128Mb (and
others with much more, of course).  When I tried in 1997, Solaris would
not run in 64-bit mode with 64Mb RAM (which then cost £1000 or so).

--
Brian D. Ripley,                  [hidden email]
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595
______________________________________________
[hidden email] mailing list
https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Minumum memory requirements to run R.

Hin-Tak Leung-2
Prof Brian Ripley wrote:
<snipped>
> That's a different question.  I said RAM, you quote virtual.  I am
> suprised at your figure though, as I am used to seeing 40-50Mb virtual
> at startup on an Opteron.

I am somewhat surprised by it as well. But there is nothing unusual
about the build - it is just rebuilding the rpm on CRAN on a FC4 system
with everything as shipped, and should be quite reproducible.
I'll probably have a better look in time.

"R --vanilla" doesn't improve. Still 90+ MB virtual, 20+MB resident.

> The distinction is important: even those small Windows machines had 100s
> of Mb of virtual memory available, it was RAM that was in short supply.

Yes and no. Virtual means it will possibly be used - and it is a big
gray scale between unresponsible/intolerably-slow and slow.

>> There are correponding increases with Python and Perl as well; I
>> suspect R suffers a bit on 64-bit
>> platform due to extensive use of pointers internally. The fundamental
>> unit in R, SEXP, is 6 pointers + 1 int, (and another
>> pointer for itself). So I would probably say 64MB is questionable on
>> 64-bit, but then probably nobody is stupid enough to do that...
>
>
> We know: we even document it in the appropriate places.

I went and have a look - it is the last section of R-admin (and of
course, for those who "read the source", R/include/Rinternals.h). It
would be good to mention this in the FAQ (which it doesn't, or maybe I
didn't look hard enough), or the beginning of R-admin?

> Some of us were running 64-bit R last century on machines with 128Mb
> (and others with much more, of course).  When I tried in 1997, Solaris
> would not run in 64-bit mode with 64Mb RAM (which then cost £1000 or so).
>

______________________________________________
[hidden email] mailing list
https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Minumum memory requirements to run R.

Thomas Lumley
On Mon, 23 Jan 2006, Hin-Tak Leung wrote:

> Prof Brian Ripley wrote:
>> We know: we even document it in the appropriate places.
>
> I went and have a look - it is the last section of R-admin (and of
> course, for those who "read the source", R/include/Rinternals.h). It
> would be good to mention this in the FAQ (which it doesn't, or maybe I
> didn't look hard enough), or the beginning of R-admin?
>

It's not in the FAQ because it isn't a FAQ (yet).

If you use the PDF manual it is in the table of contents on page i.

In the HTML manual it is admittedly less clear: there isn't a table of
contents and there is nothing obvious in the index. To some extent this is
a problem with all the manuals. The structure in the .texi file isn't
translated well to HTML form by the makeinfo tools.

  -thomas

______________________________________________
[hidden email] mailing list
https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Minumum memory requirements to run R.

Prof Brian Ripley
On Mon, 23 Jan 2006, Thomas Lumley wrote:

> On Mon, 23 Jan 2006, Hin-Tak Leung wrote:
>
>> Prof Brian Ripley wrote:

[About Ncell sizes on 64-bit platforms.]

>>> We know: we even document it in the appropriate places.
>>
>> I went and have a look - it is the last section of R-admin (and of
>> course, for those who "read the source", R/include/Rinternals.h). It
>> would be good to mention this in the FAQ (which it doesn't, or maybe I
>> didn't look hard enough), or the beginning of R-admin?
>>
>
> It's not in the FAQ because it isn't a FAQ (yet).
>
> If you use the PDF manual it is in the table of contents on page i.
>
> In the HTML manual it is admittedly less clear: there isn't a table of
> contents and there is nothing obvious in the index. To some extent this is a
> problem with all the manuals. The structure in the .texi file isn't
> translated well to HTML form by the makeinfo tools.

In my build there is a chapter in the HTML manual

  Choosing between 32- and 64-bit builds

in the top-level contents, and the information is in there.

It is also in ?Memory (a fairly obvious place).  It may be elsewhere, but
those are the most obvious places to me.

--
Brian D. Ripley,                  [hidden email]
Professor of Applied Statistics,  http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
University of Oxford,             Tel:  +44 1865 272861 (self)
1 South Parks Road,                     +44 1865 272866 (PA)
Oxford OX1 3TG, UK                Fax:  +44 1865 272595

______________________________________________
[hidden email] mailing list
https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Minumum memory requirements to run R.

Hin-Tak Leung-2
Prof Brian Ripley wrote:
<snipped>
> [About Ncell sizes on 64-bit platforms.]
<snipped>
> In my build there is a chapter in the HTML manual
>
>     Choosing between 32- and 64-bit builds
>
> in the top-level contents, and the information is in there.

Maybe the one on CRAN needs fixing...
http://cran.r-project.org/doc/manuals/R-admin.html

> It is also in ?Memory (a fairly obvious place).  It may be elsewhere,
> but those are the most obvious places to me.

I don't want to be argumentative, but the perpective of "obvious"
can often be quite different from one of the authors versus one of
the users...

The 32-bit/64-bit issue affects purchasing or upgrading decisions
- whether one wants to spend the money on buying cheaper
32-bit machines, versus more expensive 64-bit machines. That
decision would be based on information available while *not* having
an operational R installation...

Regards,
Hin-Tak Leung

______________________________________________
[hidden email] mailing list
https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Minumum memory requirements to run R.

Thomas Lumley
On Mon, 23 Jan 2006, Hin-Tak Leung wrote:
>
> The 32-bit/64-bit issue affects purchasing or upgrading decisions
> - whether one wants to spend the money on buying cheaper
> 32-bit machines, versus more expensive 64-bit machines. That
> decision would be based on information available while *not* having
> an operational R installation...
>

Not necessarily. It's perfectly feasible to use a 32-bit build on a 64-bit
machine, as it says in the manual, which is available from
http://www.r-project.org whether or not you have an R installation.

  -thomas

______________________________________________
[hidden email] mailing list
https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel