Our company os in the process of buying a new workstation to run FEMAP.
We got an offer for a DELL T5600 workstation with dual xeon E5-2609.
My question is, will it be better than a single CPU i7 if all the rest of the hardware is the same?
Does femap (mostly advanced nonlinear sol 601) take advantage of the dual CPUs? or will a single CPU i7 do better regarding solving time?
Both NX NASTRAN & ADINA NX NASTRAN Advanced Nonlinear module (SOL601) take advanced and scales very well with multiple cores & processors, of course!. Simply include the nastran keyword PARALLEL=value, where "value" specifies the maximum number of SMP CPUs selected for shared-memory parallel (SMP) processing in several numeric modules. The default is 0, which specifies no SMP processing. If “parallel=1", the parallel algorithms are used on one processor.
Example: nxnr nastran example parallel=2
The job is run in SMP mode on a maximum of two CPUs.
FEMAP V11 do not take advanced of multiple processors, who knows in the future. But NX NASTRAN solver yes, specially NX NASTRAN Advanced Nonlinear Solver (SOL601).
Also, please note not only the processor is important, for me the critical is to have as much RAM memory as possible!. With SOL601 use keyword NXNA_MEMORY to specifie the amount of memory (in MB) that the advanced nonlinear solver can use. It is Independent of the amount of memory specified for regular NX Nastran (using the keyboard MEM).
Thanks for the reply, but the question was which processor would do a better job?
Would a single i7 do better than the dual cpus that I mentioned? I saw some benchmarking on the net giving better score to a single CPU i7 machine than a dual CPU E5-2609 Xeon machine
I have not tested yet the XEON processors (I run i7), but if you have money to pay it I am sure that the extra price will have a valid reason, sure!. I will not concentrate only in processors decision, for me (for the point of view of CAE performance in FEA/CFD analysis, not CAD) is more important to assemble a fast SSD of say minimum 600 GB and target 64 GB RAM than which processor to use, this is in the third position, I will choose the more powerful I can pay, i7 or Xeon.
By the way, here you are a comparison:
Femap with NX Nastran base system can take advantage of multiple cores AND multiple processors (in the NX Nastran solver), as long as they are on a single SMP computer. So the Dell T5600 with Dual Xeon can be used with PARALLEL=8. Based on CPU Benchmark, the 4770K looks better than 2 x E5-2609. We have dual processor Dell Precision T7500, T7600 - as well as i7 portables. Femap's NX Nastran solver can run using all cores on each of these machines. Only when the computer is "non-SMP" (eg. a cluster or multi-node "blade" computer) is it necessary to have optional NX Nastran DMP to run in parallel.
However in agreement with the other comments here... our rule is "you can NEVER waste money on RAM", so if I were wondering whether to spend my last $500 on RAM or cpu speed, I would choose RAM every time. You should also consider other machine specifics: bus speed, memory speed, maximum memory capacity and disk/SSD performance.