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Old   December 1, 2022, 14:15
Default Workstation recommendation
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Hi everyone, I would really appreciate recommendations for a workstation now having a budget to purchase a PC for my biomedical engineering PhD yaye! The project involves mainly CFD in CFX and will have a ML component in tensor flow. I had previously purchased a consumer-grade CPU 5800x3D with 16Gb ram and was using that for home use.

1. Budget is 4200 with tax VAT (~or actually 3500 w/o VAT) Parts sourced from scan.co.uk
2. License constraints - don't think there are constraints as this is only limited by the number of concurrent users
3. What type of simulations do you want to run? Blood flow simulations And what's the maximum cell count? 10^6 elements

Was quoted via uni two systems via scan.co.uk [unfortunately one quite above my budget and another under], so I will need to go back to the supplier with my own suggestions.
I am hoping for the best CPU I can get for the budget, 128GB ram (likely will be DDR4 due to price) and a decent GFX card for the ML bit.

System 1 - unfortunately too over budget 5700 with tax and 4700 without
Threadripper pro 5965WX
ASUS PRO WS WRX80E-SAGE SE WIFI
Asus RTX3080 10GB
8x16GB 3200Mhz DDR4 RAM
9801TB SSD
Corsair RM1000X PSU
4TB Seagate SATA
Noctua NH-U14S TR Air cooler
Fractal Design Define 7XL

System 2 - quite underbudget instead 3150 with tax and 2639 without
Intel i9-13900K
Asus Z790-Plus
Asus RTX3080 10GB
1x128GB 3600Mhz DDR4 RAM
RM850x PSU
980 1TB SSD
4TB Seagate SATA
H100x 240mm AIO
Fractal Design Define 7

Main questions - is which CPU configuration to go for?? Should I go with system 2 and just maximise the budget with a better SSD and with a Quadro A400 card? Is there a benefit with a professional grade GFX card vs consumer grade? They are both CUDA compatible and have TF cores.
Or is there a better CPU configuration to suggest threadripper, and - EPYC server configuration appears unduly expensive (?not too used to servers but has only server windows license which is very costly https://www.scan.co.uk/3xs/enterpris...yc-servers#anc). The Intel Xeons (single or dual) here may be an better option for the budget, but I wasn't sure which option to choose https://www.scan.co.uk/3xs/configura...ustom-xeon-gwp


Thank you sincerely again for all your help as this is appreciated

Last edited by 3nhu1; December 1, 2022 at 21:16.
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Old   December 1, 2022, 17:05
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3nhu1 View Post
Hi everyone, I would really appreciate recommendations for a workstation now having a budget to purchase a PC for my biomedical engineering PhD yaye!

Main questions - is which CPU configuration to go for?? Should I go with system 2 and just maximise the budget with a better SSD and with a Quadro A400 card? Is there a benefit with a professional grade GFX card vs consumer grade? They are both CUDA compatible and have TF cores.
Or is there a better CPU configuration to suggest unfortunately threadripper is too expensive as looking the supplier - EPYC server configuration appears unduly expensive (?not too used to servers but has only server windows license which is very costly https://www.scan.co.uk/3xs/enterpris...yc-servers#anc). The Intel Xeons (single or dual) here may be an better option for the budget, but I wasn't sure which option to choose https://www.scan.co.uk/3xs/configura...ustom-xeon-gwp


Thank you sincerely again for all your help as this is appreciated

One big factor for CFD calculations is total memory bandwidth. Your low budget system does not look good in this respect: Just 1 Channel at 3600 MHz.


If Dual EPYC with 16 Channels at say 3200 MHz (about 14x higher bandwidth) is out of reach, you could go for a Dual Xeon system. Even older Xeon v4 systems (very cheap) have decent performance. Bandwidth would be 8 channels at 2400 MHz (about 6x higher bandwidth than your low cost system). The newest Xeon systems are comparable to EPYC, but not any cheaper.


The bandwidth is there to keep the cores busy. So high bandwidth allows more cores at higher frequencies to be effective. You could look through benchmarked configurations here: OpenFOAM benchmarks on various hardware
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Old   December 1, 2022, 21:14
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Thank you, sorry I now realise that the lower cost budget i9 system actually has a ram kit of 4x32gb of ram.

I am having a closer look at other options
for dual xeon near the budget - - 5000 with tax / 4000 without tax
dual xeon 4216, 8x16gb and same gpu
https://www.scan.co.uk/3xs/shared/0e...aign=copypaste

Dual epyc appears out of budget and my other option for single xeon and epyc on website unfortunately only has server options where I can't add the GPU or have non-server windows license (I have to call up to check if I can customise a single epyc workstation option)
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Old   December 1, 2022, 22:28
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The Xeon Silver 4216 seems like a good choice. It has 6 channels per cpu. So you should order it with 12 dimms at 2400 MHz. This is important because your performance will scale down when not all channels are in use. Fill each channel with the same size and manufacturer rdimms. Otherwise the memory is unbalanced and that hurts performance.



I think dual rank RDIMMs are best, but penalty for single rank is not high.
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Old   December 8, 2022, 13:22
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Thanks so much for the feedback! - I got a quote today for this system fairly happy as I think it is recent EPYC 7313 albeit single (it is just within my budget which my supervisor has let me stretch), just in case is there potential for upgradability in future for the lab if I got a separate motherboard and additional CPU?

Edit - actually I will also ask for a non P processor (as that is non-dual processor compatible for future), please could I ask if anyone knew which motherboards would be compatible for a dual CPU configuration? presumably PSU has enough future proofing

AMD 16 Core 3rdGen EPYC™ 7313P
Gigabyte AMD MZ01-CE1 ATX EPYC Motherboard
Corsair RM1000x1000 Watt FullyModular 80+GoldPSU
Samsung 16GB ECC DDR4 3200MHz x8
Micron 3400 1TB M.2 OPAL PCIe4.0 NVMe SSD
Noctua AMD Threadripper NH-U12S TR4 SP3 CPU AirCooler
Seagate IronWolf PRO 4TBNAS 3.5"SATAHDD 7200rpm
GIGABYTE Tri-Band WiFi6E2x2 Wireless PCIe Adapter with Bluetooth5.2 ZOTAC NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 24GB Graphics Card OEM
Windows 11 Pro
Fractal Design Meshify 2XL Black Full Tower

Last edited by 3nhu1; December 8, 2022 at 17:53.
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Old   December 8, 2022, 15:28
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You basically have 3 options that are somewhat available for retail:
Gigabyte MZ72-HB0 (my recommendation for a workstation)
ASRock Rack ROME2D16-2T
Supermicro H12DSi series
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Old   December 13, 2022, 16:51
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Thank you both for your suggestions. I have put a purchase in for a Gigabyte MZ72-HB0 with 7313 processor, and 1200w CPU having saved money with a cheaper graphics card. Hopefully all fine with no delays!
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