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Any suggestions for a PC or server for using OpenFOAM?

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Old   May 29, 2014, 09:04
Exclamation Any suggestions for a PC or server for using OpenFOAM?
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Tushar Chourushi
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Dear FOAMERS,

I read few threads it seems OpenFOAM installation is difficult on Linux based servers.
For my work I need to reduce my computation time (high priority). I would be glad if anyone of you please let me know what should I look in an ideal machine.

I have some doubts:
(1) Should I go for intel-xeon (high core processor) or core i7 (processor) computer ?
(2) If I go for server, which server you will suggest, I don't have much knowledge about servers. Which Linux based servers are better for OpenFOAM work ?

Thanks in Advance
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Old   June 9, 2014, 04:23
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Don't worry, OpenFOAM is incredibly simple to install on Linux. It is in fact more difficult installing on anything else. CentOS for example: http://www.openfoam.org/download/rhel.php has approx. 10 lines of code to copy and paste and you're good to go.

1) Your processor choice isn't critical. Personally I would go for i7, you get better value in terms of performance for money. FLOPS (or GFLOPS) is still perhaps the best metric to compare CPU's for CFD.

2) I'm not sure what you mean by which server? You'll need Linux regardless of your choice between Xeon and Core i7. Performance between Linux is fairly similar. My personal preference is CentOS, though I've used Ubuntu with similar results.
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Old   June 9, 2014, 04:58
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Thanks for the reply.

(1) processors:

Quote:
1) You'll need Linux regardless of your choice between Xeon and Core i7. Performance between Linux is fairly similar.
Are you sure about this? Please refer link below for more info.

42% gain from dual E5-2643 to i7-3930K (x2)

As far as i7 is concerned it is quad(4) core processor. Intel Xeon processors are available in higher number of cores (4, 6, 10..).

Which will be the best choice for saving computational time?


(2) Servers:

Can you please refer the following weblink for servers:

http://www.oracle.com/us/products/se...iew/index.html

The above link shows different types of servers. I am interested to know about these servers.

Has anyone tried installation of OpenFOAM on these servers?

-----------

Thanks in Advance
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Old   June 9, 2014, 05:36
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1) I can't comment with certainty on others work, but I would strongly suspect Linux was used on those cases. And yes, performance between Linux Distributions is very similar (CentOS, Ubuntu, whatever you prefer). The link you provided talks about processors, not about Linux.

Of course increased core count will help. But I stand by my point of performance for the money. Take that link as an example: The Xeon may be 45% faster, but it's significantly more expensive. Take for example an Intel Core i7-3700 at 215 with 120 GFLOPS compared to an Intel Xeon E5-2667 v2 at 1,900 with 500 GFLOPS. The Xeon is 4x the performance for 9x the price... I'd take the i7, much better value!

2) Oracle produce enterprise database software, and their hardware reflects this. It would seem a little odd to spend a lot of money on an Oracle database server to run CFD.

If you are running CFD personally, a high-end desktop will likely suffice. A decent i7 with plenty of RAM gives you 4 cores (hyperthreaded, making 8 compute cores) and will run cases quickly enough depending on cell count. You can even buy dual CPU motherboards to push the computational count to 16. I would strongly advise you stay away from servers and clusters until you understand the fundamentals of OpenFOAM and hardware required for CFD.
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Old   June 9, 2014, 05:55
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Thanks for taking time out in reading those links and commenting on these.

Presently, the main objective is to reduce the computational time and so money comes secondary. (it's not for personal use)

Also, about servers I would like to know if anyone worked on it? Is it possible to install OpenFOAM on these? (I know nothing comes easy)

If server installation is possible, then which Linux-based server I should look for?

-------------------------------

Best Regards!
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Old   June 9, 2014, 06:12
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Of course you can install OpenFOAM. Servers and clusters/HPC alike use Linux, hence you can follow a very similar process as if you were installing on a desktop. If you want to buy something ready made, SGI make decent clusters. Could be worth contacting them. Be warned, HPC doesn't come cheap.
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Old   June 9, 2014, 06:32
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Okay,

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Best Regards
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Old   July 16, 2014, 06:39
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We use the Xeon E5 in the clusters we build for ourselves and for others. We think it provides the best value for money.

Like Glypo we also use Centos for our OS to run.


Good luck with the the HPC hunt.
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Old   July 17, 2014, 03:34
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Thank you for your comment..

Can I have your contact? I would like to know more about the same in detail.
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Old   July 17, 2014, 03:35
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I'll PM you as I got told off last time I did that!
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