Suggested hardware for Simulation CFD

Nov 1, 2014


With the large number of computing options available today, it can be quite challenging to select a system that will deliver optimum performance and capacity at a reasonable price. Instead of recommending the "minimum" computing specifications to run Simulation CFD, we are listing the specifications of the computers used by the Application Engineers at Autodesk.


Recommended Desktop:

Model: Dell T5610 with Intel Dual Xeon E5-2650 V2 (8 Core HT, 2.6GHz Turbo)
RAM: +32GB
Video: Nvidia Quadro 4000
Hard Drive: 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD

Recommended Laptop:

Model: Dell M4800 with Intel i7-4900MQ @ 2.7 GHz (4 Cores)
RAM: +16GB
Video: Nvidia Quadro K2100M
Hard Drive: 256GB SSD

See Also:

The solver will require about 2 GB of RAM per 1 million elements.  Anything more will not make the analysis go faster.  It simply will not be used by Sim CFD.  If the available RAM is less than the model requirement the solver has to resort to file swapping which will significantly slow down the analysis.  More RAM is that case is recommended.
The amount of Ram should be based on current and future model size.

CPU clock speed has a big influence.  The faster the clock speed the shorter the runtimes.
It is important, however, to know that the Sim CFD solver uses CPUs (or cores) in a 2n order.  This means 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, etc...  For instance, if a machine has 2 8-core CPUs (i.e. 16 cores) the solver will use all of them.  If it has, say, 20 cores the solver will only use 16.  So it’s better to have 16 3.0 GHz cores than 20 2.6 or 2.8 GHz cores.
There is no difference between one 8-core CPU and two 4-core CPUs.  Generally the performance/value marker starts to end around 16 cores with the 2014 solver. There are still some performance gains with 32 cores, but not much for the cost.

Hard Disk speed is not critical.  It comes into play when loading the model at the beginning and when saving and closing at the end.  If solver has to resort to file swapping then HDD speed will make a difference.


Simulation CFD