NumPy / Sklearn performance comparison - macOS, Ubuntu, Windows 10 - use Anaconda

One of the advantages to use a Hackintosh is that you can try the same software on the same hardware across three operating systems: how does NumPy - and therefore Sklearn - perform across different operating systems and mathematics libraries?


I created a simple Sklearn routine, which utilises a single thread for its calculations.


Results

Hardware Os Python Math library Comment Time (s)
Macbook Air m1 MacOS Big Sur 3.9.1 CBLAS/LAPACK Anaconda install 22
Intel 9600k Ubuntu 20.04 3.8.5 OpenBLAS standard apt and pip install 27
Intel 9600k Ubuntu 20.04 3.9.0 OpenBLAS standard apt and pip install 27
Intel 9600k MacOS Catalina 3.8.5 MKL Hackintosh with Clover,
Anaconda install
28
Intel 9600k Windows 10 3.8.5 MKL Anaconda install 28
Intel 9600k MacOS Big Sur 3.9.1 OpenBLAS Hackintosh with OpenCore,
brew and pip install
29
Intel 9600k MacOS Big Sur 3.8.7 OpenBLAS Hackintosh with OpenCore,
brew and pip install
32
Intel 9600k MacOS Catalina 3.8.7 OpenBLAS Hackintosh with Clover,
brew and pip install
33
Intel 9600k Ubuntu 20.04 3.7.9 MKL Anaconda Intel proprietary
Python+Numpy
34
Macbook Pro i5-7360U MacOS Catalina 3.8.5 MKL Anaconda install 38
Intel NUC N8280 Ubuntu 20.04 3.8.5 OpenBLAS standard apt and pip install 181
Raspberry Pi 4 Raspbian Linux 10 3.7.3 181


Visually, displaying only the same hardware (9600k)





Findings


There were three surprising findings:

First, the way Python and NumPy are installed does matter a lot: Anaconda's libraries are optimised and will give you an obvious performance edge compared to brew install. Install these using Anaconda instead of brew on macOS.

Second, setting up the development environment on Ubuntu was by far the easiest. Not only apt installed everything right away (no need for brew on Anaconda), the installed libraries were highly optimised and gave the extra performance that on macOS only the Anaconda install provided.

Third, the Apple M1 is really fast, even though it was fiddly to install NumPy - requires Anaconda, brew does not work. 


Takeaway message


Use the Anaconda installer - it is not only convenient, it is also highly optimised. Brew on macOS will not give you a good machine learning performance.

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