How to configure your computer to get the most out of nTopology

Objective:

Learn how to configure your computer to get the most out of nTopology. 

These suggestions are above and beyond the minimum system requirements (which will run nTopology smoothly). This is designed to guide customers who are looking to maximize computer performance. 

CPU:

nTopology performance is most impacted by CPU core count and speed. The CPU is where the majority of computations take place.

CPU examples:

    • AMD Threadripper 3970x
      • More robust for use with older programs
    • AMD Threadripper 3990x
      • It may be difficult to keep cool

The main difference between these two options is that one has double the cores of the other, and therefore will run many operations in nTopology almost twice as fast.

Another example of a good CPU for nTop would be any recent, high-core count Intel CPU. 

Read more on the effects core count has on nTopology here: How does nTop scale with CPU core count?

Memory:

A lot of RAM is required for fast topology optimizations. A minimum of 64 GB is recommended, but larger models (5M+ elements) have consumed 128 GB of RAM. The amount of RAM you need depends on how big the models you want to analyze are.

High-core count CPUs (like those recommended above) typically require more RAM to run well. 

RAM Example:

    • 256 GB DDR4-3600 CL18 kit

GPU:

nTopology currently doesn't support multiple GPUs. nTopology will run with multiple, but it only utilizes one GPU. We recommend buying one better GPU, rather than multiple ones. You want to focus on the amount of memory when choosing a GPU.

GPU examples:

    • Modern NVIDIA GPUs (such as 3080/3090)
    • Titan RTX
    • Quadro RTX 5000 and up
    • Previous generation 2080ti or 2080

SSD & More

Since the CPU is where most computations take place, we recommend a fast SSD (with a M.2 connection). A fast SSD helps open files faster, is more responsive, and has a larger capacity drive to save big topology optimization files. 

SSD examples:

    • Intel CPUs
    • Single-socket Xeon-W processors

We have seen some performance consequences with Dual Xeon configurations and don't recommend them for an ideal nTopology computer build.

 

This is a guideline for maximizing computer performance in nTopology. Hopefully, this will help you decide on some features for your workstation build. 

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Keywords:

 machine GPU computer memory cores set up CPU SSD RAM rtx titan quadro threadripper core ideal power xeon threads 
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