Getting an edge with a power packed workstation

With the increasing popularity of mobility in the workplace the notebook has certainly encroached into the PC market

September 23, 2010

With the increasing popularity of mobility in the workplace the notebook has certainly encroached into the PC market.  Further driving the demand for notebooks, they are also regarded as more ‘hip’ with the many designs and form factors that have emerged. However, there is much to be said for the workstation, a more powerful desktop that is purpose built for applications requiring a machine that packs a substantial punch. Enter the Workstation.

This is according to Deon Botha, HP PSG product specialist at distributor Drive Control Corporation (DCC).

He explains, “The difference between a personal computer (PC) and a Workstation boils down to performance and power.  Many PC users don’t require a powerful computer for most business applications such as work processing and spreadsheets but there are certain industries and professionals such as graphic designers, software developers, engineers, architects and financial analytics that require more than a standard computer system can deliver.  These individuals have heavy demands and require a workstation that not only features power and performance but reliability, robustness, professional service and support and high end graphics.

Processing Power

A good Workstation will feature one or multiple Intel Core i5, Core i7 or quad-core Intel Xeon processors that deliver higher performance for power hungry applications and tasks.

Remember the memory

High end applications and tasks are memory intensive.  Workstations feature more robust memory subsystems such as your choice of mission critical Error Correcting Code (ECC) or faster non-ECC RAM.  This is crucial to tune and allow you to improve the performance of the workstation but also prevent those dreaded ‘crashes’ and incorrect computations.  Workstations can feature memory of up to 192 Gigabytes (GB), increasing performance of interactive sessions.

Pushing the hard drive

Hard disk drives (HDDs) are an important component of workstations with some high end versions including up to 5 3.5″ SATA drives, or up to 6 2.5″ SATA drives, or up to 5 3.5″ SAS drives, featuring 7200 to 15000 rpm. So what does this mean? Says Botha: “These higher rotational speeds of the hard drives reduce latency and increases data transfer bandwidth thus improving the performance of the workstation significantly.  In addition, high end workstations can include external expansion bays to accommodate even more hard drives including eSATA and SAS drives.”

Grabbing graphics

Workstations are designed to support the most powerful graphics cards and are able to support the additional power and cooling requirements of these cards. Workstations feature a range of NVIDIA and ATI professional graphics with some even including software that combines real-time 3D graphics sharing and four-way HD video conferencing.

Hey good looking!

One would think that with a rugged, powerful workstation that looks will be compromised. Not so. The latest generation of workstations not only transforms the way you work but also makes the most of your desktop space with remarkably compact designs that can be used as a desktop or tower and surprisingly good looks.

Be an energy star

Energy efficiency is just as crucial in a workstation as it is in a PC or notebook.  Energy conscious vendors deliver workstations that include Energy Star qualified systems that can deliver up to 85% efficient power supplies as well as lower energy consumption in ‘off mode’.

Botha concludes, “Business and professional users should look towards workstations to deliver the ultimate in computing performance and are equipped to handle the most demanding tasks with ease.”