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Dinh Anh Vu
Dinh Anh Vu

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How stupidly expensive is Matlab for Deep Learning?

Thank to Xuan Vu Nguyen for some discussions.

With Python, you have Tensorlow 2/Keras (free), PyTorch/Lightning (free), Jupyter Notebook (free). You can even use Google Colab if you don't own a decent gpu.

With Matlab (perpetual license), you have to buy Matlab for 2.3K USD
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DeepLearning ToolBox for 1.3K USD
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and to use that tool box with gpu, you have to buy Parallel Computing Toolbox for 1.1K USD
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Not mention that Matlab often consume much hardware resources so you may need a better cpu, ram, hard disk. (You guess right, you have to pay even more).

MathWork, do you even research what people demand? What people need? No one is going to pay 4.7K USD for a deep learning enviroment with matlab (a crappy framework with a stupid language) because they spend money on GPU already.

Discussion (6)

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lepinekong profile image
lepinekong

Big corps are always willing to pay ;)

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dinhanhx profile image
Dinh Anh Vu Author

I am not sure about that. Big corps like Microsoft, Google, Facebook uses Python ecosystem for deep learning. Also I don't think they are willing to pay for 5K usd software that can't even let them be more productive and more profit than free software. Let say you in a big corp which provide some Deep Learning service such as face recognition. With matlab, you have to buy matlab server tool and hire someone to maintain it. You will pay even more. Then you are forced to rise the price of your service. People won't even want to pay for your service because cheaper service (powered by Python ecosystem) is available. Consequently you invest a fortune but you don't gain much.

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lepinekong profile image
lepinekong • Edited on

By Big Corps I mean the traditional ones like Big Banks and Insurances that I have seen they don't care about the prices when they can justify on the contrary because the Prestige of a Manager comes from Big Budget ;)

Apart from that existing assets are more costfull to redevelop and they don't want to risk business disruption which also means $$$ risk.

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dinhanhx profile image
Dinh Anh Vu Author

I understand your point. It is hard for people to change.

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cess11 profile image
PNS11

It's a weird comparison, the python libs are used by software developers while Matlab targets engineers in other fields.

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dinhanhx profile image
Dinh Anh Vu Author • Edited on

There are python libs for other fields engineers. In PyTorch ecosystem, there are TorchDrug (for Chemistry). You know AstraZeneca? It's a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company. Every their research was done with PyTorch ecosystems. Or in biology, Python provides you scikit-bio. Or in space application, there is SolarY.

Here please keep in mind that I only compare matlab with python in deep learning field. Matlab deep learning toolbox provides you computer vision, signal processing, reinforcement learning, radar, and lidar. In constrast, Python deep learning ecosystem (either Tensorflow or PyTorch) literally aims every other field.

In conclusions, Python libs are not only used by software developers. They are used and developed by other researchers from other fields. Matlab deep learning does aim researchers in computer science.