Desktop vrs Workstation

- May 2, 2021

Lenovo workstaiton

Difference between Desktop, Workstation and Gaming Computer?

Frequently we are asked what is the difference between these classes of desktop computer The key difference Is the intended use.  Desktops are designed for general business and home computing.  The provide a good compromise between cost and performance and can run most productivity software that people are looking for these day.  Workstation are intended for people who have more demanding applications, such as data analysis (data scientists), GIS systems and computer aided design (CAD).   Gamming machines are similar to workstations but intended to support graphics intensive gaming. 

Picking a Desktop?

You can usually tell the difference between a Home and Business desktop by the operating system.  Home desktops are normally sold with Windows Home installed while business desktops are usually sold with Windows Pro pre-installed.   The difference goes beyond that.  Home oriented desktops are usually designed to keep the upfront purchase price as low as possible and will be designed with lower cost components and typically come with a one year warranty.  A business oriented desktop will usually be configured for a lower total-cost of ownership, have higher grade components and come with a 3 year on site warranty. 

Computers running Windows Home can not be connected to the typical types of servers you find in small, or medium business.  Your ability to integrate Home computers into a typical business installation of Office 365 will be limited.   It is almost always more cost effective to buy a Pro based business computer than to upgrade after the fact.

If your planning to run MS-Office, desktop accounting software etc.  This is the type of computer you want.

Picking a Workstation?

You need to start by understanding what type of workload you will be running on your computer.   If your doing data analytics you may not need advanced graphics capability but need larger volumes of memory and a motherboard that have been optimised to move data in/out of the processor quickly.  Depending on the type of analytics applications your running you may want a machine with multiple parallel threads or faster single threats.   This comes down to the nature of the analysis. Are your running a computer code designed for a highly parallel operation?  Are you running a code that is memory bound? 

Gaming workstation are optimised for GPU based rendering.  From time to time we encounter an business use where this is an ideal machine.  Other aspects of the gaming machine is usually cosmetic.  

Give ups a call our technical experts can help figure out the optimal setup for you.