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Build for FEA Simulations

February 4, 2013 12:19:42 AM

I need to purchase or put together a system for running FEA simulations ASAP. This is in an academic environment so cost is an issue. The software I plan to run doesn’t scale well beyond 4 cores and the scaling really drops off after 2 cores per simulation though I could run multiple simulations. The performance of the software pretty much scales with CPU and memory speed/bandwidth.

One thought that I had was build something that would accept an NVidia Tesla GPU as the software is just starting to support it. I think though most of my models will be to small to really take advantage of it.

I have come up with four system configurations and would like some advice on which one to pick, two I would assemble myself and two are pre-built by dell, and advice on component selection.

I already have two Dell UltraSharp U2414M 24" Monitors (1920 x 1200) connected to another computer one using DVI and one using Display Port. I want to use these monitors in conjunction with the new system so the video card will need to have at least one DVI and one Display Port outputs.

Overview of Options:
Option #1 Build Myself, i7-3770K & Asus motherboard with Z77 Chipset
[$1584.88]
Advantages:
Overclockable for higher CPU speeds
Large capacity for internal hard drives
Newest Ivy-Bridge processor

Disadvantages:
No Vt-d
No ECC memory
Nvidia Tesla Support?

Option #2 Build Myself, Xeon E3-1275 v2, Supermicro motherboard with C216 Chipset
[$1696.88]
Advantages:
Newest Ivy-Bridge processor
Large capacity for internal hard drives
Easy to upgrade components
Vt-d
ECC Memory

Disadvantages:
Nvidia Tesla Support?


Option #3, Dell T1650, Xeon E3-1270 v2 3.5 GHz, C216 Chipset
[$1536.84]
Advantages:
Overclockable for higher CPU speeds
Large capacity for internal hard drives
Vt-d
ECC Memory

Disadvantages:
Lack of internal hard drive spaces
Nvidia Tesla Support?
Difficult to upgrade components

Option #4, Dell T3600, Xeon E5-1620 3.6 GHz, Dell motherboard with C600 Chipset
[$1596.78]
Advantages:
Vt-d
ECC Memory
Nvidia Tesla support I think

Disadvantages:
Older Sandy Bridge CPU
Proprietary components especially the power supply
Limited capacity for internal hard drives (2?)
Expensive to upgrade memory capacity
Difficult to upgrade components
Need to reinstall Windows on SSD

Questions:

Does it make any sense to build the system so it could accept a Nvidia Tesla card in the future or just build for raw CPU speed today?

What is the relative speed difference between Ivy-Bridge and Sandy-Bridge processors?

What is the recommended CPU cooler these days?

For the option 1 and option 2 is there a cheaper Nvidia video card option with at least 1 Display Port and 1 DVI-D output?

Thoughts on which one I should pick?



Options Details:

Option #1: Build Myself, i7-3770K & Asus motherboard with Z77 Chipset

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor 1 $329.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 1 $34.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V LE PLUS LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard 1 $154.9
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Memory: CORSAIR Vengeance LP 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CML8GX3M1A1600C9 2 $49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Videocard: ASUS GTX660-DC2-2GD5 GeForce GTX 660 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card 1 $234.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Power Supply: SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold ((SS-650KM Active PFC F3)) 1 $139.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 Titanium Grey Silent ATX Mid Tower Case 1 $109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Optical Drive: ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM 1 $19.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Storage: SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD128BW 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) 1 $139.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Storage: Western Digital WD Black WD2002FAEX 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive 1 $179.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Keyboard

Mouse

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (64-bit) OEM 1 $139.99
Warranty: None accept for components
=====
Total: $1,429.89
=====
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Option #2: Build Myself, Xeon E3-1275 v2, Supermicro motherboard with C216 Chipset

CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1275 V2 Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Server Processor BX80637E31275V2 1 $356.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 1 $34.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Motherboard: Supermicro X9SAE-O LGA1155/ Intel C216 Express PCH/ DDR3/ SATA3&USB3.0/ A&2GbE/ ATX Server Motherboard 1 $198.99
http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-X9SAE
Memory: Hynix DDR3-1600 8GB ECC Hynix Chip CL11 Server Memory - HMT41GU7MFR8C-PB 2 $67.99
http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=D38GE1600H
Videocard: GIGABYTE GV-N660OC-2GD GeForce GTX 660 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card 1 $229.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Power Supply: SeaSonic SS-520FL 520W ATX12V / EPS12V 80 PLUS PLATINUM Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply 1 $149.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 Titanium Grey Silent ATX Mid Tower Case 1 $109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Optical Drive: ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM 1 $19.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Storage: SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD128BW 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) 1 $139.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Storage: Western Digital WD Black WD2002FAEX 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive-Bare Drive 1 $179.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Keyboard: ?
Mouse: ?
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (64-bit) OEM 1 $139.99
Warranty: None accept for components
=====
Total: $1,696.88
=====
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Option #3 Dell T1650, Xeon E3-1270 v2 3.5 GHz

CPU:XEON E3-1270 v2 (3.5GHz, 8M, 0GT) 1 $1,396.85
CPU: Cooler Proprietary Included
Motherboard: [Included in Price]
Memory: 16GB, DDR3 UDIMM Memory, 1600MHz, ECC (2 x 8GB DIMMs) [Included in Price]
Videocard: 512MB NVIDIA Quadro NVS 310, DUAL MON, 2 DMS59 [Included in Price]
Power Supply: 320W Power Supply, 90 Percent Efficiency [Included in Price]
Case: [Included in Price]
Optical Drive: 16X DVD+/-RW, SATA [Included in Price]
Storage SAMSUNG: 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD128BW 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) 1 $139.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Storage: 2TB, 7200 RPM 3.5" SATA 6Gb/s Hard Drive [Included in Price]
Keyboard: Dell USB Entry Business Keyboard, English [Included in Price]
Mouse: Dell MS111 USB Optical Mouse [Included in Price]
Operating System: Windows 7 Professional, No Media, 64-bit, English [Included in Price]
Warranty: 3 Year Basic Hardware Service with 3 Year NBD Limited Onsite Service After Remote Diagnosis [Included in Price]
=====
Total: $1,536.84
=====
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Option #4 Dell T3600, Xeon E5-1620 3.6 GHz, Dell motherboard with C600 Chipset

CPU: Four Core XEON (E5-1620, 3.6GHz, 10M, Turbo) [Included in Price] 1 $1,336.80
CPU Cooler: Proprietary Included
Motherboard: [Included in Price]
Memory: Kingston 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 ECC Registered Server Memory DR x8 Model KVR16R11D8K4/16 1 $119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Videocard: 1.0GB NVIDIA® Quadro® 600, Dual MON, 1 DP & 1 DVI [Included in Price]
Power Supply: 635W Power Supply, 90 Percent Efficiency [Included in Price]
Case: [Included in Price]
Optical Drive: 16X DVD+/-RW, SATA [Included in Price]
Storage: SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD128BW 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) 1 $139.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Storage: 2TB, 7200 RPM 3.5" SATA 6Gb/s Hard Drive [Included in Price]
Keyboard: Dell USB Entry Business Keyboard, English [Included in Price]
Mouse: Dell MS111 USB Optical Mouse [Included in Price]
Operating System: Windows 7 Professional,SP1,w XP Mode,No Media, 64-bit, English [Included in Price]
Warranty: 3 Year Basic Hardware Service with 3 Year NBD Limited Onsite Service After Remote Diagnosis [Included in Price]
Extras: PERC H310 for Dell Precision, SATA/SAS 6Gb/s, RAID 0/1/5/10 (4 ports) [Included in Price]
=====
Total: $1,596.78
=====
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