(844) 825-5971 Contact Us

SimuTech Support

ANSYS Hardware Information

ansysANSYS’s comprehensive suite of software places demands on computing and hardware resources that can vary significantly from one model to another. This article provides some high-level recommendations for purchasing computing hardware for simulation purposes. Factors that will determine the optimal computing hardware for your needs include:

  • Model physics (Fluids, Structures, Electronics)
  • Model size
  • Model complexity
  • Current hardware and solution times
  • Budget

ANSYS General Platform Support Recommendations

Mechanical Performance Considerations:

CPU (Processor):

  • Because CPU cores don’t scale perfectly, focus on CPU frequency before cores.
  • Look for latest generation CPU’s (e.g. As of 2016, Intel XEON Broadwell – E5 26xx v4 series: High clock speed on chip but not necessarily the highest)
  • Turn off Hyper-threading
  • Leave Turbo boost on

Memory (RAM):

  • Memory capacity is very important. The model solution should be solving in RAM (“in-core”) and not paging to hard drive (“out-of-core”).
  • Fastest memory (i.e. 2400 MHz)
  • To operate at maximum speed all memory channels in both processors should be populated with equal amounts of memory.
  • 8 GB per core
  • Note: Purchasing more RAM will alleviate I/O issues as (1) the solver can use this memory to avoid doing as much I/O, and (2) the operating system can then use available RAM to cache or buffer these I/O that MAPDL writes.

Hard Drives:

  • If possible, SSD drives for the solving drive and/or multiple SAS HDs in RAID 0 array (2 or 4 HDs), 15,000 RPM, RAID 0.
  • Note: The faster the hard drives the faster the simulation. For DMP, the program writes 8 sets of files (one for each core they run on), so having SSDs with a lower seek time can help avoid having to wait while the hard drive seeks to read/write to all those different files.
  • If running large models out of RAM (“out-of-core”), make sure to have a high endurance SSD. The performance of an out-of-core solution on an SSD can be comparable to an in-core solution. It is best to have a SSD regardless as it greatly improves the whole user experience.

Graphics:

  • ANSYS recommends higher-end graphics cards such as: Nvidia Quadro K5200, M6000.
  • A mid-range graphics card (such as Nvidia Quadro 2000 or Quadro K420) can be used.
  • ANSYS maintains a list of tested graphics cards (other cards may/may not work as expected).
  • Note: It is important to keep graphics drivers updated from the card’s vendor.

GPU (for solution acceleration processing):

  • The following cards are supported as of ANSYS v17.2 (Please refer to ANSYS Help and ANSYS Platform Support for supported GPU models):
  • Nvidia Tesla Series (K20, K40, K80)
  • Nvidia Quadro K5000, K5200, K6000, M6000

Interconnect:

  • If clustering, a very high speed interconnect is mandatory (40 Gb/s plus).
  • QDR or FDR IB interconnect if you will be running on 2 or more nodes in parallel
ANSYS Mechanical - Current Recommendation:

ANSYS Mechanical Current Recommendation

(Individual hardware needs are dependent on various factors. A user may need more or less features than listed in the table)


Fluids Software (CFD) Performance Considerations:

CPU (Processor):

  • Core scaling in CFD is very good, therefore focus on Cores * Frequency = Effective Frequency.
  • When it doubt focus on frequency
  • Look for latest generation CPU’s (e.g. As of 2016, Intel XEON Broadwell – E5 26xx v4 series: High clock speed on chip but not necessarily the highest)
  • Turn off Hyper-threading
  • Leave Turbo boost on

Memory (RAM):

  • Recommended RAM is around 4 to 8 GB / core. More per core for smaller machines.
  • Memory bandwidth is important, therefore get high frequency RAM (i.e. 2400 MHz)
  • To operate at maximum speed all memory channels in both processors should be populated with equal amounts of memory.
  • At least 4 GB per core

Hard Drives:

  • SSD not as critical, but is beneficial to the user experience. High endurance SSD is not strictly necessary
  • CFD does not do a lot of Disk I/O so you can use SATA drives

Graphics:

  • ANSYS recommends higher-end graphics cards such as: Nvidia Quadro M4000, K5200, M6000.
  • A mid-range graphics card (such as Nvidia Quadro 2000 or Quadro K420) can be used.
  • ANSYS maintains a list of tested graphics cards (other cards may/may not work as expected).
  • Note: It is important to keep graphics drivers updated from the card’s vendor.

