MATLAB Answers

Regarding the size of matrix that Matlab can handle

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liangjian 15 Feb 2012
Edited: Matt J 13 Oct 2013
How big matrix that matlab can handle? In my project, the program may need to generate and operate on a matrix with size of 50000*5000, and each entry is a double value.

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Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson 15 Feb 2012
Would this be a sparse matrix or not sparse?
liangjian 16 Feb 2012
Yes, it is sparse matrix. For instance, I need to use a third-party package, which is assumed to handle normal matrix only. Is there a way that I can save this matrix to a sparse matrix, and let it automatically be expanded when used by that third-party package.

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Titus Edelhofer
Titus Edelhofer 15 Feb 2012
it depends on version and operating system: on a 32Bit OS this will definetely fail, because the matrix would need about 1.8GB of memory. On a 64Bit machine (with reasonable new MATLAB release).
doc computer
shows the maximum number of elements allowed in an array.

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liangjian 16 Feb 2012
It is maybe a genenic question, how to get the approximate memory usage, like 1.8GB, based on the matrix size and element type?

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More Answers (2)

Andreas Goser
Andreas Goser 15 Feb 2012
On 32 bit Windows machines - still the most common platform - a practical size of matrices ends with about 500MB. Always remember that you need memory for the operation and simply loading is not enough.

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Gregory Vernon
Gregory Vernon 15 Feb 2012
You could look for ways to reduce your grid size. Are there symmetries you can take advantage of? Can you use a skewed or adaptive mesh? Do you NEED double precision?

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