OpenFoam recommended Specs
Hi guys, im just a month into my PhD and i am supposed to use openfoam for my PhD on CFD. I wanted to ask you guys out there what would you recommend as the specfications of a computer on which to run open foam and study CFD. e.g. Ram in GB? Number of processors? Operating system? 32 / 64 bit ? Any other thing that pops in your mind. Now i must state here that the computer will be bought by the department so give the best recommendations as i dont want to waste their money on something that wont be of any use to me later on. Thanks you guys!
And yeah plz i would love as much recommendations from you guys as possible so that i can show them to my supervisor :-)
It really depends on the sort of CFD you are doing. If you're going to be looking at cases with large meshes or runtimes then you'll want to parallelise across a cluster.
At home I have an Intel i7 920 with 6GB RAM, that's pretty sweet. It has, effectively, 8 cores. I put that together for exactly £1000, including the motherboard, case, drives, graphics card (an NVIDIA but I can't remember which one) and power supply. That copes pretty well with what I do.
Oh, and only get 6GB RAM if you're going 64bit, but that's a no-brainer these days.
> Now i must state here that the computer will be bought by the department and im not
> paying for it from my own pockets so give the best recommendations on the machine i
> should ask them to get for me.
Mac Pro then :) otherwise a cheaper PC will surely do it, just ensure that it has an Nvidia GPU and 64bit (why should you still want to run a 32bit OS?), maybe a fast intel/amd cpu and enough ram..
Laurence and andrew i thank you for your advice. Guys i also have the following two recommendations from experts..... can you help.
A suggested x64 analysis system something like:
- One or Two Quad Core Processors
- Windows XP Professional x64
- 256 MB (or higher) graphics card (DRD has had good experience with NVIDIA cards).
- 16 GB of RAM
- DVD and CD Burner
- 100 GB or more hard drives drives in a RAID 0 configuration. While both SAS drives generally possess higher I/O rates that SATA, tests have shown comparable performance between the drives when placed in a RAID 0 configuration so DRD suggests going with the less expensive SATA drives.
- 17" or larger flat panel display
Genie with Vig535B Motherboard
WAPLXM01Mandrake Linux installation CD
U2CTR502Dual Intel Xeon Dual-Core Processors E5502
• Dual 1.86GHz processor cores
• 4MB Level 3 Cache
• 4.8 GT/s Quick Path Interconnect
PMPSM410Viglen Vig410P Workstation Motherboard
• ATX Motherboard
• Intel 5500 chipset
• Single or Dual Intel Xeon 5500 series CPU support
• Support for up to 24GB triple-channel 1333/1066/800 MHz Registered DDR3 memory
• Integrated Dual Gigabit Ethernet and High Definition audio
• Six Serial-ATA controllers with RAID 0/1/5/10 support
- 1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot (electrical x16)
- 1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot (electrical x4)
- 1 x PCI Express x4 slot
- 2 x PCI slots
- 8 x USB 2.0 ports (4 rear-facing, 4 via 2 internal headers)
- 1 x internal USB port
- 1 x serial port (and 1 internal header)
- 2 x LAN (RJ45) ports
- 2 x PS/2 ports
PBADCH11 - BLACKFull Tower Chassis, black (rev: CH'08)
• Extended ATX chassis
• One external 3.5'', three external 5.25'', four internal 3.5'' drive bays
• Front-facing Audio, FireWire and twin USB ports
• Security Lock
• Dimensions (WxHxDmm): 200 x 430 x 500mm
12GB(6C6)12GB 1066MHz Registered DDR3 Memory (6 x 2GB)
UHDK10001,000GB Serial ATA 300 Enterprise Edition Hard Drive
PAMMMEKAInternal Digital Memory Card Reader - Black
3.5'' internal digital memory card reader with USB2 interface. Offers reading/writing facilities for Memory Stick, Compact Flash, MMC, SD cards, Smart Media, Micro drives and USB2 Devices.
DFDS0000No Floppy Drive Required
PDDYG951NVIDIA GeForce 9500GT 512MB PCI Express Graphics with DVI and VGA
C39-OPTICAL DRIVE 1•
DVDWRTK1Serial ATA Multi-format DVD Writer/CD-RW Drive - Black
OBDHIDEFIntegrated High Definition audio
PXMMB0K1Microsoft Basic Optical USB Mouse - Black
PXKUS2K2Viglen Soft Touch 105-key USB Keyboard - Black
VPC221B2Iiyama B2206WS-1 22'' Widescreen Multimedia TFT Display with DVI (black)
• 1,680 x 1,080 resolution
• Contrast: 1,000:1
• Brightness: 300cd/m2
• Response time: 2ms
• Integrated height adjust stand
• 100mm VESA mount compliant
• Dimensions (WxHxD): 505 x 400 x 250mm
C398 80PLUS PSU•
PPGATX95600 Watt 80 PLUS Power Supply
ZSM36NBDFirst 36 Months on-site maintenance for Desktop or Tower systems Next Business Day response to cover parts and labour.
For the operating system, I would definitely recommend going with Ubuntu 64 bit - I'd avoid Windows if you are primarily using OpenFOAM for your graduate work.
For the hardware side, I'd try to get at least a quad core machine.
Do Benchmarks with pyfoam
With Linux, NVIDIA cards have decent OpenGL support, the ATI cards tend to be a bit hit or miss. We have some FX1800 in operation, they are fairly quick. You can pay even more, but the benchmark values (http://www.nvidia.com/object/IO_11761.html) aren't much different. The ensight-03 benchmark might be the closest to what interests you.
The amount of memory depends on your mesh size, min would be 6GB-8GB.
For our workstations, we generally use single cpu with dual core rather than quad core. We generally never calculate on the workstations. The calculations should be running on your cluster.
SATA disks are fine, with or without RAID.
For all you guys asking, i am going to be looking at primarily the behaviour of plumes and stratifications from a heat source in a building. I am talking about a grid size of a minimum of 1 million grid points to a maximum of maybe 10 million. Linux is something that my supervisor also agrees we should go for. But im still not sure of what processor to use with how much GHz ? And probably we will be going with around 16 to 32GB of RAM. Come on, keep the recommendations coming.... what is the best machine to buy for my kinda research? I will be using other softwares such as Ansys CFX, Fluent, Phoenics as well so do keep that in mind when suggesting an operating system guys.
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