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Karlis January 1, 2013 15:09

Help needed: Budget PC for COMSOL simulations
The PC will be used for flow and heat transfer simulations using COMSOL Multiphysics. I do not have large budget for the PC, so I was thinking getting the following CPU: AMD FX-Series FX-8150. Here it costs ~240$ and in the same price category there is Intel Core i5-3470 and similar models.

So the main question is - will the AMD CPU be better?

Also I was thinking of getting 16gb of ram, I know it's not that much compared to other hardwares I see are used here, but I am just learning the software and the models aren't that complex.

Thanks a lot!!

andyj January 1, 2013 23:54

My preference is for AMD. More computing power per dollar, by far.
The newer 8350 or 8320 Fx AMD's are about 15% faster than the 8150. But the 8150 is a great cpu! You might be able to get a good price on a 8150 these days.
I would look at a full sized motherboard an ATX rather than a microATX (mATX). The full size motherboard allow more ram and pci slots.
You want a AM3+ motherboard that supports the fastest ram you can 2200, 1866. Does not have to be the most expensive motherboard, just the best you can fit into your budget. 970 or 990 chipset AM3+ board. Asus, Gigabyte, Asrock ect..Build your own computer, there are only 7 parts. Linux is free.
Could consider two cheap refurbished Sata drives and use RAID. Or maybe SSD hard drives, Samsung 840, Intel 330.
Consider a Cooler Master 212, lots of cooling, about $25 USD. Big however. And a 120mm case fan or two.

There is nothing wrong with the I-5, great cpu.

The AMD FX-8350 is close eneough to the I-7 performance wise.
In my opinion the AMD FX series give much more computing power for the money.
You might look at CPU World's benchmark database.
You select processor, click add to selected, then rest fields, select Intel I-5 ect
then click show the (various) benchmarks.
Also consider looking at:
I use OpenFoam.

Karlis January 2, 2013 13:37

Thanks a lot for the great help!
I did some more research on the net about the FX CPU's, but they didn't do that well even against i5, but I somehow feel that that is the way to go for a low budget system + andy backed up my feeling! :)
Also I didn't mentioned why I'm switching my systems (now I'm on HP ProBook 4530s w 8gb ram) - it is getting REALLY hot, today at university it CPU got 99C :) So that's that.
So I created my setup, probably there is something wrong with it, but it would be great is someone could take a look ( am I getting even close?.. :)) )

CPU - AMD FX-Series FX-8320
MB - Gigabyte GA-990XA-UD3
RAM - Corsair Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) 1866MHz CL9 1.5V
PSU - Fortron FSP Aurum ATX 2.3 500W 90+ AURUM500 GOLD
Cooler - Cooler Master Master cooler Hyper 412S
Video - Asus AMD/ATI Radeon HD6670 1GB GDDR5 PCIE

I have absolutely no idea about the video, I just took one after a 10sec research. Also as I understand it's not that important..
As I learned, the FX series can be overclocked, so maybe a little more juice wouldn't hurt me so I took a little better (?) cooler than you suggested.
I will get a WD CAVIAR Blue 500GB HDD, but I have a SSD HDD to use as my main drive, so I din't mentioned that.
And I can get this system for around 800$ here (I'm living in Latvia). Maybe I should downgrade something and upgrade something else to get better performance and still stay in the 800$ range :)

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