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Old   August 27, 2014, 14:53
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Hello!

We just bought a workstation desktop from Costco to do some CFD work and is possible to still return it if necessary. We want to do some 3D transient CFD simulation (flow, heat and mass transfer) with about a quarter to half a million nodes. The full specs of the desktop are listed below. We would appreciate it if you guys could give us any advice on whether our desktop is good enough, or if there is a benchmark to meet our necessities.

Thank you for any advice!

HP ENVY 700qe Desktop | Intel Core i7
Processor & Memory:
• Intel® Core™ i7-4770 quad-core processor 3.4GHz
• 8MB Shared Cache
• 32GB DDR3-1600MHz [4 DIMMs]

Drives:
• 2TB 7200 rpm SATA hard drive
• SuperMulti DVD Burner

Operating System:
• Microsoft® Windows 8.1 (64-bit)

Graphics & Video:
• Intel HD Graphics
• HP 25xi 25-inch LED Monitor

Communications:
• Wireless-N LAN card + Bluetooth

Audio:
• Beats® Audio Processing

Keyboard:
• HP USB keyboard and optical mouse

Expandability (Total Slots):
• Total Memory Slots: 4 DIMM
• 1x PCIe (x16)
• 3x PCIe (x1)
• 1x MiniCard

Ports:
• 4x USB 3.0
• 2x USB 2.0
• 15-in-1 memory card reader
• Combination headphone / microphone

Additional Information:
• Dimensions: 16.71"L x 6.86" W x 16.29”H

Last edited by richardchen; August 28, 2014 at 14:26. Reason: Corrected the specs!
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Old   August 28, 2014, 14:01
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It depends on how much time you have to solve your cases
Anyway the i7-4770K has only 2 memory channels, which is not the best for cfd applications; best performances are achieved with 4 memory channels.

My advice is to try to setup a simple case with 500000 nodes and test the system; if you can return the workstation, if you think your workstation is too slow you can upgrade cpu (maybe also the motherboard because of different socket) with 4 memory channels and more cores.

Daniele
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Old   August 28, 2014, 14:27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghost82 View Post
It depends on how much time you have to solve your cases
Anyway the i7-4770K has only 2 memory channels, which is not the best for cfd applications; best performances are achieved with 4 memory channels.

My advice is to try to setup a simple case with 500000 nodes and test the system; if you can return the workstation, if you think your workstation is too slow you can upgrade cpu (maybe also the motherboard because of different socket) with 4 memory channels and more cores.

Daniele
Hi Daniele,

Thank you for the reply! I realized I gave the wrong specs for the desktop and just updated it. Does the "32GB DDR3-1600MHz [4 DIMMs]" mean it has a 4 memory channel?
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Old   August 28, 2014, 18:14
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Hi!
No, that means you have 4 ram modules, each of 8 gb, it is the i7-4770 that works in dual channel mode.

Daniele
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Old   August 30, 2014, 09:28
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You'll want a x79 or x99 motherboard. These support 4 channel memory.
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Old   August 30, 2014, 10:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petejgm View Post
You'll want a x79 or x99 motherboard. These support 4 channel memory.
Don't forget that such a motherboard will not give an i7-4770 processor the ability to use with 4 channel memory.
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Old   August 30, 2014, 10:16
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A Haswell-E processor will be required also.
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Old   August 30, 2014, 13:02
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And also don't forget that to use 4 channels, if cpu has 4 ram slots on the motherboard, all must be populated.
However you already have 4 ram modules.
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Old   August 30, 2014, 15:11
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X99 uses DDR4 though
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Old   September 3, 2014, 07:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghost82 View Post
It depends on how much time you have to solve your cases
Anyway the i7-4770K has only 2 memory channels, which is not the best for cfd applications; best performances are achieved with 4 memory channels.

My advice is to try to setup a simple case with 500000 nodes and test the system; if you can return the workstation, if you think your workstation is too slow you can upgrade cpu (maybe also the motherboard because of different socket) with 4 memory channels and more cores.

Daniele
Hi, Daniele. I'm in the same situation with richardchen. As you mentioned, a CPU's RAM channel really matters for CFD computation. So, what CPUs do you recommend in this case? Not too expensive when compared with i7 4770.
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Old   September 3, 2014, 08:36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freewill1 View Post
Hi, Daniele. I'm in the same situation with richardchen. As you mentioned, a CPU's RAM channel really matters for CFD computation. So, what CPUs do you recommend in this case? Not too expensive when compared with i7 4770.
I really don't know..I have 2 workstations connected in parallel both equipped with 2x xeon e5-2687w, which was the fastest xeon processor when I built my little cluster.
Anyway they are really expensive compared to what we are discussing in this topic.
General rules are:
- 4 memory channels
- higher memory clock as you can (NB: check the max memory clock the motherboard can support!!!!)
- QPI as high as possible
- number of cores as high as possible

As an example the e5-2687w has:
- 4 memory channels
- It supports 1600 Mhz ram (which is the theoric maximum clock that the mb asus z9ped8 ws supports)
- QPI=8 GT/s
- 8 real cores

Cpu frequency doesn't really matter for cfd applications, so don't look at the highest cpu clock.

Then, choose hardware compared to your budget!
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