# Re: storing an integer in a double precision

*From*: Lynn McGuire <lmc@xxxxxxxxxx>*Date*: Thu, 05 May 2011 12:35:12 -0500

On 5/5/2011 12:08 PM, Richard Maine wrote:

Lynn McGuire<lmc@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Is there a rule of thumb for the biggest integer that

I can store in a double precision variable without losing

the integer value due to round off ? BTW, I use a F77

compiler.

No particular "rule of thumb". Just look at the particular

representations. It doesn't have much to do with the version of Fortran,

but with the physical representation used for double precision (and, to

a lesser extent for integer, except that you won't run into any machines

that store integers in other than binary). Heck, it barely even has to

do with Fortran. (A little, but barely; the little has to do with how

Fortran compilers could select from different physical representations

supported by the hardware).

Look at how many bits are in the mantissa of the representation for

double. That's about how large an integer you could store without

roundoff. If you want the exact number, you have to look more carefully

and consider things like hidden bits (and on old IBM mainframes,

exponent radix). But for a rough approximation, just look at the number

of bits in the mantissa.

Most compilers these days use IEEE double, which has, if I recall

correctly, 53 bits in the mantissa. So your answer would be somewhere

around 2**53.

But, do double precision variables actually store 32 bit integers

that were converted but without roundoff ? So roundoff only comes

into play for whole numbers greater than 52 bits ?

Thanks,

Lynn

.

**Follow-Ups**:**Re: storing an integer in a double precision***From:*glen herrmannsfeldt

**Re: storing an integer in a double precision***From:*gmail-unlp

**Re: storing an integer in a double precision***From:*Gordon Sande

**Re: storing an integer in a double precision***From:*Richard Maine

**References**:**storing an integer in a double precision***From:*Lynn McGuire

**Re: storing an integer in a double precision***From:*Richard Maine

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