Desktop Survival Guide
by Graham Williams

Memory Management

Large datasets often present challenges for R on memory limited machines. While you may be able to load a large dataset, processing it and modelling may lead to an error indicating the memory could not be allocated.

To maximise R's capabilities on large datasets, be sure to run a 64bit operating system on a 64 bit platform (e.g., Debian GNU/Linux) on 64 bit hardware (e.g., AMD64) with plenty of RAM (e.g., 16GB). Such capable machines are now quite affordable.

Selecting and subsetting datasets off a database (e.g., through the RODBC package) or through other means (e.g., using Python) will generally be faster.


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