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Build a computer for Abaqus

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August 1, 2012 3:54:16 PM

Dear All,

My first post deals with choosing a computer setup for structural reliability analysis using abaqus. I'll have to run a complex abaqus standard analysis (w/ contact, about 2M DOF, and user elements) multiple times (at least 1000 times). I'm planning to perform three analysis of this type.
In order to finish the job in 2-3 months time I need a good computer setup.
I'm thinking of buying a very good desktop (i7 3930k cpu) or a workstation (Xeon cpus). Both systems would have 16+GB of RAM, a good nvidia card (with GPGPU), 2 SSD (or 2 fast 7200rpm HDD) in RAID and suitable motherboards.
What would you recommend: a very good desktop or a workstation? If a workstation, one very good E5 Xeon cpu or two good cpus?
I'm planning to install windows 7 64 bits.

Many thanks for your help!

Kind regards,

Joao

More about : build computer abaqus

August 1, 2012 4:02:07 PM

P.S.: My budget is 2500 euros.
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August 2, 2012 2:14:04 AM

Since this is implicit FE you won't get great scaling over more processors as you would with explicit. So I would recommend that you get a higher clockspeed processor over one with more cores (or a second socket). It still makes sense to go with 4 or 6 cores, just not 8 or 12, since the speed increase will drop off more. Also, since this is implicit, you will want a fast FSB and memory clock speed. Make sure you get enough memory to be able to give Abaqus enough to minimize the I/O. If you do that, you probably will not need an SSD. That is, unless you have user-subroutines which generate a lot of scratch. Have you actually run this job to know the memory requirements to minimize I/O?

I tend to like the Xeons over an i7 for computation, but then you do require ECC memory, which is slower. I haven't actually seen any benchmarks comparing the enterprise vs. consumer processors for this load type, so I can't say for sure which way to go. I would suspect that you can get more for your money on the consumer (i7) side, but I'm not sure. Either way make sure you disable Hyperthreading in BIOS.

Definitely get the GPGPU and use it. It's essentially free on the license and gives a nice performance boost for a lot of problems.

What sort of problem are you solving? My M.S. is in RBDO so I'm curious.

jpcgandre said:
Dear All,

My first post deals with choosing a computer setup for structural reliability analysis using abaqus. I'll have to run a complex abaqus standard analysis (w/ contact, about 2M DOF, and user elements) multiple times (at least 1000 times). I'm planning to perform three analysis of this type.
In order to finish the job in 2-3 months time I need a good computer setup.
I'm thinking of buying a very good desktop (i7 3930k cpu) or a workstation (Xeon cpus). Both systems would have 16+GB of RAM, a good nvidia card (with GPGPU), 2 SSD (or 2 fast 7200rpm HDD) in RAID and suitable motherboards.
What would you recommend: a very good desktop or a workstation? If a workstation, one very good E5 Xeon cpu or two good cpus?
I'm planning to install windows 7 64 bits.

Many thanks for your help!

Kind regards,

Joao

m
0
l
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August 2, 2012 10:51:11 AM

EndingPop said:
Since this is implicit FE you won't get great scaling over more processors as you would with explicit. So I would recommend that you get a higher clockspeed processor over one with more cores (or a second socket). It still makes sense to go with 4 or 6 cores, just not 8 or 12, since the speed increase will drop off more. Also, since this is implicit, you will want a fast FSB and memory clock speed. Make sure you get enough memory to be able to give Abaqus enough to minimize the I/O. If you do that, you probably will not need an SSD. That is, unless you have user-subroutines which generate a lot of scratch. Have you actually run this job to know the memory requirements to minimize I/O?

I tend to like the Xeons over an i7 for computation, but then you do require ECC memory, which is slower. I haven't actually seen any benchmarks comparing the enterprise vs. consumer processors for this load type, so I can't say for sure which way to go. I would suspect that you can get more for your money on the consumer (i7) side, but I'm not sure. Either way make sure you disable Hyperthreading in BIOS.

Definitely get the GPGPU and use it. It's essentially free on the license and gives a nice performance boost for a lot of problems.

What sort of problem are you solving? My M.S. is in RBDO so I'm curious.


Hi! thanks for your reply!
My problem is bridge falsework which essentially are 3d frame structures with special joints. The user elements are connector like ones. I'll also model the soil with solids with varyinh material properties. regarding loads I'll also model the bridge formwork and apply the weight of the fresh concrete using solids or dloads.
I'll analyse the system's robustness and reliability.

Regarding the computer I have read that for more than 2M DOF six or or more codes are useful. I also should opt for the maximum ram possible and ssds are also good. My major doubt is really concerned with the number and type of cpu.

Many thanks.

Joao
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August 2, 2012 10:55:01 AM

Quote:
Then forget Nvidia's GTX cards (specially the GTX 6xx series) a AMD 7970 has 4 times the compute power of a GTX 680, i am kinda tired so i am going to sleep, i will make u a computer for your needs tomorrow, btw... where are you from (where are you buying from?)



Hi! Many thanks for your reply. I didn't know that amd was more powerful. :-)
i'm from portugal and i'll buy it in lisbon.

Regards

joao
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August 2, 2012 1:06:15 PM

Sounds like a complex problem, good luck!

More than 6 cores will give a speed up, but there's diminishing returns. It's nearly linear with clock speed, however, so I'd go higher clock speed first, then additional cores. If there's a lot of changing contact then you get less from multi-core as well. I don't think the SSD will help you a lot on this problem, unless there's a lot more I/O than a normal problem due to your user elements. If you have enough memory for Abaqus to minimize I/O, it's typically not a major bottleneck for performance. Nastran, on the other hand, always has a ton of I/O, and SSDs are very useful for that. My point is that you could put more money into the processor by going with 7200 RPM drives instead of SSDs, and you'll have a lot more HD space.

So have fun with your reliability study!

jpcgandre said:
Hi! thanks for your reply!
My problem is bridge falsework which essentially are 3d frame structures with special joints. The user elements are connector like ones. I'll also model the soil with solids with varyinh material properties. regarding loads I'll also model the bridge formwork and apply the weight of the fresh concrete using solids or dloads.
I'll analyse the system's robustness and reliability.

Regarding the computer I have read that for more than 2M DOF six or or more codes are useful. I also should opt for the maximum ram possible and ssds are also good. My major doubt is really concerned with the number and type of cpu.

Many thanks.

Joao

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