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Vlad September 12, 2005 09:56

CFD on a laptop ?
I'm about to buy a new computer so I just want to know if it is feasible to run CFD or FEA programs or packages on a laptop or do I need to buy a PC ? I've already seen the limits of my old PC while waiting days for results on a simple 2D problem -moving walls in a cavity-, so now I want to do something wise... Oh and I'm still a student.

Paulh September 12, 2005 14:11

Re: CFD on a laptop ?
I had an opportunity to try out the DELL Precision M70, running Windows XP, for a couple of months. It came maxed out with 2 GB of ram and one of the faster processor options. I installed the STAR-CD suite of programs as well as Altair's HyperMesh. It rocked as far as speed and capability. However, it was heavy in terms of both weight and price.

If I remember correctly, there are some companies that were producing laptops with the Opteron chip. Those might be better than a 32bit intel processor but would come with a price penalty.

Vlad September 12, 2005 14:32

Re: CFD on a laptop ?
Thank you for your reply, that's the kind of laptop I was thinking about, could you give me an idea of the price ? And is 2GB of ram necessary, looks like a lot to me ? Finally, I don't really care about the weight of the laptop, I don't think I will bring it everywhere with me...

Mani September 12, 2005 19:14

Re: CFD on a laptop ?
Memory and CPU speed requirements really depend on your typical problem size and your software. CFD on a laptop? Absolutely! You could run numerical field problems on a programmable calculator (I did so a decade ago), if the problem is small enough ;D

If you have used CFD on other machines you will know how much memory you typically need for your problems and with your software. It would be great if you could test-run other machines (maybe a desktop or a friend's laptop) first, before deciding to buy.

Vlad September 13, 2005 07:26

Re: CFD on a laptop ?
Thank you for the advice, I found the price range of the laptops that I think are powerful enough and well... WOW ! Maybe I should buy a PC...

andy September 13, 2005 07:48

Re: CFD on a laptop ?
I switched to a single laptop for most tasks a couple of years ago. It soon became clear that running numerical simulations when performing other tasks was not a good idea: the noise, heat and unresponsiveness were a continual source of irritation.

For the same price, a more modest laptop plus a headless PC box for storage and remote number crunching is likely to be more productive assuming you use computers for long periods.

Of course, you need to get a laptop that is good enough so that you will actually use it rather than revert to the desktop. This usually has more to do with things like the screen, keyboard, noise, mouse and weight rather than the speed of the processor.

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