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Old 02-11-2011, 12:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default (New build) Heavy CFD and Transient simulation

I'm a mechanical engineering doing heavy simulation. I currently have a 4 years old Quad core running at 2.4ghz (Q6600 if I remember correctly) with 4 gb of ram. A standard simulation can take up to 16 hours and I'd like to reduce that time to at least 4 hours.

I don't know anything about computer and was wondering what route you guys would go. This is not a server or anything. It's a desktop computer and I still need to be able to play video games, drive my three 22'' monitors, have a spdif out and at least a high-quality low-power in (I play guitar and use my computer for fancy amp effects) and massive storage capacity with redudancies (currently have 500gb+ of data).

Budget would be around 3000$ and I won't reuse any piece from my current computer (I can cluster computer in most of my simulation program)

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Old 02-11-2011, 02:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: (New build) Heavy CFD and Transient simulation

Originally Posted by FractalGlitch View Post
I don't know anything about computer...
Does this mean you'd want to buy a pre-built computer or build one yourself?

If you chose the second option, I've been looking at these for quite some time, perhaps you'd be interested:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814150477 (2)

I made a few changes due to your larger budget (better processor):

With 2 graphics cards its: $2,314.90, not including shipping which is about $13 for me.

This is a significant upgrade from your current computer in terms of processing power, etc. I don't know how much time it will cut from your simulations...but it should do a good job. This gives you much more memory...probably more than you'd need, but it couldn't hurt with the simulations I thought. The dual gpu's will allow you to play any game within the near future..but you could get better ones with your budget.

Asus P5Q Motherboard * OC'ed Intel Core2 Quad Q9400 2.82ghz w/ Arctic Silver 5 * OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 1066ghz * Kingston Hyper X (2x2gb) DDR2 1066ghz * EVGA GTX 560 Ti Superclocked * Ultra X-Blaster ATX Mid-Tower * OCZ Vertex 2 120gb * WD Caviar Blue 500GB 7200 rpm * OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular PSU * Sony Optaric DVD Burner * Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit * 22" LG Flatron W2252TQ LCD * LG Flatron E2281

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Old 02-11-2011, 02:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: (New build) Heavy CFD and Transient simulation

Very nice. Its quite easy to do for $3k.

BTW 500Gig isn't much now adays.

Unfortunately, Intel just found a major oops in their newest product. If you can wait a month or so, it should be solved, you will get your best option.

Intel 2600 1155 chipset.

If you can wait, then I'd re ask when it comes back in stock, else I'll let someone else answer you.

Btw welcome to TF.
Foldie = i7 950@ 4.0Ghz Gigabyte x58a-ud3r EVGA 970 SC Corsair H100 Corsair hx520 3x2gb OCZ Gold Corsair 650D
Woohoo = L5639 @3.1Ghz EVGA SR-2 gtx 260-216 Hyper 212+ Corsair 1050hx 6x2gb Corsair XMS3 Blackhawk Ulra
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Old 02-12-2011, 03:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: (New build) Heavy CFD and Transient simulation

I'm building myself, this will be the second computer that I build.

What I know from experience:

- Simulation are not demanding on memory (only maxed out my 4gb 2 or 3 times on really huge project)
- they are demanding for processor (100% during 8 to 72 hours with simulation process in "real time")
- they don't use GPU at all

What I heard from ME simulation consultant (a friend of mine):

- Dual cpu might be a good way to go which would give me a lot more processing power for a small amount of money (but he don't have any experience with it)
- Xenon: you want the extra buffer
- Swapping his memory for faster one cut his time significantly
- COOLING!!! (actually what he wrote in his email)

My questions:

- Are dual CPUs really worth it? Am I getting basically 2 computers?
- Do they use the same memory? Are they going to be slowed down by memory access? Anyway to say like, two 4gb for this processor, the other two for this one...
- Xenon... are they really worth it?
- Any use for water cooling or extra moving pieces that can fail?
- All computer in industry are running nVidia Quadro... any reason to go with them instead of gaming card? (I do have problems doing rotations and zooms on some really large assemblies)
- I know GPUs are really powerful today, is there anyway way to make them do CPUs work without heavy modification to existing software/os/etc (which I have absolutely no access to)

BTW, 500gb is a baseline consisting of all my music, photos and other personal stuff. That actual data I have vary on what job I'm doing, what film need to be watched, etc. One simulation is about 300mb and I can do 500 of them before doing the actual analysis and being able to dump the data. I'm currently maxing out my 1tb drive.

I'm currently running one internal 100gb for system, one 1tb for data. I'm rsyncing every other day to two external 1tb drive and I do a weekly rotation of one of those drive with one that I keep in a bank safe. Does my backup strategy do the job or do I need to add some raid in that?

I know that's a lot of questions and a lot of unknown variables but every bit of answer are helping me. More simulation/day = more cash/day, that's what I'm looking for!

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Old 02-12-2011, 11:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: (New build) Heavy CFD and Transient simulation

Dual cpus are worth it IF the program can run 8 cores or more. Else a decent i7 sandybridge, 2600 line will be enough. Plus cases are hard to find for server boards

Heres a transcoding comparison of commom cpus: Core i5 2500K and Core i7 2600K review
As a extra, a 2600k overclocked to 4.5Ghz will crunch foldiing at home data as fast as a dual Xeon quad core setup.

As for a quatro, they are power house cards.... but you pay for it. They can add addition processing power if the program cqan use gpu acceleration, though a quality, nvidia card can be almost as good. Its writen into the program, so if the software says it can, just installing a card sets it up.

I was wondering how sims were done with only 500Gig...

I'd not watercool. Quality coolers will be just fine, ande you won't have to worry on long run times. Plus without larger overclocks heats usually not an issue.

I could spec an insane computer, but it'll be 4 to 5 grand.
dual Xeon 6 cores, evga sr-2 board 8 gig of ram.
Or dual amd 12 cores..

Youre best value will be determined if your programs are core dependant or speed dependant. You're doing something most of us aren't experts in.
Foldie = i7 950@ 4.0Ghz Gigabyte x58a-ud3r EVGA 970 SC Corsair H100 Corsair hx520 3x2gb OCZ Gold Corsair 650D
Woohoo = L5639 @3.1Ghz EVGA SR-2 gtx 260-216 Hyper 212+ Corsair 1050hx 6x2gb Corsair XMS3 Blackhawk Ulra
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