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XEON-W Machines

76 Views, 6 Replies
03/07/2018 5:30 PM

Has anyone used CFD 2017 (or even 18) on an HP Z4 G4 or iMac Pro? Any other XEON-W based machine?


I was thinking of buying an 18-core machine for running Autodesk CFD 2017, but would like to know how it runs before I order such a machine!


Thanks for any info.

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Message 1 of 6 ( Views: 76 )

Re: XEON-W Machines

03/07/2018 8:10 PM

It really depends on what type of analyses you are running.

Check out the article here which I think will help: CFD System Recommendations


Hope that helps!


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Message 2 of 6 ( Views: 70 )

Re: XEON-W Machines

03/10/2018 1:36 AM

Duplicate... Got an error but it posted. No option to delete my own post? :)

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Message 3 of 6 ( Views: 60 )

Re: XEON-W Machines

03/10/2018 1:37 AM

Hi Jon,


While that page helps in general on machine specs, it doesn't help to know if the software actually runs on a new platform well. Rather than buying a very expensive machine ($10K) and then finding out, I would rather Autodesk say how it works on a specific platform (table of relative comparison of systems), or someone who has actual experience saying how well it works.


We run anywhere from 200K elements (small early tries) to 10M elements (final report runs/larger models).


I had a short trial run on a Xeon-W machine using a VM, but AD CFD did not work well while other programs did see speed increases.


We run CFD 2017. I am especially interested in how that version runs on those machines.



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Message 4 of 6 ( Views: 60 )

Re: XEON-W Machines

03/12/2018 7:56 PM



I have some more information on testing. 


I run the CFD software in a VM (Parallels 13) on a XEON-W test machine, and I noticed that no matter how many CPUs I would select for the VM, CFD would spawn 33 "CFDSolver" processes. This was the same with 8 and 16 and 18 CPUs allocated to the VM - there are 18 real cores. This might explain why the code ran much faster (but still slow) with 32 selected in the VM, but that included hyper threaded cores, which is not good to do. The Desktop Monitor showed the correct number of cores allocated to the VM, but Autodesk CFD was not recognizing the setting for some reason. 


When I have a 4-core VM (Parallels 12) setting on my laptop (4 real cores), 5 "CFDSolver" processes are created. Not sure why there is one more than the number of cores! So there seems to be an issue with how detects the number of cores in the VM on the Xeon-W machine.


I don't know if others run CFD in a VM, but this is what is happening on our side. I found only a 5% hit to speed in a VM.





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Message 5 of 6 ( Views: 47 )

Re: XEON-W Machines

03/13/2018 5:33 PM

Hi @jim,



Maybe I can help out a bit here. We don't really recommend running CFD on a VM, although it is possible and people do it. I am surprised you only see a 5% performance hit; that is a low number, but I bet the performance hit is quite sensitive based on how the VM is set up. 


I don't have any experience with CPU you listed, but would not focus too much on the brand or model of CPU and instead just use clockspeed and # of physical cores as guidance. My current computer has 64 GB of RAM and 2 processors. The CPU is a Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2650 v3 @ 2.3 GHz, 10 physical cores. There is 2 of them plugged into sockets. This workstation cost about $6,000 and is great for almost any project you will run into. It would be a great fit if you're will to spend the money. 


Beyond this, pay close attention to the notes on scaling and diminishing returns. I've seen folks opt for an 8 cores machine with very high clock speed (>3 GHz) over a 16 cores machine @ 2.3 like mine. I hope this provides some insight.



Matt Bemis

Technical Support Specialist

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