Overworked mech. engineer here looking for some advice. Our FEA machine is now obsolete and I have a budget of about £6k. for its replacement.
The bulk of the work is done using Ansys to perform modal analysis, very heavy on CPU + memory and if the model doesn't fit in the memory then disk I/O is critical.
The quirky thing with Ansys is the way it is licenced. We only get to use two cores for the analysis, we did look at spending the money on a HPC pack which would enable the use of a GPU as well as 8 cores but at £8k we have decided to stick with using a single chip and using 2 cores at the highest clock rate we can manage.
Options we are currently looking at are Xeon E3-1290V2 (with 32GB of Ram) or a i7-3970X (with 64GB of Ram). I am open to sugestions on where else I should look.
Scratch disk for large models is going to be a 400GB PCIE Intel 910 SSD. System disk will be Samsung 840 Pro. Operating system has to Win 7 unfortunately (some of our iterative analysis are driven by macro's in Excel)
In researching all this I stumbled upon the wonderful world of over clocking and some of you guys seem to be running machines at bonkers speeds, whilst looking around is anyone prepared to step up and recommend specific CPU, cooler and motherboard combinations that they thik might suit given all the rambling above??
Obviously I am looking at real world performance over headline numbers and I would imagine that rules out some of the more extreme cooling solutions.