DHI is often asked about which hardware to purchase for use with MIKE models.
There are different types of applications in the MIKE software packages, all with different types of coding and when adding the complexity of the models, the performance outcome may vary significantly. Some models support only up to 8 CPU cores while others support more. Some support GPU´s and others utilize both GPU and CPU.
In addition, the development of data processing hardware changes constantly and DHI is not able to be fully updated on the latest developments, therefore, as a general rule, DHI does not give guidance to the choice of specific hardware.
However, the list below shows some of the considerations DHI takes with respect to which hardware to buy for inhouse use and how to use it.
#01 – Workstations
DHI only use professional workstations from Dell.
#02 – Different DHI models
Due to the complexity of the models, below is only general recommendations:
- High CPU speed, >3Ghz is recommended – disable Hyper Threading (HT)
- The more CPU cache the better > i.e. Intel Xeon Gold or Platinum CPU´s
- If a computer has i.e. 4 memory banks, fill them all with memory
- Configure a fast Boot drive (C:\) and never place output files on C:\, fast means SSD or NVMe types.
- Preferably a fast data drive of type SSD or NVMe.
Other recommendations: Never write output files over a network.
#03 - GPU modelling
There are many different types of GPU on the market and as MIKE software officially only supports GPU´s from Nvidia, this is the type that DHI purchase for inhouse use.
The consumer products from Nvidia like the G-force series vary constantly in versions and performance and are therefore not used by DHI.
Since the standard DHI model machine is based on a Dell Workstation hardware, the GPU cards DHI use are from the Professional Nvidia series, like the Quadro RTX series, A series or Tesla series. These cards are certified together with the workstation to perform at continuous max load.
Using a GPU may not be the only solution to models supporting GPU´s since some models both require CPU performance and GPU performance (Coupled models).
Note that low performance from a Nvidia ”GPU” could be due to a low level display card from Nvidia.
#04 - Hardware being used at DHI
The following specifications are based on the currently used model machines in our DK/US datacenter (as per April 2023):
• Brand: Dell
• Model: Workstation R7920
• CPU: One or two Intel Gold 6248R 24 core at 3Ghz, and 35,75MB cache
• 256GB memory, all banks filled out.
• C: 1TB NVMe ram disk
• D: 8 TB SATA disk
• Dual 1400Watt Power supplies
• 10G SFP+ network
• GPU´s: Nvidia RTX A6000 or better.
Other types of modeling setups being used are:
• Dell Server with dual AMD EPYC 64 core CPU´s, 384GB memory (DHI Applications depends on various Intel applications, why performance on AMD may vary).
• Dell HPC – 448 Cores and Nvidia Tesla V100