Python memory use (psyco, C++)

Paul Rubin http
Mon Jun 21 19:26:45 CEST 2004

Roy Smith <roy at> writes:
> I understand that psyco significantly increases memory use.  Is that for 
> code or data? 

It's for code.  Psyco generates code on the fly each time it hits a new
combination of datatypes anyplace in the code.

> More specifically, if I've got a memory intensive 
> application (it might use 100's of Mbytes of data), should I expect 
> memory use to go up significantly under psyco?

Probably not.

> Also, for that memory intensive application, how should I expect Python 
> memory use to compare with C++?  I'm really only interested in data; the 
> memory needed to store the code is almost certainly insignificant in 
> either case.
> The data is a large number of small objects, interconnected in various 
> data structures, not just one huge block of raw data.

If you just code straightforwardly, Python will use a lot more memory.
There may be simple, application-specific things you can do to reduce
the memory footprint.

> I know all of the above is very vague, but I'm just trying to get a 
> rough idea if a Python implementation is feasable (or at least 
> plausable).  If a C++ version takes 300 Mbytes and a Python version 
> takes 1 Gig, that's probably not going to work.  Are there any rules of 
> thumb I could use to get a first-order estimate?

There's a minimum of around 12 (?) bytes of overhead for any Python
object including integers.  So if your objects are all very small, you
will get killed.  

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