15 Replies Latest reply on Mar 6, 2009 8:34 PM by jimbo jones

    Dedicated FloWorks System Specs

    Chris Michalski
      I could use some feedback - because FloWorks isn't used by millionsof people it's hard to find benchmark comparisons - I'm running25-30 hour simulations of radiant heat transfer and fluid flowprocesses and looking to upgrade boxes - currently running a P43.6GHz with 2GB of RAM and never using more than 1GB but peggingthe CPU @ 100% continuously - I've read FloWorks 2008 will utilizedual-core and multiple processors - anybody seen actuallynumbers?  anybody running the 64-bit version to have seen animprovement?  anybody overclocked and supercooled their CPU tosee improvements?  I'm willing to sacrifice CPU life at thispoint to reduce calculation time but if I'm going to buy a new boxI want to make sure I get the best performance
        • Dedicated FloWorks System Specs
          David Arthur
          Floworks 2008 will utilize dual-core however only when you arerunning the batch solver. It will give you the option of how manyprocessors to use and it will actually open and run two solverssimultaneously(sic) utilizing 100% of processors. x64 bit versionisn't faster computation wise. It just allows for much more memoryto be accessed. Unless you are using more than 2GB of memory, or3GB with 3GB switch active, 64 bit will not provide a significantperformance increase.
            • Dedicated FloWorks System Specs
              Chris Michalski
              That's how I understood it - are you running x64?  What I'mwondering is how much more powerful is it?  i.e. I always endup limited to about 150,000 cells for a heat transfer with flowsimulation or Windows XP Pro denies requests for memory - would x64bump that up considerably to allow more precise simulationdefinition without crashing the system?
                • Dedicated FloWorks System Specs
                  Chris Michalski
                  have you run multiple processor simulations? I am currently running a batch solve using 2 processors and have found that it takes more than twice as long - apparently while Windows steals a little time for system life support, trying to crunch both processors at once losses enough that it's actually worse - I ran a single simulation this morning in about 75 minutes, I setup 3 more and am re-running the first one so I have 2 groups of 2 and the first two took over 6 hours to complete - have you ever run back to back comparisons to see if there truly is an advantage to running multiple processors on simulations? in theory it should be faster, but I've never been able to prove that's the case, it's always been slower
                    • Dedicated FloWorks System Specs
                      Jim Zink
                      Chris,

                      When you say you have used 2 processors, do you mean you hyperthreading enabled on your P4? If so, that is not a reliable guage as to how much you'd benefit from a true dual or quad core CPU. Hyperthreading can seriously impact performance when running single tasking apps.

                      CFW08 is supposed to have improved support for multi-core CPUs, but I'm not aware of any data that actually shows how much of an improvement you can expect.

                      Still, I'd recommend investing in a system with a fast (2.6GHz or faster) Core2 Quad CPU with 8GB RAM and WinXP-64. That way, you could run the FloWorks simulation in the background and still run a separate SolidWorks session in the foreground. You'll have virtually no limits on the size of the problem you can solve and most problems will run comfortably within the 8GB physical RAM even with another SW session running concurrently. HP and Dell rip you on high-density memory, but if you buy the workstation with just 1GB of RAM, you can replace all of the installed memory with third party memory at a very low cost.
                • Dedicated FloWorks System Specs
                  Chris Michalski
                  It's a P4D that was the first generation of dual core chips - I'm waiting on our IT group to get the details worked out for a Core 2 Extreme Dual/Quad core 3.0GHz with cooling to support continuous overclocking to 4.25GHz as I've seen reviews showing stability and my own limited overclocking has been incredibly successful as far as performance improvements - I've heard a bunch of people complain that X64 actually runs slower than X32 - are your running it yourself? In talking to tech support, I'd have to update all of my systems to X64 because x32 can't open converted files, thereby eliminating the possibility of others left running X32 from opening files (not all together a bad idea) - I run 2 systems with a KVM switch, one crunching while another can be getting other models ready to crunch - this is going to be a custom built machine to get the best possible performance, so I'm looking at 4GB of DDR3 and a Quadro FX-4600 - is it worth the hassle of X64 and having to run a 32bit emulator for older software knowing that I now have to build 2 systems to maintain communication in 64-bit SW files?
                    • Dedicated FloWorks System Specs
                      Rich Bayless
                      Hi Chris,

                      Thought I'd share some experience. I'm running a 2.4 Ghz Quad core Q6600 with 4 GB ram, XP 32. I took the tube and shell example from the Floworks tutorials, stretched it by ten meters and ran it with two different mesh setting.

                      Iterations 347 477
                      Finished 18:21:28 21:11:54
                      Started 17:21:16 18:21:35
                      CPU time 0:53:20 2:40:20
                      Fluid cells 29932 101200
                      Solid cells 4096 14096
                      Partial cells 47176 95978
                      Total cells 81,204 211,274

                      If I get a chance, I'll set up some multiple batch runs to check the effect of running three at a time. I"ve seen that if I only assign three processors for the batch solver, that there is still plenty of processing power to run foreground stuff like email.

