Is this normal performance for matlab?

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I am trying to plot a surface plot from a 10000x10000 matrix, however i am running into difficulties as far as performance is concerned.
Running on t6500 2.1 dual core cpu (core 2 duo) ,4gb of ram and 4gb of swap. gpu-4570 amd. running on 64 bit linux.
For testing purposes i created a random matrix and attempted to plot it as a surface plot:
R = sprand(10000,10000,0.3);
surf(R )
However i very quickly (matter of seconds) ran out of memory, after about 2 minutes ram usage was 98%, swap 100% and still no plot... Reducing to 1000x1000 matrix plots in about 3 seconds.
Is this due to my system being too slow or is it something i am doing wrong?

Accepted Answer

per isakson
per isakson on 24 Mar 2013
Edited: per isakson on 27 Mar 2013
With R2012a,64bit,Win7,8GB
R = sprand( 1000, 1000, 0.3 );
surf( R )
crashes my Matlab. Are you sure surf is supposed to take a sparse matrix?
[Added 2013-03-27]
I repeated the experiment with the three different Renderers. First a copy from the "command history"
%-- 2013-03-27 11:12 --%
R = sprand( 1000, 1000, 0.3 );
surf( R )
surf( R )
%-- 2013-03-27 11:25 --%
R = sprand( 1000, 1000, 0.3 );
surf( R )
%-- 2013-03-27 11:35 --%
  • with zbuffer surf( R ) worked fine
  • with opengl Matlab crashed directly
  • with painters surf( R ) had not displayed any result after some minutes. Cntrl+C made Matlab quit.
Restart of Matlab. Which Renderer is default?
>> get( gcf, 'renderer' )
ans =
>> get( gcf, 'renderermode' )
ans =
>> opengl info
Version = 3.2.0
Vendor = NVIDIA Corporation
Renderer = Quadro NVS 420/PCI/SSE2
per isakson
per isakson on 27 Mar 2013
Why not tell us how you solved the problem?

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