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A method is presented for calculating structure factors by Fourier inversion of a model electron density map. The cost of this method and of the standard methods are analyzed as a function of number of atoms, resolution, and complexity of space group. The cost functions were scaled together by timing both methods on the same problem, with the same computer. The FFT method is 3½ to 7 times less expensive than conventional methods for non-centrosymmetric space groups.
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