What is best processor for complex excel workbook?
Hello - Can you please advise; I am running very complex excel workbooks with
thousands of formulas, which may take 60 seconds or more to regenerate
when a change is made. Assuming I max out at 8GB ram, what would be
the best type and specific CPU chip to use to speed this up?
Assume the spreadsheet is optimized, so the only change that can be made
is in the CPU. I don't want to buy a high end I7, for example, if it wouldn't
make that much difference, as I am not sure if the increased CPU capacity
translates into improved performance on this specific excel application.
I have read that sometimes increased CPU capacity may not make much
difference on excel because of the processes involved, which I find hard
to believe. But would appreciate your input.
Last edited by developer1000; 03-07-2012 at 07:39 PM.
Will depend on what version of Excel you are using, the structure of your worksheet and if you want to get into overclocking.
The following is a para-phrased summary from the Microsoft site,
Versions of Microsoft Excel earlier than Excel 2007 use a single thread for all worksheet calculations. In this case it doesn't make sense to get a 6 or 8 core CPU.
Starting in Excel 2007, Excel splits calculation across multiple processors or cores. When Excel loads a workbook, it determines from the operating system how many processors are available and then creates a separate calculation thread for each processor.
The degree of improvement depends on how many independent calculation trees the workbook contains. If you make a workbook that contains one continuous chain of formulas, it will not show any multithreaded calculation (MTC) performance gain, whereas a workbook that contains several independent chains of formulas will show gains close to the number of processors available.
So if you are single threaded, and don't want to overclock, then maybe the Intel Core i7-2700K or Intel Core i7-3820 is the best.
If you are multi-threaded to more than 8 formula chains, then have a look at Intel Core i7-3960X, Intel Core i7-3930K or AMD Opteron 6274.
The only sure way to know is to do some testing with your particular Excel workbook.
You can't go wrong with a Core i7 2600k or i7 2700k.
With both single-threaded and multi-threaded tasks, they deliver exceptional performance at a reasonable price.
Thanks to Admin. and godfather; I've been testing my excel worksheet on
Excel 2007 on different computers including I5's and I7's. Your detailed
input is appreciated; I am going to evaluate this based on # threads, etc.
Will update. Thanks again.
Have a look at the CPU load in task manager to see if all the available cores get fully loaded while the calculations take place.
If you can hit 100% CPU usage on 4 cores, then 8 cores might be beneficial. If you can't get to 100% on 2 or 4 cores, then more cores isn't going to help much.
Also you should consider upgrading to Excel 2010.
Excel 2010 has a 64bit version, so it can use more RAM, which can improve performance. It also have further improvements for multicore CPUs.
Better software can often produce much better speed improvements than better hardware.