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Old   December 1, 2020, 04:14
Wink PC upgrade for engineering student
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Niklas Neher
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Hey there,
I'm an engineering student from Germany majoring in computational engineering. My current computer is about 7 years old. I built the setup with the help of an online forum like this and it cost me a little less than 1000. Now i would like to upgrade some parts like the CPU, SSD (from 64gb to 1tb), Ram (from 8 gb to 16gb) and maybe the GPU. I dont want to spend more than 500 for all the upgrades. I mainly want to improve the performance of programs like ansys and matlab. Here is a list of all the components:


CPU: Intel core i5 3570k
GPU: Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon HD 7950 OC Boost
Case: BitFenix Shinobi Midi-Tower USB 3.0
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z77X-D3H, Intel Z77
Harddrive: Seagate Barracuda 7200 1000GB
SSD for OS: Crucial M4 64GB SSD
Power pack: be quiet! STRAIGHT POWER BQT E9-450W 80+Gold
Ram: 8GB-Kit G.Skill Ares PC3-12800U CL9-9-9-24



I have a CPU cooler left which i could also use (Xigmatek Gaia SD1283). I would be happy if you could give me some recommandations!


Greetings from Dresden
Niklas
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Old   December 1, 2020, 04:49
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Upgrading the CPU won't do much unfortunately. You already have one of the fastest CPUs that fit on your motherboard, given the workloads you mentioned.
My gut reaction would be: wait a few more weeks if you can. The hardware market is a bit of a mess right now, with huge demand and low availability driving up retail prices.
After that, AMDs Ryzen 5 5600X (or potentially 5600 non-X) seems like the obvious choice for a new "budget" CPU. You will need a new motherboard and DDR4 memory to go along with it.
If the upgrade has to happen right now, I would probably go with an Intel I5-10600k. You will still need a new motherboard, memory and CPU cooler.
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Old   December 2, 2020, 14:50
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The upgrade does not have to be now. So I should wait until AMDs Ryzen 5 5600X is available for a better price? Or is there also higher prices for motherboards or ram right now? So you wouldn't recommend upgrading the GPU?
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Old   December 2, 2020, 16:12
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Your old graphics card will still get the job done. All it has to do is get an image on the screen. GPU acceleration is a whole new can of worms, and not the route to go with a budget workstation.
Looking at your budget of 500, I might have been a little too enthusiastic about the latest and greatest CPUs.
Motherboard: something in the 100 range
1TB SSD: another 100
32GB of DDR4-3600 memory...it just doesn't seem right to get only 16GB with the relatively low prices for RAM right now: 120
Another 30 for a CPU cooler
Which only leaves 150 for a CPU

That's not going to happen with Ryzen 5000 any time soon. Maybe if AMD releases a Ryzen 5 5600 with a decent boxed cooler, and it becomes widely available.
I can't even recommend a Ryzen 5 3600 as a stopgap solution, because prices have gone up here too.
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Old   December 9, 2020, 09:49
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Ok, so i will wait a little bit until prices for the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X drop further. If it is 600 in the end it should be ok as well.
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Old   January 18, 2021, 16:13
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Hello,

Do you buy the CPU AMD Ryzen 5 5600X ?

I see that there is only 2 memory channels, I see on the forum that 4 channels is far better for CFD.
I see also that the RAM is DDR4 3200, 3600 is not supported

Why do you recommend this CPU Flotus1? it seems that you are an expert in PC config
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Old   January 20, 2021, 04:04
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2 memory channels are enough for about 6 cores and that's what the cpu has :-) The advantages of such a config are:
  • fastest single core performance
  • relatively cheap
  • low power consumption
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Old   January 20, 2021, 10:37
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Hello



Thank you for your answer.



To be sure that I have well understood,

Single core performance is interested when parallel computing is not active, right? For example, pre and post processing tasks (meshing needs parallel)



For large cases parallel is required, so 4 memories channels are better at this stage.


Is it the only advantage of single core performance in term of calculation speed or I miss something ?


Best regards
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Old   January 20, 2021, 15:21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by julieng View Post
Hello,

Do you buy the CPU AMD Ryzen 5 5600X ?

I see that there is only 2 memory channels, I see on the forum that 4 channels is far better for CFD.
I see also that the RAM is DDR4 3200, 3600 is not supported
Zen3 (all Ryzen 5xxx CPUs) does not officially support more than DDR4 3200. But with a solid motherboard and not the worst CPU sample (memory controller) you can overclock the RAM to much higher speeds. DDR 3600 is often reached, sometimes even more. Since RAM is still very cheap, the small extra charge for DDR 3600 is worth it. But always keep in mind that there is no guarantee to reach more than DDR 3200.

Quote:
Originally Posted by julieng View Post
Hello
To be sure that I have well understood,

Single core performance is interested when parallel computing is not active, right? For example, pre and post processing tasks (meshing needs parallel)
For large cases parallel is required, so 4 memories channels are better at this stage.
Is it the only advantage of single core performance in term of calculation speed or I miss something ?
Yes, a higher single core performance speeds up single threaded tasks (pre- and postprocessing). The thread creator is also using MATLAB which is (with some exceptions) mainly single threaded and Zen 3 has actually the highest single core performance.
The more memory channels / throughput the more you can benefit with more cores. The sticked thread at the top of this subforum showed that Dual Channel DDR4 scales until about 6 cores. Afterwards you run into saturation. Quad (old Xeon E5, Threadripper), Hexa (actual Xeon E5), and Octa (Epyc, Threadripper Pro) - channel platforms will scale with much higher core counts. And for the server platforms there are dual socket motherboards available. All of this options are far away from the budget in this thread. In many cases used hardware (old Xeon) is an option. But since the TE benefits from single core performance (Matlab) and is a student (no warranty for used hardware) I would not recommend this here. He is also using the system as a computer. And with Ryzen it will result in a cool, silent and power saving system.
If you need more information for your own choice, I recommend to open a new thread for this.
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