The difference between Workstation and a Desktop PC

Have you ever wondered what is the difference between a Workstation and a Desktop PC? Or why is a workstation more expensive?

In this article you will find out what is the difference between the two types of computers, when and how to use each of them.

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For those who do not know both terms, it is important to clarify what each of them means:

Desktop PC - is a personal computer, located on a desk or table, and is connected to a monitor and peripherals (mouse, keyboard, etc.). They usually have Intel or AMD processors in the consumer range and work with the Microsoft Windows or Mac OS operating system. They are intended for normal use, without much requirement on their part.

Workstation - is a special computer designed for technical or scientific applications that require more resources to work best. Although the workstation is a well-known term, it is also commonplace that a graphics station or workstation. They are divided into two categories: mobile workstations and fixed (visually similar to desktop, but much more powerful). They are mostly used by engineers, architects, designers, professional photo / video developers, programmers and the list can continue.
What is the difference between a Workstation and a Desktop PC?

1. The cost

Perhaps the first obvious differentiator is the price of these two types of computers. While a desktop PC may have a configuration costing from several hundreds of leva, a graphics station may cost even tens of thousands of dollars for high-end configurations.

2. Performance

A normal desktop PC can ensure effective use for browser use, sending an email, writing a document, and viewing a medium-sized video from a graphical point of view. On the other hand, a graphics station has tens of times more processing power needed for various professional applications: CAD, 2D, 3D and 4D animation programs, photo and video rendering, and content creation and editing programs audio / video.

3. Durability

A graphics station, unlike a regular computer, has hardware components (motherboard, processor, RAM, HDD, graphics card, etc.) built and prepared to withstand the continuous demands throughout the day. Workstations will often be allowed to process, even at night, to maximum capabilities, different video files, animations, or databases.

What are the special features of a workstation?

You may be wondering, however, what are the different hardware workstations, unlike a regular Desktop PC? Where does the price difference arise?

Sustainability, reliability and high processing capability are generally specific to all graphics stations. General hardware specifications of workstations:

CPU (Central Processing Unit) - The most common processor on all workstations, regardless of manufacturer, is Intel Xeon. The power of a processor in such situations is not only due to the frequencies it can reach, but also to the number of cores it has. The more a processor has multiple cores, the more prepared to cope in parallel, the more tasks.

Motherboard - Another special feature of workstations is motherboards that allow the simultaneous installation of multiple processors, multiple graphics cards, two Gigabit LAN ports, a Thunderbolt, and more. Which means it offers much more than a rudimentary computer.

Error-correcting code memory (ECC) - A much more expensive memory type that allows for any memory error to be corrected before it affects the entire system.

Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) - All computers must send a signal to a monitor. With a dedicated, high-end graphics card, it can take on the processor tasks, fluidizing the entire process. At the same time, it is well known that professional graphics cards (nVidia Quadro or AMD FirePro) are also extremely expensive.

RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) - The ability to back up, or back up, information using a second HDD or SSD.

PSU (Power Supply Unit) - High Power Sources with Gold / Platinum Certifications that enable high performance components to be accommodated.

Warranty - Most graphics stations come with warranties from 3 years of age, promising to repair or replace your computer two days.

Reliability - Workstations are specially assembled to make it more efficient to interfere with any hardware. They are equipped with multiple ventilators and have housings that allow for efficient ventilation and workflow 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

All of this performance raises the price of workstations far above that of ordinary computers. For the most demanding configurations, the price can be extremely high.

Among the most famous workstation manufacturers are names like HP (Hewlett-Packard), DELL, Lenovo or Apple.

Is it worth the price difference?

For a normal use of a computer, a Desktop PC is certainly enough. If you have a job that calls for the computer extremely from all points of view, you are sure to hit the moments when you had dead time, waiting for the PC to finish executing all the tasks it has. These times can be streamlined with a workstation, increasing your productivity and the number of projects you can manage in the shortest possible time. Prices of professional IT & C equipment are rather stiff. This is how a new market segment emerged, the refurbished IT & C product market, which includes, among others, a refurbished workstation. This allows people who want to purchase performing computers that are suitable for the workplace but do not have the budgets demanded by major manufacturers for new products, even for the weakest configurations.

What is a Refurbished Workstation?

Many IT departments of major Western companies are changing their Workstations after 3 years, not because of physical wear and tear, but also because of the moral wear and tear and the budgets for new equipment being allocated to them. These products reach the free market, where teams of specialists take over, check them down to the smallest details and put them on sale. The price of refurbished products often reaches 50% of the price of a new equipment.

These equipments benefit from the same warranty period as new ones, 3 years, with the possibility of extending to 5 years and are in perfect working order. This is the first option for many small and large companies in Romania who prefer to buy more efficient but reliable products. Looking at other eyes, in the same budget as you allow a new workstation, you can purchase a more refined workstation.

More and more such companies, which sell refurbished IT equipment, have also emerged in Romania in recent years. One of the most popular ones is Server Config SRL, located near Oradea. Their offer includes refurbished graphics stations, business refurbished laptops, but also servers and networking equipment.

Basically, most professional equipment can be bought at much more affordable prices knowing this type of refurbished product.

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