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New workstation for a mix of small transient problems and many small problems in para

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Old   January 15, 2020, 01:20
Question New workstation for a mix of small transient problems and many small problems in para
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Anon
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I need to purchase a new workstation for running a mix of simulations using a mix of software. The primary simulation software used is the following:

COMSOL - Multiphysics simulations (electromagnetic, mechanical, and in the future CFD) - Small models ~50K to 100K DOF but 1000s of time steps
Probably mostly single threaded with some incremental improvement with additional cores.

Custom electromagnetic and thermal code - Lots of small evolutionary design simulations running in parallel with multiple FEA code instances controlled through a single MATLAB instance - Small models ~30K to ~50K DOF with approximately 48 time steps per model - Typical number of designs examined using FEA ~10,000. Mostly parallel though it is unclear to how many cores it can be parallelized without choking due to memory bandwidth limits or the central control code hanging in MATLAB. The simultaneous evaluations that has been run to date is 8 simulations threads on a 4 core Xeon machine with 4 memory channels.

ANSYS - Electromagnetic, Mechanical, Fluent CFD - One or two HPC packs available - Larger models ~100K to ~500K DOF - Some simulations maybe run in parallel.

What processor architecture/CPU should I target? I would like to keep the budget ~<$5,000. Given the mixed nature of the simulation workloads I need both high single threaded speed and at least 8 cores (though I would like more) to justify investing in a new computer.

The main processor architecture I have been focusing on is the Intel Xeon W-3235 (or maybe W-3225) since it has reasonably high single thread performance and 12 cores with 6 memory channels. Is there something else I should be looking at? The big name place that seems to sell pre-assembled workstations with this processor is HP in their Z6 line.

Is there something that is likely to be more cost effective? Any suggestions for a graphics card?
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