I am looking to evaluate CUDA for scientific applications (mostly molecular dynamics, also large data sets involving nonlinear regression). I am an old FORTRAN programmer and have been using MATLAB lately, but I am not experienced with parallel programming, CUDA, etc.
I have a new grad student and want him to get started on CUDA. With grad students, it takes a few years to come up to speed, and I assume the technology will be faster and maybe cheaper then, so the idea is to configure a workable system to get us through the learning curve, then drop bigger $$ when we are able to take advantage of the better system.
I’m wondering how the following would fare? An MSI K9N2 Diamond mb (SLI 780a, 3 PCIe 2.0), AMD Phenom x4 9950 (2.6 GHz), 8 GB DDR-2 RAM 800MHz, 650W or higher power, one or two EVGA GTX 285 2 GB cards, and a cheaper card for display (maybe GT9500 with 1 GB).
The idea is a mix of the increased speed from CUDA with a cost effective system to learn the ropes with. Any help would be greatly appreciated.