GPU (for solution acceleration processing):

The following cards are supported as of ANSYS v17.2 (Please refer to ANSYS Help and ANSYS Platform Support for supported GPU models):

  • Nvidia Tesla Series (K20, K40, K80)
  • Nvidia Quadro K5000, K5200, K6000
  • Note: CFX does not support the use of GPU. GPU is only applicable for Fluent.

Interconnect:

  • QDR or FDR IB interconnect if you will be running on 2 or more nodes in parallel
  • 1 Gb/s interconnect is effective for small to medium clusters, investing in better can have a good return on investment.
ANSYS CFD - Current Recommendation:

ANSYS CFD Current Recommendation

(Individual hardware needs are dependent on various factors. A user may need more or less features than listed in the table)


EBU (Electronics) Performance Considerations

CPU (Processor):

  • Look for latest generation CPU’s (e.g. As of 2016, Intel XEON Broadwell – E5 26xx v4 series: High clock speed on chip but not necessarily the highest)
  • Note: HFSS is primarily an in core solver so clock speed and RAM speed is important
  • Turn off Hyper-threading
  • Leave Turbo boost on

Memory (RAM):

  • Recommended RAM is 8 GB per core HFSS, Maxwell, and other Electronic Packages or minimum 128 GB – 256 GB
  • Memory bandwidth is important, therefore get high frequency RAM (i.e. 2400 MHz)
  • To operate at maximum speed all memory channels in both processors should be populated with equal amounts of memory.

Hard Drives:

  • If possible, SSD drives for the solving drive and/or multiple SAS HDs in RAID 0 array (2 or 4 HDs), 15,000 RPM, RAID 0. Local disk is recommended for the solver for temporary file I/O during solves.

Graphics:

  • ANSYS recommends higher-end graphics cards such as: Nvidia Quadro K5200, M4000, M5000, M6000.
  • A mid-range graphics card (such as Nvidia Quadro 2000 or Quadro K420) can be used.
  • ANSYS maintains a list of tested graphics cards (other cards may/may not work as expected).
  • Note: It is important to keep graphics drivers updated from the card’s vendor.

GPU (for solution acceleration processing for HFSS, Maxwell Transient, Matrix Solvers):

The following cards are supported as of ANSYS v17.2 (Please refer to ANSYS Help and ANSYS Platform Support for supported GPU models):

  • Nvidia Tesla Kepler series (K20, K20x, K40, K80) (Best Speed up is seen using the Keplar series)
  • Nvidia K5000, K5200, K6000

Interconnect:

  • QDR or FDR IB interconnect if you will be running on 2 or more nodes in parallel (on a cluster, minimum 10Gb network)

Additional Resources

Further details regarding ANSYS platform support and hardware recommendations can be found in the ANSYS Help and at the ANSYS Platform Support webpage, which contains specific details regarding:

  • ANSYS Platform Support - Summary of Strategy and Plans
  • Browser Support (PDF)
  • CAD Support (PDF)
  • 3Dconnexion Devices Certification (PDF)
  • GPU Accelerator and Co-Processor Capabilities (PDF)
  • Graphics Cards Tested (PDF)
  • Interconnects Support (PDF)
  • Job Schedulers & Queuing Systems Support (PDF)
  • Platform Support by Application (PDF)
  • Remote Display Support (PDF)

The SimuTech technical support team is available to answer additional hardware questions or provide assistance with any hardware upgrades or purchases.