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Difference of performance bewteen a core i5 and core i7?

asked 2011-01-30 00:09:37 -0600

mmarco gravatar image

updated 2011-04-28 11:03:31 -0600

Kelvin Li gravatar image

We are planning to use sage for a calculus course,and got some money to buy a dedicated computer. There will be around 20 students using it simultaneously, doing mostly simple computations on it.

We have offers for an intel core i5 (4 threads) and a core i7 (8 threads), both with 16 gigs of RAM).

Would the difference in performance be worth the 100 euros of difference in the price?. Or stated in another form: how important is the number of threads of the processor for the performance of a sage server?

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answered 2011-01-30 06:11:28 -0600

niles gravatar image

I really don't know, but in general I would guess that more threads are especially valuable on a multiuser machine. The sage notebook server has been undergoing some recent changes, and I expect it would make good use of the additional threads. So I would say it's worth the extra cost, especially with a view to do more things in the future, but of course it's not my money . . .

You could probably get a more expert answer on the sage developer list: sage-devel (you do have to request permission to join, but it usually takes less than 24 hours to go through).

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answered 2015-10-28 04:57:48 -0600

pang gravatar image

If you plan to take exams and/or work with novices, I'd say it's worth it. It's not easy to jail each process and give it limited resources. If X students write an infinite loop, you server will collapse. The more threads and RAM you have, the greater X can get.

If you divide the available RAM into the total number of students, you're wasting resources, it's better to estimate the number of students that can write an infinite loop that appends to a list, and not hit interrupt and/or restart on time.

In my experience, the probability of a student blowing the server is higher on a exam than on a regular class, and it's higher in combinatorics or number theory, average on linear algebra, lower on calculus (unless the exercise involves symbolic integration of non-trivial functions).

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Asked: 2011-01-30 00:09:37 -0600

Seen: 357 times

Last updated: Oct 28 '15