Department of Mechanical Engg., Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, 44106, USA
Department of Electrical Engg., Iowa State University, Ames, IA, 50014, USA
Three dimensional Navier-Stokes finite element formulations require huge computational power in terms of memory and CPU time. Recent developments in sparse direct solvers have significantly reduced the memory and computational time of direct solution methods. The objective of this study is twofold. First is to evaluate the performance of various state-of-the-art sequential sparse direct solvers in the context of finite element formulation of fluid flow problems. Second is to examine the merit in upgrading from 32 bit machine to a 64 bit machine with larger RAM capacity in terms of its capacity to solve larger problems. The choice of a direct solver is dependent on its computational time and its in-core memory requirements. Here four different solvers, UMFPACK, MUMPS, HSL_MA78 and PARDISO are compared. The performances of these solvers with respect to the computational time and memory requirements on a 64-bit windows server machine with 16GB RAM is evaluated.