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Hardware recommendations for IBM SPSS Statistics software



Does IBM have any hardware recommendations for IBM SPSS Statistics software?

Resolving The Problem

Each IBM SPSS Statistics software program has different hardware and operating system requirements. See the product listing for your software on the IBM website for individual product system requirements.

Be advised that system requirements for an IBM SPSS Statistics software program indicate the minimum requirements for the software program to operate. Meeting the minimum specifications will allow for a minimum of performance. If the tasks that you are performing involve very large data files or very complex analyses or both, it is advised that your hardware platform exceed the minimum specifications.

It is impossible for IBM to provide specific recommendations for hardware platform specifications, as each customer's needs are different. However, the following information attempts to provide general guidelines for IBM SPSS Statistics customers with regard to hardware.

Hard Disk Drive Space
Allow enough disk space. The rule of thumb is you have to have four times the free hard disk space available as your SPSS data file's size is. So if your data file is 2Gig in size then you will need 8Gigs free.

Random Access Memory (RAM)
Consider adding as much RAM as (1) your operating system and/or (2) your hardware supports. For operating system and hardware support information, see the documentation of your vendor.

Processor (CPU) Speed
In general, a faster processor is better than a slower one. This is true whether the processor is single-core or multi-core. Frequently, in processor descriptions, the speed of all of the cores combined is used to report the processor speed. For those SPSS programs that do NOT support multiple core processors, the only relevant speed indicator is the speed of one of the cores.

Generally speaking, get as much resources as your budget allows.

In terms of working with large data files, if you feel you are running into performance issues, it may be better to work on a subset of the data instead of having the entire data file open in one instance of your IBM SPSS Statistics software program. If your data is large, and the analyses you are performing does not require all of the variables or cases, consider creating subsets of the larger dataset.

** Some Specific Recommendations for Microsoft Windows Operating Systems **
In the case of workstation computers using Microsoft Windows operating systems, performance issues can sometimes be addressed by making changes to the manner in which the operating system makes use of available hardware/software resources. The following changes have been known, in some cases, to improve system performance.

The procedure described in (A) frees up memory by adjusting the quality of the Windows graphical user interface (GUI).


  1. Close all open programs.
  2. Open System Properties (Control Panel > System).
  3. Select or 'Advanced System Settings' in left-side column.
  4. Select 'Advanced' (tab).
  5. Locate 'Performance' (section).
  6. Select 'Settings' (button).
  7. Select 'Visual Effects' (tab).
  8. Select 'Adjust for best performance' (option).
  9. Select 'Apply' (button).
  10. Select 'OK' (button).

The procedure described in (B) is designed to improve performance by establishing a set size for the Windows 'page' (or 'swap') file. The page file is an area on the host machine hard drive that is used to supplement random access memory (RAM) when existing RAM is insufficient. Since hard drive performance is -- under most situations -- slower than RAM performance, any use of the page file will reduce performance. However, if a page file is required, eliminating the necessity for Windows to adjust the size of the page file can improve Windows' use of the page file.


  1. Close all open programs.
  2. Open System Properties (Control Panel > System).
  3. Select or 'Advanced System Settings' in left-side column.
  4. Select 'Advanced' (tab).
  5. Locate 'Performance' (section).
  6. Select 'Settings' (button).
  7. Select 'Advanced' (tab).
  8. Locate 'Processor scheduling' (section).
  9. Confirm/Select 'Programs' (option).
  10. Locate 'Memory usage' (section).
  11. Confirm/Select 'Programs' (option).
  12. Locate 'Virtual memory' (section).
  13. Select 'Change' (button).
  14. Adjust 'Initial size' to 'Recommended' (or largest allowable value).
  15. Adjust 'Maximum' size' to 'Recommended' (or largest allowable value).
  16. If changes were made, select the 'Set' button.
  17. You may be warned that the computer will have to be restarted to apply changes. If so, select 'OK'.
  18. Select 'OK' button until all windows are closed.
  19. If changes were made to virtual memory setting, you will be prompted to restart the computer.
  20. Close all open programs/windows.
  21. Restart the computer.

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Modified date:
16 April 2020