LUG: Fwd: Need help with purchasing parts for custom build, or choice of Alienware for fastest possible serial computing jobs

Zachary Harrison Stigall zstigall at
Mon Feb 17 19:30:15 MST 2014

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Richard Gilmore" <rgilmore at>
Date: Feb 17, 2014 7:28 PM
Subject: Need help with purchasing parts for custom build, or choice of
Alienware for fastest possible serial computing jobs
To: <zstigall at>


Could I ask the LUG community on campus for some help with a new computer?
Could you post this to the mailing list? I'll also be around for the LUG
meetings on Thursday and can introduce myself then.

This is my dilemma:

I'm a PhD student in need of some help with buying my research team a new
computer and was wondering if there was any LUGs out there that would be
willing to help me spend about $5000 on it. I've been looking at Alienware,
but the school contract with DELL doesn't give a discount with Alienware.
So I've started to consider a custom build to get the fastest serial
processing jobs done. Sad I know, but we're stuck with use a single core to
setup the problem and then upload the computational part to Mio for solving
(and maybe even MC2 once Xeon PHI card programming is fully tested). Also,
we will be using the new machine for some post-processing image/video
creation, but this is not the main focus.

Simple specs:
Main program to be used: ANSYS Inc. Fluent and post-processing, and setup
of CFD meshing
OS: Linux... (ahum, and I guess VM for the windows office suite / adobe
CPU: fast as it comes - liquid cooled - overclocked
Video Card: Big debate here as to whats needed - (I have yet to test GPU
speed up)
RAM: 32GB, but may try to get 64GB in a custom build (already maxing out
25GB machine)
DRIVES: ~512GB SSD, with 3TB internal 7200RPM. (I spend way too much time
reading files into memory for post-processing)
No special monitor - prefer to login from another computer
Time frame: need to spend the money in the next two weeks, and have a
computer build in about 3-4.

I would do a lot of this myself, but simply can't spare that much time. I
could also, enlist some machinists in the ME depart for some custom cooling
parts if they knew what to make.

Please feel free to contact me:

Richard C. Gilmore
Colorado School of Mines
MS Mechanical Eng. | PhD Candidate Mechanical Eng.
Graduate Research Assistant - Coal Mine Ventilation
Email: rgilmore at
Cell:    (970) 201-9169
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