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MATLAB & SAS Machine?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hey all,

I am a new graduate student in transportation engineering. We have are looking to purchase some new computers that will be used for running statistical analysis and simulations. We have about a $1,000 budget per station and I could really use some advice on buying a good machine.

Work Description:
-Processing and analyzing big data sets in SAS (Version 9.3).
-I anticipate the biggest sets will be on the scale of a few GBs.
-Running optimization algorithms and numerical models in MATLAB (R2011a+ release)
-We will not be doing CAD. No technical drawings.
-MATLAB will be used to plot problem spaces. It would be nice to be able to manipulate them without bringing the system to its knees.

My Questions:
-Should we go with Intel over AMD?
-How much RAM? Is 8 enough given that data sets can be as big as 3?
-2500k or 2600k? My inclination is to go with a faster i5.
-SSD? I know that lots of reading/writing to HD can cripple speed, but as I am new to this, I can't say whether that will be a major factor. Any thoughts?
-Unfortunately a custom build is not an option. Not my money, not my choice. Is Dell the way to go then?

I am planning demanding dual monitors. My plan is to buy them through the Dell Outlet. I have never gone wrong there.

I do have plans to build my own number cruncher soon...

Thanks for reading and responding!
Ripsaw
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Ripsaw
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post #2 of 6
My opnion is the best bang for the buck would be a x6 core from AMD, like the 1055 to keep it inside your budget and maybe leave room for an SSD, it would fit your budget and you would benefit a lot from the multiple cores.

A non custom build seems awfull to me, you will probably go way beyound your budget if you choose a 2500k with an SSD for example.
If you buy a non custom build, at least get an aftermarket cooler like the cheap hyper 212+ to OC the processor a bit.

As for the RAM, I would definitely go for 8gb in your case. RAM kits are getting cheaper and cheaper and you can find a pair of 2x4gb that will be exactly what you need.

Does the 1000 bucks includes the monitors?
post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by EduFurtado;14617228 
My opnion is the best bang for the buck would be a x6 core from AMD, like the 1055 to keep it inside your budget and maybe leave room for an SSD, it would fit your budget and you would benefit a lot from the multiple cores.

A non custom build seems awfull to me, you will probably go way beyound your budget if you choose a 2500k with an SSD for example.
If you buy a non custom build, at least get an aftermarket cooler like the cheap hyper 212+ to OC the processor a bit.

As for the RAM, I would definitely go for 8gb in your case. RAM kits are getting cheaper and cheaper and you can find a pair of 2x4gb that will be exactly what you need.

Does the 1000 bucks includes the monitors?

I wouldn't go with an AMD X6. Benchmarks show that even the 2500K beats it in the majority of multi-threaded things (atleast the ones I looked at did tongue.gif), so a 2600K should be good. RAM-wise, 16GB if you can afford it. You'll probably also want to have a back-up for all those projects, so 2 Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB/500GB in RAID1 should do, along with some 64/128GB SSDs to store the OS on and all those intensive programs. You'll probably also want a powerful GPU, maybe an nVIDIA GTX460/560Ti/570/580, or something with a load of CUDA cores?

If you can stretch the budget, you should definitely get a Xeon.

EDIT: I've compiled a system, sourcing it all from Newegg. The system is as follows;
  • Core i5-2500 - $209.99 (I presume you wont need to, or want to, overclock)
  • G.Skill RipjawsX 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3-1333 - $99.99
  • ASUS P8P67 LE - $124.99
  • eVGA GeForce GTX460 1GB - $139.99 (With Rebates)
  • 2 x SpinPoint F3 1TB (in RAID1) - $119.98
  • Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 64GB SSD - $114.99
  • Coolermaster RS650-ACAAE3-US 650W - $59.99 (With Rebates)
  • LiteOn iHAS124-04 - $18.99
  • NZXT GAMMA Classic Series Case - $35.99

Price- $924.90
Remaining- $75.10

Alternate Choice- Core i7-2600 ($299.99), but you go $14.90 over $1000
Edited by Z13 - 8/17/11 at 2:09pm
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info guys. Hey Z13, is the idea that the OS and programs run off the SSD and the Raid 0 is for storage?

I am going to build a new rig for working at home and one thing I want is a super fast boot time. I suspect my final build will look a lot like the example one.
Ripsaw
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Ripsaw
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post #5 of 6
A tip for a fast build time: never shut it down.
If you won't shut it down completely, you can put it into sleep, this will store your OS state on the RAM, and it's much faster than booting up from scratch. If you cut off the power you will lose what was on your RAM.
On the other hand, if you want to cut all the power, you can use hibernate, which stores the current state on the hard drives, all it will take to boot is to move everything from the HDDs to the RAM. It's still much faster than booting from scratch, even if you store the hibernation file/array/etc not on the SSD.
post #6 of 6
I'm not a engineering major, but i have taken elective classes in EE where we need to do statistical analysis and simulations... the class final was a project where we needed to actually make use of our CS department in order to do some parallel processing to speed up the work.

What you want is a processor with a really big throughput, but MIPs(millions of instructions per second) won't guarantee how well it'll preform 100% since it will largely depend on the software in question.

Here is sort of a vague equation, which can ballpark how well a processor will do in a given system with a particular workload

performance = cycles/sec * instructions/cycle * num instr in program

To get to the point... for a 1000 dollars, your best bet is a 2600k (the i5 is not faster, they clock the same, and the 2600k actually has a slighly faster clock per clock ratio) a 2600k also has multithreading which will help you in what you are doing.

Set it up with a decent quality motherboard like a BIOSTAR TP67XE and increase cpu frequency to 5ghz and do your work. (also need good cooling like a nh-d14)
8gb should be enough depending on how large of a workload you will be handling at one time.

Good luck
Galbus
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Galbus
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Intel Core i7-6700K 8M Skylake Quad-Core 4.0 G... ASUS ROG MAXIMUS VIII EXTREME LGA 1151 Intel Z1... 3x MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition  2x [Trident Z] F4-3600C16D-16GTZKW 16-16-16-36... 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOptical Drive
Plextor M8Pe AIC 1TB PCI-Express 3.0 x4 MLC Int... Plextor M8Pe AIC 1TB PCI-Express 3.0 x4 MLC Int... LG BH16NS40 Blu-ray Card Reader: Rosewill RDCR-11003 - 3.5" 74-in-1... 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Custom Ultra cool passive heatsink Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit ViewSonic XG2703-GS Black 27" 4ms (GTG) IPS G-S... Das Keyboard 4 Professional Mechanical Keyboard 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
CORSAIR AXi Series AX1500i Digital 1500W 80 PLU... Corsair Obsidian 750D Black Aluminum / Steel AT... Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum Logitech 
AudioOtherOtherOther
onboard Canon i-SENSYS LBP7680Cx (5089B014) Duplex 9600... Canon imageFORMULA DR-F120 (9017B002) 600 dpi U... Brother Personal Plain Paper Fax Machine, FAX-575 
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