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Is it worth it to upgrade my old PC?

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Old   September 8, 2021, 03:46
Post Is it worth it to upgrade my old PC?
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Hello everyone, I do have some burning question in mind
Please do forgive me and give me feedback as this is my first post in this forum.

Currently I'm doing my final Undergraduate thesis with CFX simulations of flow over a wing. Though, I having a difficulty with the running time of the simulations. Currently, I do most of the simulation by using my personal laptop in which specs are mentioned below:

Personal Laptop:
Intel Core i5-8265U 4 core 8 Threads @2+- GHz while simulations are running
16 Gb 2400MHz DDR4
SSD 750Gb

My simulations Runs around 7 hours to complete with single precision CFX solver, RMS about 10^-6, full utilization of all the specs mentioned above. Currently I have a "Gaming" Desktop PC that just laying around in my flat with specs are mentioned below:
Intel Core i5-4690
8 Gb 1600 MHz DDR3
HDD 2TB

My question is: Is it worth it to upgrading my PC to a Xeon E3-1230 V3 and following that also change my ram and SSD to achieve a faster simulation time?
I choose this as this more a budget friendly CPU that sold in my country (second-hand) and fits my current PC socket (LGA 1150) so that I don't need to change the motherboard.

Best Regards
Lucky
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Old   September 8, 2021, 05:26
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I doubt you could get the simulations to run significantly faster on your desktop, without changing most of the parts. Changing the CPU from a quad-core without hyperthreading (I5-4690) to a nearly identical one with hyperthreading (E3-1230 V3) definitely won't be worth it.

If you want to get the most out of your laptop instead, make sure those 16GB of RAM are not running in single-channel mode. And that the simulation doesn't require more than 16GB of RAM.
Either of these circumstances might be an upgrade worth considering.
And test the settings you are using. Running CFX with more than 4 threads might not be beneficial on a quad-core CPU, especially a laptop.
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Old   September 8, 2021, 10:18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flotus1 View Post
I doubt you could get the simulations to run significantly faster on your desktop, without changing most of the parts. Changing the CPU from a quad-core without hyperthreading (I5-4690) to a nearly identical one with hyperthreading (E3-1230 V3) definitely won't be worth it.

If you want to get the most out of your laptop instead, make sure those 16GB of RAM are not running in single-channel mode. And that the simulation doesn't require more than 16GB of RAM.
Either of these circumstances might be an upgrade worth considering.
And test the settings you are using. Running CFX with more than 4 threads might not be beneficial on a quad-core CPU, especially a laptop.
Thank you very much for the suggestion. Yes I think I need to further improve the settings on CFX. Might be building a workstation from scratch to get any significant improvement for future uses.

Best regards
Lucky
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Old   September 8, 2021, 14:49
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An Important question is how many cores can you solve on with your current license? Would that be 8? Or could you run more?

I would think your laptop may be faster than your desktop, and even the XEON you mentioned, as it has much higher memory bandwidth, which is very important for CFX.

Agreed with Flotus1 on not using more than 4 cores on a quad core CPU.

If you are brave enough to try setting up CFX distributed, you can solve on both of your machines in parallel over a standard gigabit Ethernet network. I would test the two machines to see how close they are in speed first, to see if it would even be worth it. You can set the relative speed in the config/hostinfo file, to balance the load better, but you would want then to be roughly the same speed. Ideal case would be two (or more) identical machines.
The setup isn't trivial if you are not experienced with that sort of thing, so know that before you get into it. I wouldn't normally recommend this to most people, but I see you are a student, usually meaning limited funds. Running distributed is basically a no-cost upgrade, if you are willing to go through all the work of setting it up, and plan to run many of these simulations and get that setup time back with the improved performance. Obviously just buying a faster machine would be better and easier if funds are available. Just letting you know this is another possibility.
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Old   October 6, 2021, 03:35
Default Upgrading PC
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Before you upgrade your PC I suggest you to check CFX.
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