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Office Workstation for OpenFOAM etc

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Old   May 23, 2019, 07:53
Default Office Workstation for OpenFOAM etc
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Kevin Nolan
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I'm an experimentalist (long time lurker here) who dabbles in CFD. I'm looking to build an office workstation for PIV processing, image analysis (Schlieren etc), 3D rendering, and an increasing amount of OpenFOAM and maybe some Ansys and COMSOL (depending on the University license situation).

I'd like a machine that lets me run exploratory simulations and test cases that can then be sent to our HPC facilities. I'm looking at viscoelastic instability using the likes of rheoTool.

My initial thoughts are:
CPU: Intel - Core i7-9800X (I suspect there'll be memory bandwidth issues pushing all cores?)
Cooler: Noctua - NH-D15 (I find these tend to be as good as a water cooling system)
Motherboard: ASUS PRIME X299-DELUXE (no other reason than I've had good experience with ASUS boards in the past)
Memory: Undecided but the CPU supports 128 GB and I figure I don't really need ECC.
GPU: I've a GTX 1070 that I can use here
Disk: 1TB Samsung Evo. I would like to go solid state, is M.2 nvme worthwhile or should I stick to SATAIII? Might do both. I have a QNAP RAID for local storage.
PSU and Case: 750W is more than enough and I'll stick with Corsair as reliable brands.

I'll be running ubuntu.

I've not had much experience with AMD but I'm open to suggestions. I know they deliver a lot more performance per euro.

Any feedback would be very much appreciated.
Thank you.
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Old   May 23, 2019, 13:48
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Where I'm sitting the 9800X has the same price as TR 2920X. However there is no availability of 9800X at the lowest price point so here you'd have to pay a premium for it. For straight up CFD they will probably perform very similar, given that you mount the same type of memory (the 9800X can probably manage higher speed memory though).

3D rendering and image analysis usually benefit from a high core count so I expect the Threadripper to be of more use then.

Also, with the latest security flaws in the Intel camp, we can probably expect the performance of previous benchmarks to be misleading

In terms of the other choices I have no comments, they all seem ok to me.
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Old   May 23, 2019, 14:40
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Do you think it’s worth waiting for the third generation Threadripper? I’m in no major hurry.
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Old   May 23, 2019, 18:46
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Performs really well on benchmarks. $800 cpu, 8 memory channels.
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Old   May 23, 2019, 18:56
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I’ve seen the extensive discussion on the EPYC systems here. It looks great!
However I think a server CPU may be overkill for my needs when I’ve access to the University’s HPC facilities. I don’t want to turn my office into a loud, hot server room!
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Old   May 24, 2019, 08:51
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A system with a single Epyc 7351P won't draw significantly more power than any of the HEDT systems. It won't turn your office into a server room.
However, they can be a bit sluggish for daily use and lightly threaded tasks due to the low clock speed.
If you don't need the system right now it is always a good idea to wait. Memory prices are still falling and second gen Epyc CPUs are due this fall. I've heard rumors that there won't be another iteration of Threadripper any time soon though. Maybe thy will be merged into the Epyc lineup...
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