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dbwrobel October 17, 2012 22:43

OpenFOAM hardware
Hi all,

I've got the following desktop that I'm hoping to do some testing in OpenFOAM and some GPU development at home:

Core i7 2600k
32GB ram (1600 Mhz DDR3)
GeForce GTX570
128 gb ssd
dual 1tb raid0

I likely run at most 25 million nodes.

With this type of hardware configuration, would it make any difference if I went with Linux and ran native vs Windows and ran one of the OpenFOAM ports?

My gut feeling is that I'll likely be able to push the hardware more with Linux, but I'm debating whether its worth the hassle of losing the ability to run certain programs (office, autocad, solidworks, etc).

wyldckat October 18, 2012 04:16

Greetings Daniel and welcome to the forum!

Well, it all depends on what you really need. If you don't mind waiting for the results to come out later than you could have with Linux, then you can stick with Windows. For example, Doug68 has been using blueCFD on Windows for quite sometime now; you can check out his blog on this subject here:

You can also find an example of run times of OpenFOAM on openSUSE vs blueCFD's port of OpenFOAM on Windows here:

The first benchmarks I know of OpenFOAM ports made for Windows are available here:

On the other hand, if you are able to work with Linux with no difficulties and results have to be always available as soon as possible... then you might want to consider sticking Windows in a virtual machine :D But GPU development on Windows from within the virtual machine would then be out of the question :(
Overclocking is also a possibility, if you want to compensate for using Windows... :rolleyes: :D

Best regards,

Disclaimer: I'm the guy responsible for blueCFD ;)

dbwrobel October 18, 2012 21:58

Thanks for your message and warm welcome Bruno!

If I would go with the Windows version, do larger cases scale on a linux cluster?

wyldckat October 19, 2012 15:11

Hi Daniel,

I'm not sure I understand your question correctly... So I'll answer with two possible answers from what I can deduce from your question:
  1. Whatever you're able to run on Windows, you will then be able to run on Linux. At least anything OpenFOAM related.
    In other words: you can safely prepare your cases on Windows and then run them on Linux.
  2. Linux cluster should scale better than Windows based, if we compare them to the best performance among them, at least concerning the mentioned OpenFOAM builds.
Best regards,

dbwrobel October 21, 2012 15:15

Excellent; sorry for being unclear, you did answer my question though. I wanted to know if I could go from starting a case on Windows and then scaling it up to something a bit more intensive on Linux for further processing.

I decided to go with RHEL 6 on my workstation and with Windows 7 on my laptop. On the workstation I loaded up the native version of OpenFOAM along with an assortment of other programs for pre/post processing and GPU development. On the laptop I loaded up the BlueCFD you mentioned (single core version for now, going to try it out and potentially get the full version :) ).

I do have a further question though about running openFOAM remotely; from my past experiences using a cluster I would use SSH to connect/submit jobs, etc but I think that method used PBS. I tried setting up SSH server and NX on my workstation, but I can't figure out how to submit a job and have it continue running in a session when I disconnect (to be able to monitor a job remotely).

wyldckat October 22, 2012 08:34

Hi Daniel,

You'll need to search the forum for the keywords "OpenFOAM PBS". If you're unable to find the answer, you better ask in the dedicated forum: - or more specifically in the sub-forum about running and solving:

Best regards,

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