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Dual Xeon PIV 3.8Ghz vs 2x Dual Core E5130 2.0 GHz

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Old   July 31, 2009, 04:21
Default Dual Xeon PIV 3.8Ghz vs 2x Dual Core E5130 2.0 GHz
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Michiel
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I'm looking for a new workstation to use for FEM analysis and CFD. But i don't know what kind of processor will be best choice. Do you need multiple cores, or will a single core be faster for CFD applications?

I can buy two workstations for the same price. The first is equipped with two pentium 4 3.8 Ghz, and the second with two Xeon dual core 2.0 Ghz. Both worksations have DDR Ram, and i'm planning to start with 8 or 16 gb. I can rise the RAM up to 32 gb if necessary.

Some people say the pentium 4 can beat a dual core. But I think this depends on what kind of application you run. Does any one have experience with a pentium 4 vs dual core? What will be faster....
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Old   July 31, 2009, 04:45
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I have experience mainly in FEM, but also some in CFD.
On my point of view there is no way that a PIV can beat a core 2Duo.
Also running a single core application (is depending on the license you have).
My last PC upgrade was from a PIV 3.2 to a Core 2Duo 2.4 and I noticed an huge increment in performance.
Now I'm using a Core i7 and is much faster then a Core 2 Duo.
I think that for the same money or maybe little more you could buy a PC (not workstation) equipped with Core i7 920 & 12GB of ram with the possibility to Upgrade to 24 (start with 3 bank of 4GB each). this system will be much more faster then an older workstation, and you will have the same number of physical core than the workstation with Core 2 Duo but they are much faster.
Also 12 GB of ram is a good start point. You can run a CFD with four thread and each thread can address 3GB. (If you have license to do it!)
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Old   July 31, 2009, 04:50
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Brendan Sloan
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Just to clarify...

You've a choice between a dual socket Pentium 4 @ 3.8 GHz or a dual socket dual core Core2* based Xeon @ 2.0 GHz?


*To be absolutely clear - this is the Conroe architecture and not the earlier Smithfield/Presler (Pentium D) dual cores?



If what I've said above is right, assuming you can get the parallel licences, go for the "Core 2" Xeons 2.0GHz. They will absolutely be alot quicker than the alternative.
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Old   July 31, 2009, 05:31
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Michiel
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Thanks for youre reply's so far.

Yes, for both cpu's it is dual socket. The dual core is not a conroe architecture, but Woodcrest.

I also found a alternative with 2x xeon dual core 3.0 Ghz. Sounds better to me...

How about the cache size. Is this imprtant for FEM and CFD analysis? Currently i'm running some FEM on a notebook with a Centrino 2 Vpro 2.8 Ghz, with a cache size of 6 mb. It runs actually quite good. only the memory (2gb) is a bit low.

The workstation cpu's are 4 mb cache. It isn't a good comparison between a notebook and workstation, but is it usefull to look for a processor with bigger cache? Or are there other specs which are more important?

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Old   July 31, 2009, 06:06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michiel View Post
I also found a alternative with 2x xeon dual core 3.0 Ghz. Sounds better to me...

How about the cache size. Is this imprtant for FEM and CFD analysis?
More cache is always good - always ensure you lock a thread to a particular cpu to avoid cache flushes reducing your performance - your looking at a 10-15% lift.


For big jobs, of more importance than cache is the FSB speed.

If its slow, your memory bandwidth will be the choke point.
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