OpenFOAM hardware under $1,800 ?
If you had only US$1,800 to spend on a system (excluding any peripheral) to use for OpenFOAM, what would you buy?
Here's my dilemma: Nowdays, you can get a multiGPU card (CUDA or OpenCL) for less than $500. As OpenFoam stands right now, it does not natively support GPUs. My guess is that in the near future it will. If I spend the dough in a modest GPU card (~$500), then I don't have much left for the motherboard+CPU+memory (~1,300). Intel and AMD both have tempting things to offer as they have tuned their multiprocessor CPUs for computations.
The computer would be mostly used to run SnappyHexMesh @ 3 to 4 million cells + simpleFoam or simplePorousFoam. What would you do? Or would you just buy CPU time at the amazon cloud and give the money to Mr. Bezos?
I'd buy a Core i7-3930K and any X79 motherboard with good reviews. 16gb memory should be enough for cases of that size, and buying faster memory will have a noticeable effect on simulation time. With a $500 video card that system would cost you around $1500.
I would not buy CPU time from Amazon. It is somewhat expensive, has too high latency to scale past 2 machines, and having worked with a remote cluster I can tell you that it can be quite frustrating. And doing CFD on the GPU has been on the horizon for at least five years... I wouldn't hold my breath.
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