The central processing unit (CPU) is what interprets program instructions and then processes that data. There are several different components you must first understand relative to Simulation Moldflow products before determining what type of CPU you will want to purchase.
Front Side Bus (FSB):
FSP is the physical bi-direction data bus that carries all electronic signal information to the CPU from other hardware devices, specifically the system memory. This is important, as Moldflow performance may be limited by the speed at which this data can be delivered. This can be even more critical when utilizing multi-core CPU’s due to sharing of FSB between all cores.
In general, the faster the FSB speed, the better. This will increase efficiency for data transfer necessary when running Moldflow analyses, especially larger models. Keep in mind that different CPU providers utilize different motherboard architectures, therefore pure speed numbers may not be as reliable as benchmark data for different configurations.
This is a smaller, faster memory that stores copies of data from the most frequently used RAM locations. This allows quicker access to the most relevant data to reduce processing time on tasks that are being done constantly.
This is important for Moldflow products, as the larger this cache size is, the more data can be copied and stored. This will increase the efficiency of accessing more data the larger the cache is, again reducing communication time between the CPU and RAM.
CPU Clock Speed:
Clock speed is recorded as cycles per second (Hertz) at which your computer performs its most basic operations. In most cases, the higher clock speed indicates faster processing. Due to new CPU chip architecture with multi-threading, increases in overall capabilities are possible but with slower clock speeds per thread.
This is one of the primary components to consider for Moldflow products. The faster data can be processed, the faster analyses will complete. With the most recent advances in chip architecture it is now possible to combine both multi-threading with extremely high clock speeds.
This is the process of combining two or more independent processors into a single device. It allows for the threading and workflow parallelism. As mentioned before, the more cores added, the slower the clock speed and more shared components such as bus speed and cache space.
With Moldflow, this can be beneficial within reason. Due to workflow parallelism, it’s possible to run other applications or multiple analyses without overburdening a single processor. Also, there are several analyses type that can be utilized on multi-threads to vastly improve analyses times.
Different then multi-core in that the processors aren’t combined on the same chip, just added to the same machine. Again, this can allow for workflow parallelism utilizing one processor for one function and having access to other processors for other functions.
Minimum – 133 MHz
Recommended – 200 + MHz
Final Note – As with RAM, the number chosen will be dictated by both the number of cores and processors you have and their speeds. Slow FSB can bottleneck fast CPU clock speeds and is shared between multi-cores. The faster this is, typically reduces the potential for backlog on fast CPU’s and streamlines efficient data transfer.
Minimum – 6 MB Cache is difficult to go under in today’s architecture
Recommended – 8+ MB
Final Note – The max available is 16 MB at this point, and the more the better. That said, this is one of the less important features, and may provide some cost savings by going with the standard 6-8 MB.
CPU Clock Speed:
Minimum – Depends on number of cores and type of architecture. Should be no less than 1GHz
Recommended – 2+ GHz per core or 3+ GHz on a single processor machine
Final Note – The faster the clock speed, the better. This may require some benchmarking to see what is necessary and what can be afforded. It is possible, with something like the core i7 from Intel to have extremely high clock speeds and multi-cores simultaneously. This may not be necessary though, and additional expenses for unneeded hardware capabilities.
Minimum – Single core and single processor
Recommended – No true recommendation, but the more parallel processors or cores running, the more capabilities for other programming and threading specific Moldflow analyses
Final Note – Depending on the machines primary functions, multi-cores or multi-processors may be desired to ensure other things can be done simultaneously while running analyses or multiple analyses can be run simultaneously without splitting processing capabilities between them. There is also multi-threading capabilities available with multiple analyses for Simulation Moldflow 2014 products.