Hi Robert. Fantastic name! (It is my name too)
This does not suit me.
I have a limited budget due to grants limitations, and the cost of a dell workstation almost completely finishes off what I have left in my grant. Other sources of funding are available of course, but I do not want to take up a part of someone's budget if there is the alternative that another machine could do the job.
Besides which, the memory included in Dell's workstations is 12 GB -- not nearly enough to do the kinds of calculations I do.
Xeon vs Core i7?
Xeon if you want the max.
The i7 will do for most jobs, but if you get into some real heavy computational work, cores count.
Dual Xeon hyperthreaded 6 cores processors will get you more raw power than your get from any single processor system.
(at least till Moore's law kicks in and another generation of processors hit the market.) .
(you can tell surfing the internet is not working this system very hard)
If the budget is of greater concern and space and power consummation is not, you might consider a small computer cluster.
For the cost of a nicly configured Dual XEON workstation, you could pick up 4 or 6 single CPU desktops to run in a cluster.
Set-up does require a bit more and you would need to make sure the applications you want to use would be supported in a cluster configuration.
As one person stated, "I bought the S5520SC workstation because I don't want to be a computer geek,I just want to use the darn thing."
Hmm, you may also want to check out http://www.gaussian.com/g_prod/comp_req.htm
"The multiprocessor version of G09W is limited to 4 processors (or cores). Similarly, any individual node within a cluster/network parallel job can take advantage of at most 4 processors/cores (e.g., a parallel calculation across 2 dual quad-core computer systems will require 4 workers: 2 per system)."
Which if i am reading correctly, limits this application to 4 Cores, 32bit mode, 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of disk regardless of how munch you have in the system under windows unless you are clustering. (Most windows laptop's exceeds this now days.)
In any case...
Gaussian 09 allows me to have multiple computers running the same calculation through a program they call Linda. However, this will only work well with a very high network throughput between them. Since I might not be able to set this up (due to cost), the benefits of parallel computing might be outweighed by the detriments of slow networking.
A single dedicated machine is the best way to go with my budget. I can afford myself a machine with a Core i7 processor, 48 GB of memory, etc. I can muster funding for a Xeon machine. I am just not sure which of the two processors is best.
That is only true for Windows and G09W. We will be running Red Hat Linux Enterprise for Workstations.
I already have a laptop which I use for calculations. It isn't a great machine, and it's done okay with semi-empirical calculations. However, these empirical calculations require much higher stats with, at minumum, a 48 GB memory capacity and 6 cores.
I am debating whether it is worth the extra expense --- in terms of processing power/cost ratio --- to go with a machine that runs Xeon, or to go with a machine that runs Core i7.
It seems that you are limited to only a quad-core processor and 2 gb max ram if you have the windows version with specs shown below.
Gaussian 09W is a complete implementation of Gaussian 09 for the Windows environment. Be aware that Gaussian 09W is a 32-bit application. It is accordingly limited to 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of disk regardless of how much memory is available on the system.
Recommended Minimum System Requirements
Processor: Intel Pentium 4, Celeron, Xeon, AMD Athlon, AMD Phenom II. AMD Phenom/Barcelona processors with B2 stepping are not currently supported. G09W runs in 32-bit mode on 64-bit processors.
Operating System:requirements for G09W alone: Microsoft Windows XP, Server 2003, Vista (Home Basic, Business, Ultimate), Windows 7Memory (RAM): 1 GB
requirements for G09W Cluster/Network Parallel versions: Microsoft Windows XP or Vista Ultimate
Disk: 200 MB (G09W storage); and 500 MB or more (scratch space)
Other: CD-ROM drive; Mouse
Multiprocessor and Cluster/Network Parallel Versions
The multiprocessor version of G09W is limited to 4 processors (or cores). Similarly, any individual node within a cluster/network parallel job can take advantage of at most 4 processors/cores (e.g., a parallel calculation across 2 dual quad-core computer systems will require 4 workers: 2 per system).