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ModFlow/SeaWat and SUTRA - Recommended System Requirements?

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  • cjrusson
    All, I m starting in graduate school and my first assigned task for my research is to purchase a new computer for our modeling program. Can anyone detail
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 2, 2009
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      All,

      I'm starting in graduate school and my first assigned task for my research is to purchase a new computer for our modeling program. Can anyone detail minimum system requirements (and optimal) for running ModFlow/SeaWat and Sutra (especially through the ArgusOne shell)? The only comments I've seen on this topic have been along the lines of "the bigger the better," which is exactly what Argus said about their shell, but they would not comment on the USGS scripts individually.

      What would you recommend for ram and processor speed? Am I going to be happier running XP than Vista or would Vista be better for the increased ram allowances? Also, are the USGS programs multithreaded, or would spending money on multi-core chipsets be pointless in terms of running these scripts?

      Thank you for any input.

      Cheers,

      Chris Russoniello
    • Richard B. Winston
      Hi As far as XP vs Vista goes, I doubt you will see much difference between them in terms of how Argus ONE, MODFLOW, or SUTRA perform. However, getting a dual
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 2, 2009
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        Hi

        As far as XP vs Vista goes, I doubt you will see much difference between
        them in terms of how Argus ONE, MODFLOW, or SUTRA perform. However,
        getting a dual processor system can be helpful even though the programs
        are single-threaded because when the models are running, they tend to
        take up a lot of processor time. If you only have one processor,
        anything else you try to do at the same time might be very sluggish. If
        you are going to run long transient simulations, a large disk drive will
        be helpful because the output files can get very big. This is
        especially true if you want to do solute transport using MT3DMS because
        MODFLOW has to write a file containing all the flows in every time step.
        That file is used as part of the input for MT3DMS.

        I'm running Argus ONE on a Windows XP Professional laptop with a dual 2
        GHz processors and 4 GB of RAM. I've never had problems running Argus
        ONE on this system. You can certainly get by on less than that. On 32
        bit operating systems, 4 GB is the maximum amount of memory that the
        computer can use. The operating system uses some of that memory so, in
        practice, there is less memory than that available for programs. With a
        64 bit operating system with more than 4GB, 32 bit programs can use up
        to 4GB of memory because they don't have to share it with the operating
        system. That is true for both XP 64 and Vistas 64. Argus ONE, MODFLOW
        and SUTRA are all 32 bit programs so they can't use more than 4GB of
        RAM. (It might be possible to recompile MODFLOW and SUTRA to be 64 bit
        programs. However, I advise against trying to do that unless you really
        have a pressing need and are willing to invest a substantial amount of
        time and effort in the process.) Argus ONE will run on 64 bit operating
        systems but unless you are running really large models, you are probably
        better off just getting a 32 bit system.

        cjrusson wrote:
        >
        >
        > All,
        >
        > I'm starting in graduate school and my first assigned task for my
        > research is to purchase a new computer for our modeling program. Can
        > anyone detail minimum system requirements (and optimal) for running
        > ModFlow/SeaWat and Sutra (especially through the ArgusOne shell)? The
        > only comments I've seen on this topic have been along the lines of
        > "the bigger the better," which is exactly what Argus said about their
        > shell, but they would not comment on the USGS scripts individually.
        >
        > What would you recommend for ram and processor speed? Am I going to be
        > happier running XP than Vista or would Vista be better for the
        > increased ram allowances? Also, are the USGS programs multithreaded,
        > or would spending money on multi-core chipsets be pointless in terms
        > of running these scripts?
        >
        > Thank you for any input.
        >
        > Cheers,
        >
        > Chris Russoniello
        >
        >
      • peter kroopnick
        You might also want to consider purchase of an external hard drive. They are very inexpensive these days. I usually dedicate one to each model project. Keep
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 3, 2009
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          You might also want to consider purchase of an external hard drive. They
          are very inexpensive these days. I usually dedicate one to each model
          project. Keep the latest run on the main drive, for speed. But then
          offload the previous run to the external drive. This also gives you
          redundancy in case you need to revert to a previous run, but you do not lose
          a month's work if things crash.

          Pete



          From: gwmodel@yahoogroups.com [mailto:gwmodel@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
          Richard B. Winston
          Sent: Wednesday, September 02, 2009 17:49
          To: gwmodel@yahoogroups.com; cjrusson@...
          Subject: Re: [gwmodel] ModFlow/SeaWat and SUTRA - Recommended System
          Requirements?

          Hi

          As far as XP vs Vista goes, I doubt you will see much difference between
          them in terms of how Argus ONE, MODFLOW, or SUTRA perform. However,
          getting a dual processor system can be helpful even though the programs
          are single-threaded because when the models are running, they tend to
          take up a lot of processor time. If you only have one processor,
          anything else you try to do at the same time might be very sluggish. If
          you are going to run long transient simulations, a large disk drive will
          be helpful because the output files can get very big. This is
          especially true if you want to do solute transport using MT3DMS because
          MODFLOW has to write a file containing all the flows in every time step.
          That file is used as part of the input for MT3DMS.

          I'm running Argus ONE on a Windows XP Professional laptop with a dual 2
          GHz processors and 4 GB of RAM. I've never had problems running Argus
          ONE on this system. You can certainly get by on less than that. On 32
          bit operating systems, 4 GB is the maximum amount of memory that the
          computer can use. The operating system uses some of that memory so, in
          practice, there is less memory than that available for programs. With a
          64 bit operating system with more than 4GB, 32 bit programs can use up
          to 4GB of memory because they don't have to share it with the operating
          system. That is true for both XP 64 and Vistas 64. Argus ONE, MODFLOW
          and SUTRA are all 32 bit programs so they can't use more than 4GB of
          RAM. (It might be possible to recompile MODFLOW and SUTRA to be 64 bit
          programs. However, I advise against trying to do that unless you really
          have a pressing need and are willing to invest a substantial amount of
          time and effort in the process.) Argus ONE will run on 64 bit operating
          systems but unless you are running really large models, you are probably
          better off just getting a 32 bit system.

          cjrusson wrote:
          >
          >
          > All,
          >
          > I'm starting in graduate school and my first assigned task for my
          > research is to purchase a new computer for our modeling program. Can
          > anyone detail minimum system requirements (and optimal) for running
          > ModFlow/SeaWat and Sutra (especially through the ArgusOne shell)? The
          > only comments I've seen on this topic have been along the lines of
          > "the bigger the better," which is exactly what Argus said about their
          > shell, but they would not comment on the USGS scripts individually.
          >
          > What would you recommend for ram and processor speed? Am I going to be
          > happier running XP than Vista or would Vista be better for the
          > increased ram allowances? Also, are the USGS programs multithreaded,
          > or would spending money on multi-core chipsets be pointless in terms
          > of running these scripts?
          >
          > Thank you for any input.
          >
          > Cheers,
          >
          > Chris Russoniello
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