[Pythonmac-SIG] Experiences with 64 bit on PowerMac G5s?

David M. Cooke cookedm at physics.mcmaster.ca
Thu Jan 26 22:56:36 CET 2006

Michael Barber <mjb at uma.pt> writes:

> I have been using Python for scientific computing on a variety of  
> systems, Mac and otherwise, with a recent focus on properties of  
> interaction networks. Until now, I have not needed to use more than  
> roughly 1 GB of RAM at a time. Thanks to some fairly straightforward  
> scaling properties, it is clear that the next version of the  
> interaction networks we're exploring will require more than 2GB of  
> RAM without some serious reworking of the programs.
> The simplest and most cost-effective solution appears to be just to  
> buy a 64 bit computer and load it up with 8 GB or so of RAM, and so  
> far a PowerMac G5 looks like a good solution. However, while I have a  
> lot of experience with Python on Macs, I've never used Python on one  
> of the G5s (or any other 64 bit machine), so would like to hear about  
> others' experiences with such a setup. The impression I have is that  
> it should be completely straightforward; is that so? Are there any  
> issues with compiling and running a 64-bit Python on a G5 that I  
> should be aware of? How about with Numeric or (better) numarray?

I don't know specifically about the G5, but Numeric, numarray, and
numpy are routinely compiled and run on 64-bit Athlon machines, so a
lot of the bugs and such have already been shaken out.

If possible, you should move from Numeric to numpy; one of the goals
for numpy was better 64-bit handling. But numarray may still be better
for extremely large arrays; haven't checked recently.

|David M. Cooke                      http://arbutus.physics.mcmaster.ca/dmc/
|cookedm at physics.mcmaster.ca

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