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Supported Platforms

Flow Science supports FLOW-3D Cast on Windows x86 32-bit and 64-bit platforms.

We recommend 64-bit operating systems for running FLOW-3D Cast simulations since the size of simulations is limited only by the computer’s installed memory, whereas 32-bit operating systems limit simulations to about 3 million computation cells.

Supported Operating Systems

Platform Operating System

X86/x86-32 (Intel Pentium/Xeon/Core,
AMD Athlon/Opteron)

All editions of 32-bit Windows XP; Server; and Windows Vista and 7

X86/x86-64 (Intel Pentium/Xeon/Core, AMD Athlon/Opteron)

All editions of 64-bit Windows XP Pro; Server; and Windows Vista and 7

Graphics Support

FLOW-3D Cast supports Open GL graphics cards. Most graphics card with OpenGL 2.0 support will work well with FLOW-3D Cast. Look for graphics cards that specifically list OpenGL support for the operating system you're intending to use. Gaming graphics cards such as ATI's Radeon X-series and Nvidia's Geforce Series 6, 7, and 8 will perform well even for very large simulations. Workstation graphic cards such as ATI's FireGL and Nividia's Quadro cards will also work but usually cost more than gaming cards.

Both AGP and PCI-Express interfaces perform well. Onboard graphics such as Intel's 945GM Express Graphics can be expected to display graphics reasonably well for simulations up to a few million cells. For larger simulations, a dedicated graphics card with 512 MB of memory is recommended.

Please email Flow Science support for graphics card recommendations.

License Server Software

FLOW-3D uses FLEXlm for license management. If you choose to employ the FLEXlm floating manager on a Windows network, your network server must be running Microsoft Windows XP, Vista or 7 and you must use a hardware key (dongle).

Memory and Processor Speed

A minimum of 2GB of RAM is recommended per core. For example, a dual processor, quad core machine should then have at least 16 gigabytes of memory. Note however that the amount of RAM required is highly problem dependent. For simulations with large domains, or with complex geometry requiring fine resolution, significantly more RAM than the required minimum will be necessary. Memory speed has a small affect on simulation time and typically 1333 MHz memory will provide the best cost/performance benefit.

The most important hardware factor in improving the performance of FLOW-3D Cast is the processor since it handles both number crunching and graphics. For desktop (single processor) computers, a Core i7 processor such as the i7-970, is recommended. For workstation (dual processor) computers, a Xeon 5500 or 5600-series processor is recommended. The cost/performance sweet spot is the X5560 processor. If cost is not an issue, an i7-3960x for desktops and the Xeon X5690 for workstations provide the best possible performance.

Please email Flow Science support for more information.

Operating System

Windows is available in 32 and 64 bit versions. If the available memory on your hardware is 2GB or less, there is no benefit to running a 64-bit operating system. If your hardware has 3GB of memory (or more), running a 64-bit operating system will allow large (> 6 million cells) simulations to be run. On 32-bit operating systems, simulations will be limited to roughly 3 to 4 million cells regardless of how much memory is available. On 64-bit operating systems, the size of the simulation is only limited by the available memory on the computer.

Developer Tools

Users who wish to customize any of the subroutines that Flow Science distributes as part of the standard installation will need a license for the Intel Fortran compiler, version 11.1. Users running on the Windows operating system will need either Visual Studio 2005, 2008 Pro, or Microsoft Platform SDK. Visual Studio 2008 is provided with Intel Fortran 11.1.

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