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Old   December 14, 2010, 21:14
Default Setting up a new CFD lab
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Asit Kumar Mishra
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Hi guys,
desperately in need of help regarding deciding the hardware configuration for the PC's we are to buy for our new lab.
We are setting up the lab for use in our department of mechanical engineering.
we currently have 20 academic and 5 commercial licences for Ansys 12.0 (including FLUENT and CFX) which would be the prime CFD software we would be installing.
The Ansys 12.0 we have runs on a server - client configuration - upto the meshing is being handled by the client while the server handles the rest.
So for this type of set up, what would your advice be regarding the hardware required? For the academic and commercial (unlimited nodes) version, would we need 2 different servers or can we set them up on the same?
I am currently thinking of core i3, 4 gb ram, 512 MB NVIDIA graphics card (from any of the chipsets that support CUDA), 320 GB hdd for the machines running the academic versions,
core i7, 8 gb ram, 1 gb NVIDIA graphics card, 320 GB hdd for the commercial ones,
core i7, 16 gb ram, 1 gb NVIDIA graphics card (with minimal support of CUDA 2.0) for the server (havnt decided on its hdd - its not going to be a file server, I will be setting up a separate file server).
Please advise as to the configurations.
Nothing is decided as of now and we just have to justify any hardware choices we make for the budgetary purposes.
I would appreciate quick replies.

Thanking you all,
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Old   January 8, 2011, 15:55
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I don't know the limitations of the academic verion, but in my opinion, 4GB ram is not enough. You will need some memory for the operating system, for aditional software, and there will not be much left for meshing.

Also on the servers for the commercial version, 8GB are a little bit low, I continously exceed this amount even when I set up a simple case for myself at home.

In my experience, a slower cpu and a lower graphics card is not that critical, but enough memory is priceless. And hard disk space costs nothing today, so make sure there's enough space available. To save a case with let's say 2 million cells you will need say 2GB, so you can fill a hard disk quickly. (And a nearly full hard disk has a very bad performance due to fragmentation)

But all depends on your budget and how many machines you want to purchase.
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