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How du you think a good computer for FEM should be set up?

How du you think a good computer for FEM should be set up?

How du you think a good computer for FEM should be set up?

(OP)
Hello,

I am looking into replacing my current computer with a new one. The existing computer is a HP Z840 and it was very good in 2015. Byt now I am looking at my options.

I use Femap and primarily NX Nastran, combined with Adina.

Now I plan to start with two SSD drives, 1 TB for OS and 1-2 TB for data. Probably also a larger SATA for secondary storage.

Then comes RAM, I have 64 GB today and I think 128 GB will be sufficient for a few years.

And then comes the difficult part, the processor. And here I would appreciate some advice.

Todays processors have several cores and a higher number of cores often seems to mean a lower speed per core (GHz). Also FEM often doesn't scale well, two cores doesn't mean half the solution time compared to a single core. Does anybody have an idea how to understand how good a specific processor will perform for FEM-analysis?

Insights would be appreciated.

Thomas

RE: How du you think a good computer for FEM should be set up?

There are benchmarks for different hardware and FEA software, I would take a look at them. Keep in mind that each analysis scales differently and it also depends on the software and solver being used. The choice of hardware for FEA really depends on what you want to solve and what your software can do. But generally speaking, I would go for the highest number of CPUs that you can get. After all, you can always select a lower number of them for a particular analysis if you find out that it doesn't scale well.

RE: How du you think a good computer for FEM should be set up?

Quote:

Also FEM often doesn't scale well, two cores doesn't mean half the solution time compared to a single core.

Certainly, you've thousands of nodes that are independent of each other on the global scale, so they could be distributed at some level, at least until the I/O starts to dominate. Otherwise, it'll be a single processor clunking through each node, one by one.

That's assuming the coders wrote the code to take advantage of multiple cores.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: How du you think a good computer for FEM should be set up?

I take it be SSD you mean NVMe M.2 ?

RE: How du you think a good computer for FEM should be set up?

(OP)

Quote (rothers)

I take it be SSD you mean NVMe M.2 ?
Correct smile. I could have been clearer on that.

Quote (IRstuff)

Certainly, you've thousands of nodes that are independent of each other on the global scale, so they could be distributed at some level, at least until the I/O starts to dominate. Otherwise, it'll be a single processor clunking through each node, one by one.

On some level the processors will share the work. I have checked the percentage of use for the processors on a few analysis's and it varies. It is seldom single core for a long period of time. And it runs on 100% for some solutions more or less the whole time. Maybe this is a question of available budget, and not a technical issue.

RE: How du you think a good computer for FEM should be set up?

This is my rig... and it's pretty fast... with an intel 12900K processor. For the last 30 years, I've assembled by computers from components. The 2 M.2s are used for the OS and for for apps, not for storage...



I'm not a gamer, but gamer rigs tend to be fast... liquid cooled.

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: How du you think a good computer for FEM should be set up?

(OP)
I currently have a machine with two processors. As expected that setup drives the cost so I am leaning towards a single processor machine. From what I can see when I look at benchmarks, 16 fast cores seems to be a reasonable approach.

RE: How du you think a good computer for FEM should be set up?

yup...

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: How du you think a good computer for FEM should be set up?

Of course, even my lowly 13-in laptop has a 8-core CPU, so YMMV winky smile

Processor AMD Ryzen 7 5825U with Radeon Graphics, 2000 Mhz, 8 Core(s), 16 Logical Processor(s)

According to Passmark, it runs about 50% the throughput of Dik's processor cry

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: How du you think a good computer for FEM should be set up?

It's a good laptop, then... If it weren't for the Kraken liquid coolers, my machine would smoke. When I was hit with that ransomware virus, the machine actually got quite hot to the touch. My Dell XPS 15 laptop is fairly fast... ordered it with 256GB M.2 with the intent of swapping it for two 2 TB M.2s. I was informed by Dell that the warranty would be void. The M.2 supplied was terrible; I've thrown better stuff out... have two Sabrient's in it, too. It came, configured to use the CPU graphics and not the excellent graphics card it had. After fixing the machine the benchmark value was nearly tripled from what was supplied...

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: How du you think a good computer for FEM should be set up?

Dear Thomas,
• The key here is to use fast SSDs professionals PCIe 4.0 for nastran scratch of minimum 2 TB, apart of the SSD for the Operating system Windows 11 x64. Today you have the fast Samsung 980 Pro, or similar.
• 128 GB RAM memory of course is the minimum, but fast memory. minimum at 3000 MHz (now you have DDR5 at 4800 Hz!!).
• For the processor a 10 or 12 cores is enought, you know scalability of Simcenter NASTRAN is not spectacular. I prefer the intel ones .... faster base frequency is the key, nearest at 4 GHz as possible.



The new i9-13900ks has a base clock frequency of 3.2 Ghz, forget the turbo bells, the important is to have ALL CORES running at 4 GHz, not ONE at 6 GHz ....



A good 27 inches monitor (minimum!!) with Nvidia RTX A4000 16GB GDDR6 and you are done!!.

Ah!, a 3DCONNEXION 3D mouse is critical as well to run FEMAP!!.
Visit my FEMAP & NASTRAN blog, is a little old but still valid!:
https://iberisa.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/requisito...

Best regards,
Blas.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Blas Molero Hidalgo
Ingeniero Industrial
Director

IBERISA
48004 BILBAO (SPAIN)
WEB: http://www.iberisa.com
Blog de FEMAP & NX Nastran: http://iberisa.wordpress.com/

RE: How du you think a good computer for FEM should be set up?

The 13900 would be an upgrade to my system and would make it a little faster.

Unless your system can accommodate 128GB RAM, in a meaningful way, I suspect there will not be much difference between it and 32GB. I'll check into it to see if my MB can accommodate the 13900 chip. My case is so packed, it will be difficult to swap things out... I actually only have a few cubic millimetres of space left smile; it pretty tight. My ASUS VG32V monitor is excellent...

This is the way it fits, and it runs cool:




-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: How du you think a good computer for FEM should be set up?

(OP)
I agree regarding the fast SSD's and 128 GB Ram. I currently have 64 GB ram and when I run several analysis's simultaneously that can be a limiting factor.

The current idea is to have 16 cores since Adina scales better than Nastran. It also means that I will increase the core number from todays 12 cores.






RE: How du you think a good computer for FEM should be set up?

Thanks Thomas: None of my programs, including CAD seems to take advantage of that much RAM.

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: How du you think a good computer for FEM should be set up?

(OP)
Dik,

The idea is to buy a computer that will be effecient for several years. My current computer is 8 years old and still fast. And from what I hear, the upcoming Windows will require significantly more memory than todays version.

It is also a matter of how you can set up your solver. From what I have read now I can make Nastran use the RAM memory instead of the HD for at least some of the temporary files. That should be interesting. Several years ago (in DOS) I used the RAM-memory I had available as harddrive for some calculations. The increase in speed was significant.

I have 32 GB on my laptop and even if it isn't a big problem, it is a limiting factor. I am actually a bit surprised that you have build that type of computer and not included more memory smile. But of course you optimize for your needs, not mine smile.

RE: How du you think a good computer for FEM should be set up?

I think if you check for the certified for 3D CAD system or Simulation certified Workstation, you could be to find the answer such as the HP Z8 G4 Workstation - 16 Core - 3.3GHz, Intel Xeon Gold 6234 - 96GB RAM - NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 8GB
and you can build by yourself. Good luck.

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