We are upgrading our computers and do a lot of linear static FEAs. I have searched for recommended cpus and have found TONS of irrelevant info.
For simulation "faster is better", but what makes one cpu faster than another? Is clockspeed the ONLY thing that matters? What about cache? What about memory bandwidth and ECC? i5 vs i7 vs Xeon?
I would guesstimate that my boss would pay around $500 for the CPU.