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Is the amount of hard drive space used when a variable is saved to a .mat file equivalent to the amount of RAM the variable requires when loaded into the workspace?

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Leonard on 27 Jul 2017
Answered: Walter Roberson on 27 Jul 2017
I am working on large, multidimensional images and recently got an error in R2017a for my variable being too large (~33GB when I only have 32GB of RAM). I made a slight adjustment to decrease the size of my array and everything worked as expected.
However, once I saved the variable as a .mat file I found that the file is quite a bit smaller, ~193MB.
Why is that the case, and will there be issues when I attempt to load the file into my workspace?


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