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Best computer for 16 licenses, price around 6000

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Old   September 7, 2016, 05:06
Default Best computer for 16 licenses, price around 6000
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Hi,

We are in the process of buying a new computer for CFD calculations to the company. Our budget are around 6000 and we currently have 16 license to run CFX with.

Since i want to do other things (like meshing) while solving I guess that a processor with at least 18 cores are the best option. However such many cores on one processor have the tendency to decrease the speed of the processor. I have found motherboards that supports two CPUs, is that a better option and does that work for a regular workstation?

We have concluded that 128GB of RAM would be sufficient for our problems. Some reading here I've found that it is best to insert the memories with the fastest supported speed.

Am not a hardware specialist, as you can see. So would be very thankful if someone could give me some advice on what hardware to buy. From that I can probably arrange some kind of shopping list for you to revise.
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Old   September 7, 2016, 07:29
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You definitely need a workstation with 2 CPUs. In typical CFD applications (especially CFX) a single Processor with 18+ cores will be seriously bottlenecked by the lack of memory bandwidth. With two processors you effectively get twice the bandwidth, along with higher clock speed and more L3 cache.

I recently configured a workstation for similar requirements, maybe the parts list might help:
motherboard: Asus Z10PE-D16 WS
CPUs: 2x Intel Xeon E5-2687W v4
RAM: 8x 16GB DDR4-2400 reg. ECC
SSD: Samsung 850 Evo 500GB
HDD: 2x 4000GB WD Red
GPU: Nvidia Quadro M4000 8GB
Case: Nanoxia deep silence 5 rev. B
PSU: Bequiet Dark Power Pro P11 650W
CPU heatsink: 2x Noctua NH-U14S
ODD: some cheap BluRay drive

This will cost more than 6000€, the parts should be somewhere around 7500€.
But in my opinion if you spend so much money on the Ansys licenses, spending a little more on the workstation to make the most of them is mandatory.

The CPUs have 12 cores which might seem too much for your purpose. The equivalent of this CPU with 10 cores is way more expensive and has less L3 cache. And the alternative with 8 cores has a similar price and also less cache. So E5-2587W v4 is the only sensible choice here and there will always be enough free cores to do other stuff while solving.
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Old   September 7, 2016, 08:22
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Tank you very much it looks really good!

Have just some minor questions, I think you are right I just want to obtain some more knowledge when i have the chance. Is such an expensive GPU needed or what are the reason for choosing that one? Think i have read some where that you should fill all the memory places with memory but in this configuration only half the places are going to be occupied?

Tanks once again for your help!
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Old   September 7, 2016, 08:33
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The expensive GPU is not mandatory in your case. A Quadro M4000 or even a K1200 with 4GB (I really would not go below that) of VRAM should be enough for basic pre- and post-processing. I forgot to mention this.
"Filling all memory slots" is kind of a vague recommendation since motherboards have different amounts of DIMM slots for the same CPU socket. The CPUs here have a quad-channel memory controller. Consequently, you need at least 4 DIMMs per CPU to maximize the available memory bandwidth which is 8 DIMMs in total. Filling the remaining DIMM slots e.g. by choosing 16x8GB instead will not increase performance. It will only prevent memory upgrades in the future. 8x16GB really is the optimal memory population if you need 128GB in total.
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Old   January 9, 2017, 10:20
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Hi again!

Our purchased was put on a hold until now. Since I now have been given a go to buy I just wonder if this setup still is up to date, or should any change be done (the demands and budget is the same as early)?
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Old   January 10, 2017, 08:51
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The configuration is still up to date. Only the prices for RAM, HDDs and SSDs increased since September.
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