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Intel v AMD: physics simulations and modeling

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November 16, 2012 2:15:18 PM

Trying to decide which to go on this one - this is built on budget and would like applicable bang per buck discussion. Perfectibility from people who've done this sorta thing as career/research.

Exactly what I plan to do (at the same time):
-surf web
-parallel computations (cores doing different things/unsynced but they need to be able to interject information to each other, similar to thermo dynamical calculations), I also suspect I'll need to be able to hyper-tread each core in the future.
-CAD software
-Rendering

My current setup with a Athlon x2 has me running 2 week computations, I would like a cpu that'll bring it down to a day or two, while remaining useable for other processes.
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November 16, 2012 2:23:12 PM

Does this task benefit from GPU acceleration? If it does, that will vastly outperform any CPU. When selecting a GPU, unless the software is very specific on which ones it supports, you will want an AMD card for compute tasks, or an older Fermi card; the Kepler generation has crippled compute performance.
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November 16, 2012 2:34:09 PM

Hyper Threading limits you to an Intel I-7.
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November 16, 2012 2:39:24 PM

Intel i3's are also hyperthreaded; 2C/4T.
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November 16, 2012 2:51:05 PM

Obviously AMD doesn't have hyperthreading. However, if price/performance is your primary concern, I'd say FX8320 is the best choice for threaded processing.
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November 17, 2012 2:30:17 AM

There is no direct answer to this as this will depend on many factors. Having worked with thermo some things you should consider would be:

1.) What OS are you using? I assume some form of Unix (in my case debian).
2.) Assuming you are doing this for work/thesis I assume you have access to some kind of mainframe/cluster/supercomputer (lets face it 2 weeks worth of calculations are small), you will want to use a CPU with similar architecture. In my case this was CSC, in Finnland.

Going off a tangent here but assuming you have access to 2.) you might also look into GPU compute with CUDA. The gtx480 offers some tremendous power for a fairly low price and offers a great entry way of getting into this field.

You never mentioned a budget but I would go with the other recommendations. Both the i7-3770 and i3-3240 offer hyper threading which should be of benefit for you and offer aggressive turbos when single threaded.

If ECC memory is a must, you might have to step up to a workstation CPU.
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November 27, 2012 4:40:01 AM

Best answer selected by flamingpope.
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