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Ben November 11, 2004 06:37

hardware- evaluation

In our office we are planing to buy a new workstation for visualisation and mesh generation. This workstation should work on linux as OS and we think that we need at least 4GB of Memory. We are working with ICEMcfd5.0 and CFX-5.7 for doing our calculations. The workstation we looked at is an IBM Apro dual processor workstation with 2 Opteron 244. Now the problem is that we dont have any experience in evaluating a appropriate graphic card (card type, memory,..., etc. ). as an additional remark we are working with grids up to 7*10^6 nodes. does anybody have experience with this kind of graphical problems? please help us to find the appropriate hardware. Suggestions on processor, RAM and so on are also desired..

thanks in advance


Glenn Horrocks November 11, 2004 17:39

Re: hardware- evaluation
Hi Ben,

1) Linux cannot access more than 2GB of memory on a 32 bit machine. You need to go 64 bit to get this - I assume the Opteron 244 is 64 bit (I don't know the AMD chips very well).

2) I find for large grids the limitation is system memory rather than graphics card speed. Get a reasonable graphics card, but there is no need to get a huge card.

3) If you are using packages such as Ensight or Fieldview you can visualise in 3D using 3D glasses, as long as you have a graphics card which supports it.

Glenn Horrocks

matej November 12, 2004 05:11

Re: hardware- evaluation

as you plan to run linux on your Opteron, go for some nvidia card. They have good drivers (as practicaly the only ones) for linux and support OpenGL.

(As a reference, we have nvidia FX 8000, and working with models with 1.0e7 cells. --we've got full banks of RAM - I agree with Glenn)


Ben November 12, 2004 11:48

Re: hardware- evaluation
Hi Glen, hi Matej!

First of all thanks for your advises.. they were very helpful and gave me the right focus.

To Glen: At the moment we only plan to use CFX-5.7 and ICEMcfd5.0 on this workstation but that can change in future. By the way the AMD Opteron is a 64Bit chip.

To Matej: In your reference you mentioned a nvidia device with the name FX 8000. Do you have any specification about this card (link to a datasheet)? Because i couldn't find a card with this name at nvidia's webpage. Maybe there is an other or a longer name for this card.

thank's a lot


Michael Bo November 12, 2004 12:25

Re: hardware- evaluation
Nvidia don't make graphics card themselves. Only the chip. Maybe you can find a proper card from ASUS, based on the Nvidia chip.

matej November 15, 2004 04:27

Re: hardware- evaluation

sorry for the typo, there is really no card FX 8000, it's FX 5800.

for a reference, go for example to:

for a linux drivers go to


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