Workstation vs Desktop: Key Differences

Workstation vs Desktop: Key Differences

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Summary: Buying decision to opt from workstation or desktop could be tricky. While it depends on work intensity, your budget could also be a determining factor.

Key Differences of Workstation vs Desktop

For quick navigation, let’s review seven factors to know the difference.

  1. CPU
  2. Hard Drive
  3. Memory
  4. GPU
  5. OS and ISV Certification
  6. Performance and Reliability
  7. Price

1. CPU

With workstation computer, you would require a processing power to run computer-intensive programs. It helps you run more resource-intensive apps & programs. Thus, you would need to configure multiple processor cores. Based on these processor cores, you can expect more processing power to perform different tasks efficiently. It will also make your workstation respond more quickly. You can run multiple programs at once simultaneously without any lags.

With desktops, you may find it hard to run resource-intensive tasks as you do on workstations. On most desktops, you can see Intel Core i3 to Intel Core i7 processors installed, while with workstations, you can find Intel Core i7 as the least requirement. Additionally, it includes one or two Intel Xeon processors for seamless user experience

2. Hard Drive

With ordinary desktop computers, you will find HDD or SATA SSD as a storage solution. With some high-end desktop computers, you may discover PCI-E SSD installed. However, with workstations where you need to install a lot of data in comparison to an ordinary computer, you would require more storage space. On workstations, you mostly find RAID or PCI-E SSD.

3. Memory

The rule of thumb for your desktop computer to determine how much memory is enough is to look at your needs of the software you intend to run. You should look for both minimum and recommend requirements for smooth operations. With most ordinary desktops, you would find memory in 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB or more memory options.

When it comes to workstations, you will find they are configured with about twice the memory of your ordinary desktop computer. It makes it capable of running large resource-intensive tasks. In addition to that, ECC memory (Error Correcting Code Memory) is also supported by workstations based on Intel Xeon processor. It is useful to detect & correct up to 99.9998 percent of memory errors for better system uptime and data integrity.

4. GPU

Ordinary graphic cards are used on desktops that help you optimize DirectX and a few games that use OpenGL. With larger workstations, professional graphics cards are used. Graphics cards such as Nvidia Quadro or Firepro helps you view complex 3D models with high precision. It also supports SLI architecture and OpenGL standards. Thus, you can expect workstations to support higher screen resolution, multi-head output, and more intensive tasks.

5. OS and ISV Certification

If you are using a desktop, Windows 10 home is sufficient. However, with workstations generally Windows 10 Professional or Windows 7 professional version is suitable. It is because they offer business features. Additionally, some users also use other OS options like Linux, etc.

When it comes to ISV certification, workstations have the most extensive ones. For more stable performance display a workstation may require to pass a cooperative certification test conducted by various software developers like Autodesk, Adobe, etc. It is useful to ensure that workstation will work smoothly with professional software and even with substantial 3D rendering and computer work. It is helpful to avoid the delay caused by downtime.

6. Performance and Reliability

You can use a desktop computer to perform basic tasks seamlessly, such as web surfing, email, gaming, word processing, etc. However, workstations are designed to do the heavy lifting for you. You can use them to perform more intensive tasks such as photo-realistic rendering animation, CAD, data analysis, video * audio editing and creation, and more.

When it comes to reliability, workstations are equipped with higher standard components in comparison to ordinary desktop computers. On workstations, you can find high-quality capacitors and other efficient components. With workstations, you can expect high performance and minimum downtime and other issues.

7. Price

As workstations are used for heavy-duty tasks, and they require more power and features, they are comparatively high on price, than desktop PCs. You can buy desktop PCs in the range of $500-$1000. While fully functional workstation may cost you $1000-$3000, and more.

So, this was a quick discussion on workstation and desktop computer. Choose one of these options as per your need & budget. Do comment in the box below if you want to know more about similar topics.

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