                      I don't seem to be able to attach a file, if you send your email address, I'll forward the model to you.

                      best regards, Rich.
                    • Dedicated FloWorks System Specs
                      Chris Michalski
                      Rich -

                      thanks, if you could send them to johngaltsmotor@yahoo.com I'll give them a run and see how my current box performs to know what the quad core can do - and hopefully the IT guys get off their cans and build the new box (I think they're still waiting on receiving the QX9650 from the supplier, as the latest and greatest they're hard to actually get a hand on)
                      • Dedicated FloWorks System Specs
                        Chris Michalski
                        Rich -

                        um.... err..... you don't happen to have an old backup copy of those files do you? I haven't switched to SW2008 yet (based on reading gripes in other posts) so 2007 can't open it as a future version. If not I can look at the tutorial and generate something but won't know that it's comparable to be useful

                        Chris
                          • Dedicated FloWorks System Specs
                            Rich Bayless
                            Hey Chris,

                            I'm sending the original tutorial files (Exercise 1), just add 10 meters to each part.

                            Rich.
                              • Dedicated FloWorks System Specs
                                Rich Bayless
                                Chris,

                                I checked, here are the dimensions I used:
                                Shell
                                Extrude 1
                                dir 1 11,524.00 mm
                                Tube
                                Extrude 1
                                dir 1 304.80 mm (not changed)
                                dir 2 11,828.80 mm

                                Rich.
                                  • Dedicated FloWorks System Specs
                                    Chris Michalski
                                    Rich -
                                    sorry I never got back to you on that model - at this point I'll look for a radiation problem to send you

                                    an update for those looking to build a machine for FloWorks
                                    FloWorks might not fully utilize Dual or Quad core CPUs but if you have an older system you should really upgrade

                                    my old cruncher was a P4D (1st generation dual core Pentium 4) 3.6GHz with 2GB RAM running Windows XP (normally overclocked to 3.84GHz) - top of the line when built several years back
                                    new system is a Quad Core Extreme 3GHz with 8GB RAM on XP64 (overclocked to 3.2GHz) (still high end, almost $6000 complete)

                                    I pulled up an old simulation so I had CPU time values - what took 14-1/2 hours on my old "fast" computer took 3-1/2 hours on the new one (11640seconds versus 51787seconds)

                                    I used Anna's punch holder rebuild test and decreased from 245seconds to 110seconds so the improvement in FloWorks was actually more impressive than in SW itself
                              • Dedicated FloWorks System Specs
                                Bill McEachern
                                I use a quad core wih 8 GB or RAM and an nVidia quadro 1500. Works great.
                                Core2 quad would be my recommendation on a processor - the zeon isn't worth the money in my view. It has a slightly faster numeric unit as well.
                                • Dedicated FloWorks System Specs
                                  Chris Michalski
                                  I just finished putting a new box through the gauntlet - a non-radiation fluid flow simulation with heat transfer on 2 computers to compare speed

                                  571537 total cells
                                  664 iterations

                                  i7 Extreme 3.2GHz, 12GB RAM
                                  5:23 mesh time
                                  26190sec solve time (7:16:33)

                                  Quad Core Extreme 3.0GHz 8GB RAM
                                  6:17 mesh time
                                  32362sec solve time (8:59:22)

                                  so for $2600 I have a box that will let me crunch through almost 20% more simulations per year (than the $3700 box) - as long as your boss pays you more than $13k per year to setup and run simulations it's a maximum 1-year return on investment
                                    • Dedicated FloWorks System Specs
                                      Brian Wixom
                                      Hi Chris,

                                      Thanks for your questions and comments, they have been very helpful for me as well.

                                      You mentioned that the computer spec (i7 Extreme 3.2GHz, 12GB RAM ) was a $2600 box... Can you tell me more about where you got that and if there were other options that you declined?

                                      I am looking for a machine that will be primarily for simulation, so I need the horse power, but not necessarily the graphics horse power.

                                      Thanks,

                                      Brian Wixom
                                    • Dedicated FloWorks System Specs
                                      jimbo jones
                                      sorry if this is hijacking the thread, but its related and i cant seem to start a thread(it the first time ive been on the forums)

                                      Im running 09 sp2.1 x64 on a dell 690 with 8 cores, but ive got access to other similar boxes, ive tried using the option for a network solver, but i was wondering if(as is my experience)it will just run on a solver on another machine, or wether it can split the job and run on multiple boxes at once, like a small cluster in the style of Xgrid for OSX?

                                      im really hoping you say it is!! but ive got a feeling its not but id love to know as id kinda assumed it was a one machine only solver but have a nagging feeling perhaps im missing out on severly cutting my solver times.