I run Python/C simulations for biological problems, so the range of computational tasks can be broad. Here are some examples:
1) continuum model simulations: FEM type
2) agent-based simulations: each agent may be a 2D polygon, on whose vertices ODEs are defined, modelling the time evolution of interesting variables, and interactions may be defined -- such a model may involve lots of computational geometry
3) agent-based simulations: each agent may be modelled using level set methods
4) agent-based simulations: interacting particle systems which are evolved using stochastic methods (e.g. Monte Carlo)
5) molecular dynamics simulations
Currently, I have access to a computer with an Intel i5-2500K processor, but it is not my own, and I can only use it when free. I am running a model of type 2), and it may take me a few hours if there are lots of agents.
I have a small budget (~$600 CAD) for a computer solely targeted towards scientific computing. What sort of processor should I look into picking up? What are some important terms and definitions I should know?