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rparks April 22, 2009 11:48

low budget hardware recommendations?
after beginning to learn CFD with OpenFOAM I need to replace my old 900MHz Pentium III. What is a good CPU/mainboard combination below 150$?

Having no idea which CPU to choose, I compared several benchmarks (which may not be meaningful for CFD) and prices, and found that the Athlon 64 4x00+ seem to offer best performance per $. On top of that several CFD programs are memory bandwidth limited, so that more CPU GHz helps little at a much higher cost, does it?

I am now considering this CPU and motherboard:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ Brisbane 2.3GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache (~45$)
GIGABYTE GA-MA770-UD3 AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard (~50$)

Could you please have a quick look whether they would deliver reasonable performance? Or is something significantly better available with 150$ as an total upper limit?

(I know that several factors may play a role for the decision. But please don't theorize about all possible what-ifs. All I am interested in a a system to jump into CFD without the impression that I could have had twice the performance if I had spent 10$ more.)

Thank you

ericnutsch October 18, 2009 21:58

Looks good.

Its certainly going to be a killer jump up from your PentiumIII.

One thing to keep in mind is that 1GB of memory = 1 million cells
I would recommend putting at least 4GB or ram on it to start with.

What kind of video card are you going to put on it?

Definitly get a SATA 3Gb/s hard drive. I just bought one of these and it was worth every penny;

I would be careful when buying the "openbox stuff", its easy to get burned...

Cheers :)

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