The Whys and Wherefores of Workstations: 5 Key Advantages

Posted by TomPurves on July 23, 2018

You can tell from its list price that a workstation is no ordinary PC. But what do you get in return for that investment? More than you probably realise. Some advantages are obvious (faster processing! higher capacity!) but today’s workstations have even more to offer.

1. Power

Workstations are known for their ability to support the most demanding workloads, providing high-performance components that ensure fast access to data and allow users to easily run multiple processes simultaneously. Be it for in-CAD simulations, software code builds, business analytics, complex financial calculations, design renderings, machine learning or other taxing jobs, a workstation can provide the powerful processors required, including pro-grade GPUs.

Workstations offer considerably more memory and storage than a PC, as well as high data transfer rates. HP Z workstations equipped with Turbo Drive, for example, have an ultra-fast PCIe-based SSD storage system that offers up to 6x the performance of SATA SSDs and up to 21x the performance of traditional HDD storage1.

2. Choice

Despite their singular design, workstations offer extensive choice, with configuration options you can mix and match to meet your requirements for both functionality and price. With a wide range of options for primary and secondary processors, memory, internal storage, graphics and networking, these workstations provide built-in flexibility to expand both capacity and capabilities in the future. For example, one mid-range HP Z model workstation offers your choice of 17 processor specs, 9 memory specs, 15 SATA drive specs and 7 graphics card specs2.

Now you can choose from different form factors, as well. “Modern workstations don't need to be big, bulky machines that dominate the desktop, but can be trendy and even fashionable devices with high quality designs, without sacrificing pure power and performance”, say the editors at TechRadar3. If a tower is not ideal, choose a small form factor or an all-in-one—or even a laptop for workstation users who require mobility.

3. Trust

Workstations are designed with the high reliability your users require to fulfil their business-critical functions. High-reliability features can include Error Correcting Code (ECC) RAM, which detects and repairs most memory errors before they have a chance to impact operations. ECC RAM is essential to preventing potentially devastating system crashes that stop work in its tracks and put data integrity at risk, especially for large-memory workloads.

In addition, workstations can provide options for multiple processor cores, RAID configurations for real-time backup at the OS level, more sophisticated cooling mechanisms, and optional redundant components such as power supplies and fans. These and other server-grade features combine to create a high-performance environment you and your users can trust.

4. Control

Well-equipped workstations provide the tools to successfully secure, manage and service the device, giving IT pros the control they need. These features can include hardware-based encryption and TPM authentication, built-in diagnostics, tool-free repair and upgrades, and monitoring and management capabilities that help ensure high availability and problem-free performance. For example, IT pros can use pre-installed tools like HP Performance Advisor to manage HP Z workstation settings and drivers, monitor and optimise performance, and expedite troubleshooting.

5. Longevity

Workstations provide not only day-to-day workhorse reliability but long-term durability. They’re built to meet a higher standard, starting with the motherboard, and are designed to run heavy workloads 24/7. Long after the user has gone home for the day, workstations are perfectly happy to spend the night crunching numbers and rendering images.

Premium workstations often have robust warranties that reflect that durability—warranties that protect your investments and keep your high-value users productive. Down the road, when the user has moved on to an even bigger and better system, the organisation can still find that workstation valuable, using it to run all manner of workloads and processes behind the scenes.

Workstations have a lot to give, both to users and to the IT pros who support them. Even an entry-level workstation can provide these benefits, albeit on a smaller scale. It’s worth exploring the benefits and the impact today’s workstations can have on your organisation.

CDW recommends HP Workstations. Windows 10 Pro means business.

For more information contact your CDW Account Manager or email HP@uk.cdw.com.

Author - Victoria Currie, HP Sales Specialist


1  https://press.ext.hp.com/us/en/press-releases/2017/hp-unveils-worlds-most-powerful-and-first-detachable-pc-workstat.html

2 https://store.hp.com/us/en/mdp/desktops/hp-z4-workstation-3074457345617221670-1

3 https://www.techradar.com/news/top-10-best-workstations

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