anybody has any opinion in which is the best workstation to run Solidworks Simulation FEA?
What are the important factor that I need to take care?
We want to buy a high spec computer and use it only for FEA purposes.
Most important factor is to know what you want to do with the software. Are you trying to big, medium or small simulations? What is a big medium or small simulation and what machines are suitable for each?
What kind of processor and graphics card are you going to run. I think a quad core processor and 64 bit operating system with 4 gigabytes of RAM are standard now for new machines. A nvidia quadro fx 1800 is a good all round graphics card for Solidworks. Monitor size is as big as you like. I like duel monitors.
Maybe have a troll though the Simulation forum and see what the different hardware people using Simulation are using and the type of stuff they are doing. You can discover this by moving the curver over their avatar.
The more research you do on the topic the more satisfied you will be with your end product. Its about getting the best value for money for the system that you need. Cheap is not always good value for money.
The biggest factor is CPU. The best single CPU is the Core i7-980X or Xeon W3680 (they are very similar chips). This will cost $900+ just for the chip, and has 6 of the fastest cores on the market. Want even faster, get a dual-socket motherboard with two Xeon W5680 chips. Twelve cores! But it is expensive.
You will also need enough memory to handle your FEA. How many DOF do your simulation models have? RAM is a matter of having enough for the models you work with, so it all depends how complex things get. I suggest 6GB minimum (with the above processor) just to use SolidWorks effectively, which may or may not be good enough for the FEA.
I agree with Charles. CPU is probably the most important factor so I would spend as much on a CPU as you have budget for. RAM is also important and I would recommend 8 Gb as a minimum if your are dealing with models of any complexity or size. Now having said that, I have a Dell M6400 that is a year and a half old with 8 Gb of RAM and a Core 2 Duo T9550 @ 2.66 GHz and I find it very capable when it comes to running FEA. It will run a >4 million DOF solid bodies study in under 10 mins which I think is not all that long of time. So, the big questions are what kind of Simulations will you be running and what are your expectations?
This is somewhat related. Make sure you set your temp files to be created on your local drive instead of a network drive.
My simulations were taking 10-20 minutes for something somewhat basic. One day I got a call from an IT guy during a simulation asking why I was taking up the entire bandwidth of the server. Once I set the temp files to drive C the same simulations were taking about 30 seconds.
I'm curently building a workstation for my FEA at work here is my configuration:
I do a lot of FEA and love to learn about the hardware side for memory it stricly depends on the size and/or option you use in SW
I use the large deformation option a lot and it sucks uge amount of memory and CPU power
if you go with an LGA1156go for multiple of 4for the memory (4-8-16)
if you go with an LGA1366go for multiple of 3for the memory (3-6-12-24)
if you have the money go for the 980x if not you can have a great machine for under 1500 with the LGA1156 socket and a i7870
Ok, thanks guys.
So I summarized the information,
Processor is quite important, at the moment, I have checked that Intel Xeon W3680 3.33 GHz is very very expensive.
No wonder it is very good. However, If I am running some medium FEA, sometimes with some assembly, is Xeon W3550 3.06GHz, is that ok?
Besides that, RAM is very important. Ok, Then, I will make it 8GB or 12GB.
Besides that, is graphic card important? What are the reasonable graphic card to go with?
Also, the space of the Hard drive, what is the reasonable hard drive to go with?
How do I check the degree of freedom in FEA simulation? Is that means the number of nodes in the studies?
I realised running assembly analysis will affect the speed too. is that correct?
The number of nodes and dof's are displayed when you do a study. Get some experience using simulation for the kind of work you are likely to do before you decide on what hardware to buy.
When doing FEA your computer is number crunching and that is what takes the time. This is done by the CPU which is why CPU speed, the number of cores and the extent to which those cores are used are important. The speed of you graphics card is less important though it may become critical for the stability of big simulatons.
Whether the model you are simulating is a part or assembly is irrelevant. Mesh size, dof's and type of contacts are relevant.
The hard drive speed affects how long it takes to open files and save files to your hard drive. Simulations are done using RAM.
Retrieving data ...