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  • Workstations


Published: May 30, 2016

The line between standard office PCs and workstations has blurred greatly since the turn of the millennium. However, that line is still there to some extent, and while commodity PCs can provide all of the performance most office employees need, professionals in the technical, scientific and financial industries need much more. Fortunately, Sun, Dell and HP produce a range of powerful computers designed with demanding applications in mind. And just like when purchasing a PC or server, a buyer can save a lot of money by going with a refurbished model.

What businesses should consider workstations for their operations?

Commodity PCs, like those found in offices around the world, are not intended to be used in memory or graphic intensive operations. They tend to be designed with budget processors and may even be equipped with integrated graphics instead of a dedicated graphics card. In other words, performing anything more than basic office tasks will bring the computer to a halt and possibly result in instability.

Obviously, not all industries need the best hardware for their operations, but professionals that deal with a lot of data or graphics will require the extra performance. With their greater capacity in running simulations, handling huge data loads and rendering advanced graphics, they are ideal for scientists, engineers, financial experts and designers.

The difference between the high performance machines and standard PCs is all about the components they are built with. With top tier processors, additional RAM and one or more high end graphics cards, workstations can go much further than standard computers.

What are some popular models that companies can get refurbished?

Sun and HP both have a number of models to choose from, and though Sun no longer produces new models, its Ultra 25 and Ultra 45 are still in use in critical applications, including government and defense. Both run on the brand’s highly respected SPARC chipset and are prized for their performance and excellent reliability. Both are configured with up to 16 GB of RAM and use the brand’s Solaris OS. They can handle four SATA or SAS drives, with up to a TB of storage.

HP has released a number of workstations in recent years, so it can offer even more impressive performance with its products. They are built with the E5 line of Xeon processors and offer 16 DIMM slots for up to 512 GB of RAM. They can also be upgraded to NVIDIA’s respected Quadro line of video cards, which are ideal for extremely graphics-intensive applications, like 3D design programs. Among the most popular HP models are the Z600, Z620, Z800 and Z820.

Dell also offers a number of respected models in its Precision line, including the T7610, a tower form factor, and the R7910, a rack form factor. Both can accommodate several graphics cards and are built with Intel’s line of Xeon processors.

When a garden variety PC just won’t cut it, business owners should consider workstations for their professionals. The performance boost will be a welcome sight for employees, and will result in immediate productivity benefits.