Selecting hardware for CFD can be a time consuming activity. You need to make sure that the hardware:
- is compatible with your software;
- has an optimal performance / cost ratio;
- is powerful enough to handle to your compute jobs;
- fits your budget.
No wonder that selecting hardware is typically a long process. Now at Trampo, we offer optimal CFD hardware selected by CFD engineers. Optimal because:
- it will suit 90% of CFD engineers
- its in a sweet spot in terms of performance / cost ratio
- It will give you an excellent place to start if you have no idea what you (will) really need.
What is Trampo's hardware selection strategy?
CFD scales well on multi-core processors. The bottleneck usually is the processor/RAM memory bandwidth. So you need:
- the number of processors that your base load computing requires and your budget allows (use supercomputing for large size compute jobs)
- the processors with most memory controllers.
- the fastest available RAM that runs on your processors.
We recommend the following hardware:
Best Price/performance processors : 2x AMD EPYC 7601 (4 memory controllers / processor). 64 cores total. (source: Siemens AG, Spotlight on hardware for HPC, 2018).
Saving 500$ on a drive is a false economy: a CFD engineer not only constantly handles large files, but is also regularly rebooting his computer and installing new software. Cheaper drives come with lower endurance, meaning they have a higher to chance to fail. How much does a lost productive day costs you?
These are the criteria we look at for in a drive:
- Speed: Spend time being productive, rather than waiting for your files to load, save or install. Get the fastest consumer grade NVMe SSD.
- Size: 2 TB enables medium sized transient and large steady state simulations to save directly on your workstation.
- RAID: No need for multiple disks. NVMe SSD have sufficient capacity and speed. One single hard drive reduces the chances of failure and simplifies workstation maintenance and operation.
- Endurance: Adequate SSD endurance for computer modelling is halfway between low range consumer SSD and high range server SSD. You want to have a drive that has a very high probability to never fail during its life.
- Long term storage: should be done on a backed-up NAS, server or cloud.
We recommend 4GB / core ECC RDIMM DDR4 2.6 GHz. If you deal with industrial assemblies, 128 GB RAM is the minimum.
A mid range professional graphics card is sufficient. If you regularly deal with industrial assemblies CAD, VR, rendering, or any other GPU intensive workflow, a high end GPU will improve your productivity.