MATLAB vs Python Computational Speed

Windows Edition
Windows 8.1 Pro

Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-5500U CPU @ 2.4GHz
Installed Memory 8.00 GB
System Type 64 Bit Operating System, x64 Based Processor

Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
Enthought Canopy
Version (32 bit)

Operation Time in sec (MATLAB) Time in sec (PYTHON)
10 million uniform random variable generation 0.10 0.15
10 million normal random variable generation 0.13 0.40
for loop counting up to 100 million 0.40 11.60
Comparing two vectors of length 10 million each 0.39 0.55
Plotting a histogram of 10 million values 0.89 0.76
Plotting a scatter plot of 1 million values 0.30 0.23
Bit error rate calculation of BPSK for 10 values of SNR 2.49 4.51

Although Python is a bit slower than MATLAB for most of the cases but the real difference is in implementation of “for loop” where the speed of MATLAB is 29x that of Python. Another surprising result was that the plot functions for Python were somewhat faster than MATLAB.

Author: John (YA)

John has over 15 years of Research and Development experience in the field of Wireless Communications. He has worked for a number of companies around the world including Qualcomm Inc. USA. He has an MS in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech USA and has published his work in international journals and conferences.

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