Which Stata is right for you?
Stata/MP is the fastest and largest version of Stata. Virtually any current computer can take advantage of the advanced multiprocessing of Stata/MP. This includes the Intel i3, i5, i7, i9, Xeon, and Celeron, and AMD multi-core chips. On dual-core chips, Stata/MP runs 40% faster overall and 72% faster where it matters, on the time-consuming estimation commands. With more than two cores or processors, Stata/MP is even faster.
Stata/MP, Stata/SE, and Stata/IC all run on any machine, but Stata/MP runs faster. You can purchase a Stata/MP license for up to the number of cores on your machine (maximum is 64). For example, if your machine has eight cores, you can purchase a Stata/MP license for eight cores, four cores, or two cores.
Stata/MP can also analyze more data than any other flavor of Stata. Stata/MP can analyze 10 to 20 billion observations given the current largest computers, and is ready to analyze up to 1 trillion observations once computer hardware catches up.
Stata/SE and Stata/IC differ only in the dataset size that each can analyze. Stata/SE and Stata/MP can fit models with more independent variables than Stata/IC (up to 10,998). Stata/SE can analyze up to 2 billion observations.
Stata/IC allows datasets with as many as 2,048 variables and 2 billion observations. Stata/IC can have at most 798 independent variables in a model.
Numerics by Stata can support any of the data sizes listed above in an embedded environment.
All the above flavors have the same complete set of features and include PDF documentation.
Stata/MP is the fastest and largest version of Stata.
Almost every computer can take advantage of the advanced multi processing capabilities of Stata/MP. Stata/MP provides the most extensive multicore support of any statistics and data management package.
Performance of Stata/MP
Speed on multiple cores relative to speed on a single core Stata/MP is faster — much faster.
Stata/MP lets you analyze data in one-half to two-thirds the time compared with Stata/SE on inexpensive dual-core laptops and in one-quarter to one-half the time on quad-core desktops and laptops. Stata/MP runs even faster on multi-processor servers. Stata/MP supports up to 64 cores/processors.
Speed is often most crucial when performing computationally intense estimation procedures. A few of Stata's estimation procedures, including linear regression, are nearly perfectly parallelized, meaning they run twice as fast on two cores, four times as fast on four cores, eight times as fast on eight cores, and so on. Some estimation commands can be parallelized more than others. Taken at the median, estimation commands run 1.9 times faster on 2 cores, 3.1 times faster on 4 cores, and 4.3 times faster on 8 cores.
Speed can also be important when managing large datasets. Adding new variables is nearly 100 percent parallelized, and sorting is 75 percent parallelized.
Some procedures are not parallelized and some are inherently sequential, meaning they run the same speed in Stata/MP.
For a complete assessment of Stata/MP's performance, including command-by-command statistics, see the Stata/MP Performance Report
|Max. no. of variables||Max. no. of independent variables||Max. no. of observations|
*The maximum number of observations is limited by the amount of available RAM on your system.
Because speed is most important when your problems are big, Stata/MP supports even larger datasets than Stata/SE.
Stata/SE can analyze up to 2 billion observations. Stata/MP can analyze 10 to 20 billion observations on the largest computers currently available and is ready to analyze up to 1 trillion observations once computer hardware catches up. Stata/MP also allows 120,000 variables compared to 32,767 variables allowed by Stata/SE.
What computer should I use to run Stata/MP?Stata/MP
is a flavor of Stata that can perform symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) on a computer with multiple processors or cores.
Stata/MP licenses are not platform specific, and Stata/MP is available on all operating systems supported by Stata:
A computer’s processor is often called the central processing unit, or CPU. Computers can have multiple CPUs, and Stata/MP takes advantage of this design to process data faster.
Virtually all computers now have processors with multiple cores. A core is the computation engine of a CPU, consisting of integer and floating-point processing units. Thus a computer with one dual-core processor is similar to a computer with two processors. In fact, Stata/MP does not distinguish between CPUs and cores; it is designed to use systems with up to 64 cores—be they single core (one per CPU), dual core (two per CPU), or multicore (many perCPU).
Most manufacturers sell multiprocessor computers as servers. Thus your choice is to buy a desktop or laptop computer with a multi core CPU or a server with multiple processors, each of which likely have multiple cores. Having more processors/cores means that Stata/MP will run faster.
Be aware of the term “hyperthreaded”, however. Stata/MP runs faster on hyperthreaded processors, but not as fast as it would if you had full coresinstead of hyperthreads. Computers with multiple hyperthreaded processors are suitable for Stata/MP. The number of real processors is the critical factor.
Both Intel and AMD manufactured chips are appropriate for Stata/MP. You can use any version of Windows from Vista to 10 and newer, or you can use a Mac with macOS 10.9 or newer, to run Stata/MP.
Regardless of the system you buy, the most important thing you can do is to ensure that you have enough memory to hold 1.5 times the maximum data set size you plan to use.