Need help putting together Matlab machine

MATLAB-specific help discussions.

Need help putting together Matlab machine

Postby adumi » Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:53 am

I am assisting a friend in putting together a 64bit (windows XP or 7) machine dedicated solely for Matlab, and I need advice about investing correctly in hardware, fine tweaking the purchase so as to get the most out of the available budget.
The tasks he has in Matlab are as follows:
He uses propagators to make propagation calculations of the Schrödinger equations and other field equations derived from the standard model. These Calculations require convolutions in two and even three stages for each time point. In functions with two spatial parameters and a time parameter he needs to get to a number of points of N1*N2*N3 where N is of a scale of 10 to the power 4. For each Time point, a data-matrix of N2*N3 composite points has to be saved to file. Also needs to be solved are other differential equations related to these data matrices and for that purpose data has to be pulled out of previousely saved files.
Another optional but not obligatory need is:
To present in animation using a spatial coordinate system the evolving in time of the wave function and of particle movement derived from the afore mentioned calculations.

As I understand it there are a number of major players here that I would like to know to which I should give precedence:

Processor speed
Processor core numbers – I know the new Matlab versions do multithread but to what extent? Should I invest in faster duo or in slower quad or even core i7?
Processor L1 cache – How important it is for Matlab vs. core number and vs. speed?
Processor L2 cache - How important it is for Matlab vs. core number and vs. speed?

Are there any known processor brands/models known to benchmark well with Matlab?

RAM : Ram is pretty straight forward in the sense that the more advanced(ddr3 vs. 2), the more volume and the faster – the better it is but I hope to understand whether to invest more in RAM volume and speed Vs. CPU Vs. Hardisk. Your advice will simply help me to decide how much to invest in ram (DDR3 triple channel or DDR2 dual channel, as well as it`s volume and speed)

Motherboard: Would there be any value for 12 GB of RAM for matlab 64bit because if so, I would invest in a motherboard with 6 RAM slots (instead of 4) so I can buy more slots in the future.

Hard disk - How important is it to invest in it for Matlab?
Would a small (32GB) faster (10000 rpm) or Solid state drive HD for the operating system is worth the investment vs. other components?
Or perhaps even a Large fast rpm HD also for the Matlab files too?
How important is HD cache here?
Should I aim at any specific RAID setup?

Finally – Graphic card, I know there is a need for OpenGL but other than that is it O.K. to cut expenses with a relatively low-end graphic card so more can be invested in other components?
This machine will not be over clocked.

Thank you for your time and patience, your assistance will be very appreciated.
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