The Good, Better, Best of Ansys Hardware

ANSYS, a major player in the world of engineering simulation, features an impressive portfolio of engineering simulation software, enabling users to solve complex design challenges. But in order to optimize its features, you have to run it on purpose-built hardware. Using a good, better, best, model, let’s look at the compute requirements of both Ansys Fluent and Ansys Mechanical and determine your BOXX APEXX workstation options.

 

Ansys Fluent (CFD)

As with most computational fluid dynamics (CFD) calculations, data is unstructured because it constantly changes.  With that in mind, there are several factors that can influence the performance of your workstation.  For example, in a typical CFD workflow, the number of processor cores is usually more important than the frequency, i.e. the speed with which the calculations are performed. In addition, there are multiple, simultaneous calculations running in parallel, so the frequency may not be as critical as in static data workflows like mechanical or crash testing.  What CFD requires is very high memory bandwidth and capacity. 

Ansys workloads have both memory bandwidth and compute intensive requirements which can vary for many reasons, including dataset size and the solver utilized. Optimizing performance requires balancing the efficiency of the CPU core against the bandwidth of the memory subsystem.

Due to the one-process per-core nature of Ansys workloads and core-utilization basis for Ansys licenses, the key metric in benchmark analysis is “performance per core” because it reflects the expected performance in the field—but only in situations where there is sufficient memory bandwidth to keep the computational units on the processor cores supplied with data and running efficiently.

Benchmark results demonstrate that the 12 memory channels per socket found in Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors (SP) available in BOXX APEXX W4L and APEXX D4 workstations offer more cores for utilization, thereby delivering nearly twice the performance. Overall, tests confirm that all Intel Xeon SP CPUs deliver higher performance when faster memory DIMM modules are installed in the compute node. Now, based on what we know, here’s how that good, better, best scenario plays out for Ansys CFD:

 

GOOD

If you’re looking at GOOD (entry level), it’s the APEXX W4L workstation. Here’s the configuration: 

 

APEXX W4L

CPU: Intel Xeon W-3225 (8 Core)

MEM: 96GB DDR4-2933 ECC RAM (6 Channel)

HDD: 1TB SSD M.2 PCIe Drive

GPU: NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000

OS: Windows 10 Professional 64-bit

 

BETTER

Next up, it’s the APEXX W4L again, but this time, performance is improved with more processor cores, and a substantial increase in memory:

 

APEXX W4L

CPU: Intel Xeon W-3265 (24 Core)

MEM: 192GB DDR4-2933 ECC RAM (6 Channel)

HDD: 1TB SSD M.2 PCIe Drive

GPU: NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000

OS: Windows 10 Professional 64-bit

 

BEST

In order to be king of the mountain, you need maximum power. APEXX D4, with more processor cores (memory, and storage, handles it all.

 

APEXX D4

CPU: Dual Intel Xeon SP 6248R (24 core)

MEM: 384GB DDR4-2933 ECC (4 Channel)

HDD: 2TB SSD M.2 PCIe plus 4TB 2.5” SSD SATA 2 x 4.0 TB SSD SATA 6Gb/s Adaptec 8805 RAID Controller

GPU: NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000

OS: Windows 10 Professional 64-bi

 

Ansys Mechanical

For applications like Ansys Mechanical where compute regions tend to dominate performance, benchmarks reveal that CPUs with high processor base clock rates and maximum turbo frequency perform best. A large number of CPU cores is not a key factor, but high memory capacity is essential, as is medium to high bandwidth and capacity (especially for dynamic solver).  With regard to Ansys Mechanical, our former BETTER configuration remains the same, however, our GOOD and BEST systems trade places:

 

GOOD - APEXX D4

CPU: Dual Intel Xeon SP 6248R (24 core)

MEM: 384GB DDR4-2933 ECC (4 Channel)

HDD: 2TB SSD M.2 PCIe plus 4TB 2.5” SSD SATA 2 x 4.0 TB SSD SATA 6Gb/s Adaptec 8805 RAID Controller

GPU: NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000

OS: Windows 10 Professional 64-bi

BETTER - APEXX W4L

CPU: Intel Xeon W-3265 (24 Core)

MEM: 192GB DDR4-2933 ECC RAM (6 Channel)

HDD: 1TB SSD M.2 PCIe Drive

GPU: NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000

OS: Windows 10 Professional 64-bit

BEST - APEXX W4L

CPU: Intel Xeon W-3225 (8 Core)

MEM: 96GB DDR4-2933 ECC RAM (6 Channel)

HDD: 1TB SSD M.2 PCIe Drive

GPU: NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000

OS: Windows 10 Professional 64-bit

Lastly, if Ansys Discovery Live is a key aspect of your workflow, both BOXX APEXX W4L and APEXX D4 workstations accommodate up to four professional GPUs. Call one of our Ansys performance specialists at 877.877.BOXX and configure yours today.