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Old   April 15, 2020, 12:13
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Dave Huber
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Hi all,


I'm a long time lurker and OpenFOAM user (though no expert). Have been running propeller simulations (pimpledymfoam) for the past 6 years on an old laptop and now need something faster to handle multi-phase and higher resolution simulations. After reading all the build threads from the past 5 years and looking online, I am thinking i5-9600KF, 2x16MB dual rank RAM in 3200 MHz, and would very much appreciate some insight as to whether I'm on the right track and recommendations for the balance of equipment. Looking for a very basic box running Linux - machine will pretty much only be running OpenFOAM and ParaView.



For reference I've been using an old (2010) laptop with Intel Core2 Duo T9600 with only 8GB of RAM.


Thanks,


Dave
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Old   April 15, 2020, 13:17
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At the price point just below 200$ that the Intel I5-9600kf is siting at, I would lean towards the Ryzen 5 3600 instead. For performance reasons of course, not brand sympathy. Or the 3600X if you want to use the boxed cooler.
You will need an additional graphics card anyway, since neither of these CPUs have integrated graphics.

Or if you want even better price/performance: I7-5820k.
It is old, but still outperforms current-gen mainstream CPUs in OpenFOAM. And last time I checked, they went for well under 100$. And supply of motherboards is still decent, so you can pick one up rather cheap.
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Old   April 15, 2020, 13:45
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Thanks Flotus:


My understanding was that the 9600kf would allow me to access higher memory speed, and I was thinking a chip without hyperthreading would be a cleaner setup. Also my simulations seem to optimize around 4-6 cores. What do you think is the best motherboard and RAM for this, and for the Ryzen 5 3600?



I will also take a detailed look at your i7-5820k recommendation. From what I read earlier the memory speed can be the bottleneck so I was trying for faster memory. Can this processor also run with faster memory? Is the X99 board still best for the i7-5820K?



Thanks again,


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Old   April 15, 2020, 14:00
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To start with: Ryzen 3000 CPUs have official support for DDR4-3200. And most of them seem to have no problems running memory at DDR4-3600 with a 1:1 infinity fabric divider.
So the argument of faster memory speed does not hold up, especially since the DDR4-3200 you planned to use does not really qualify as "fast" in this context.
Intel 9th gen CPUs can run memory even faster than that. But here it gets expensive rather quickly. And of course you need a Z-series chipset for memory overclocking on Intel. For AMD, a rather cheap B450 board will do the trick.

The I7-5820k has quad-channel memory going for it. So you don't need these high memory frequencies to get more bandwidth than with dual-channel mainstream CPUs. Which is fortunate, because depending on your luck of the draw, motherboard and memory population, it might top out as low as DDR4-2800.
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Old   April 15, 2020, 14:20
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Thanks again Flotus. Will consider all of this as I configure the machine.
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