[OS X TeX] What kind of operation is TeXing? (concerning hardware)

Gary L. Gray gray at engr.psu.edu
Thu Feb 3 20:02:29 CET 2005

On Feb 3, 2005, at 11:40 AM, Steffen Wolfrum wrote:

> Hi,
> I am thinking about to buy a Mac Mini (1.42 MHz).
> Reading some reviews I noticed that a lack of this machine are 
> disk-intensive
> operations – for the hard drive seems to be relatively slow.
> As my very main target by buying a new Mac is to have TeX (ConTeXt, 
> XeTeX)
> executed fast (at a resonable price: no option for dual G5!), I would 
> like to
> ask you for an advice:
> What kind of operation is TeXing (i.e. running texexec --pdf in the 
> terminal)?
> What kind of components are important for this (fast processor, lots 
> of RAM,
> fast harddrive)?

Echoing the response in the other message I just quoted, it has been my 
experience that TeX scales linearly with processor speed.

> And is a Mac Mini (1.42 MHz) a good idea, or do you recommend an other 
> machine
> (at a comparable price)?

It would be a wonderful machine for doing TeX. You can get nice 17" LCD 
displays for not much more than $200 (US) and nice 19" displays for 
less than $300. For example, the Princeton SENergy 714 even has a DVI 
connector. Please don't get a Dell. :-)

-- Gary
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