Workstation vs Desktop

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by John Gregory, Oct 28, 2003.

  1. John Gregory

    John Gregory Guest

    I've been looking at the inventories of Dell's refurbished machines over the
    past few days. I initially though I needed a Dimension series. I principally
    multitask MS canned Office programs, browse the net to read news, view
    graphs, and occasionally listen to a radio station.

    Can someone give me a thumbnail sketch of a workstation vs a desktop as they
    would relate to my purpose. I do have an intranet connecting another old 486
    machine that's not too good for this type of use any more. The workstations
    look like they may be a bit beefier for this type of computing. Am I right?
     
    John Gregory, Oct 28, 2003
    #1
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  2. John Gregory

    Night_Seer Guest

    John Gregory wrote:
    > I've been looking at the inventories of Dell's refurbished machines
    > over the past few days. I initially though I needed a Dimension
    > series. I principally multitask MS canned Office programs, browse the
    > net to read news, view graphs, and occasionally listen to a radio
    > station.
    >
    > Can someone give me a thumbnail sketch of a workstation vs a desktop
    > as they would relate to my purpose. I do have an intranet connecting
    > another old 486 machine that's not too good for this type of use any
    > more. The workstations look like they may be a bit beefier for this
    > type of computing. Am I right?


    Workstation as in dual processors or what...those two words can mean
    anything. Tell us exactly what your looking at and we can help. As far
    as the typical workstation, it is probably overdoing it, as a desktop
    would handle all these functions just fine. In fact most likely a 500
    to 800 dollar desktop would handle all that just fine. Do you do any
    graphics? games? other 3D applications? encoding?

    --
    Night_Seer
     
    Night_Seer, Oct 28, 2003
    #2
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  3. John Gregory

    John Gregory Guest

    Thanks Night. I appreciate the response.

    This description of a Dell Precision Workstation 360 says "power" to me
    compared to the next one listed.

    http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/precn_360?c=us&cs=28&l=en&s=dfb

    I'd like to know what the following mean and how they impact upon me:

    A) 1MB L3 cache
    B) Dual Channel DDR
    C) The FSB is listed as 533 MHZ but someone told me I should get the highest
    possible for the money. I've seen 800's for the same money in the Dell
    Dimension series for around $1000.

    Here's the Dimension series:

    http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/compare.aspx/dimen?c=us&cs=28&l=en&s=dfb


    These don't propose to have any specific cache like above not dual anything.
    But they do tout "hyper-threading" which I suppose address the same area as
    the Dual channel DDR. I'd like to know more about that too.

    To clarify my applications:

    At any given time I'm likely to have running WORD 2000, EXCEL 2000, OUTLOOK
    2000, OUTLOOK EXPRESS, and INTERNET EXPLORER in two separate windows.

    Norton Systems Works an Personal Firewall run all the time.

    Two other computers can be networked but there are always at least two.

    I'm thinking of upgrading to OFFICE XP.

    I use MS Project and have recently discovered PhotoDeluxe for scanning
    digital pictures of home repair projects and landscaping. I can see an
    increased use in this area if I learn to superimpose one picture on top of
    another without spending hours on end.

    I listen to the radio sometimes and watch streaming clips of business news
    occasionally.

    I'd like to rum the computer into a receiver then distribute the program
    throughout my house; I wired it for speakers in every room and have a decent
    (not super) sound system.

    I don't play games but I can see some of my business interests taking to two
    monitors (although I don't know how that's done).


    "Night_Seer" <ecamacho4 at hotmail dot com> wrote in message
    news:...
    > John Gregory wrote:
    > > I've been looking at the inventories of Dell's refurbished machines
    > > over the past few days. I initially though I needed a Dimension
    > > series. I principally multitask MS canned Office programs, browse the
    > > net to read news, view graphs, and occasionally listen to a radio
    > > station.
    > >
    > > Can someone give me a thumbnail sketch of a workstation vs a desktop
    > > as they would relate to my purpose. I do have an intranet connecting
    > > another old 486 machine that's not too good for this type of use any
    > > more. The workstations look like they may be a bit beefier for this
    > > type of computing. Am I right?

    >
    > Workstation as in dual processors or what...those two words can mean
    > anything. Tell us exactly what your looking at and we can help. As far
    > as the typical workstation, it is probably overdoing it, as a desktop
    > would handle all these functions just fine. In fact most likely a 500
    > to 800 dollar desktop would handle all that just fine. Do you do any
    > graphics? games? other 3D applications? encoding?
    >
    > --
    > Night_Seer
    >
    >
     
    John Gregory, Oct 28, 2003
    #3
  4. John Gregory

    John Gregory Guest

    Thanks Night. I appreciate the response.

    This description of a Dell Precision Workstation 360 says "power" to me
    compared to the next one listed.

    http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/precn_360?c=us&cs=28&l=en&s=dfb

    I'd like to know what the following mean and how they impact upon me:

    A) 1MB L3 cache
    B) Dual Channel DDR
    C) The FSB is listed as 533 MHZ but someone told me I should get the highest
    possible for the money. I've seen 800's for the same money in the Dell
    Dimension series for around $1000.

    Here's the Dimension series:

    http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/compare.aspx/dimen?c=us&cs=28&l=en&s=dfb


    These don't propose to have any specific cache like above not dual anything.
    But they do tout "hyper-threading" which I suppose address the same area as
    the Dual channel DDR. I'd like to know more about that too.

    To clarify my applications:

    At any given time I'm likely to have running WORD 2000, EXCEL 2000, OUTLOOK
    2000, OUTLOOK EXPRESS, and INTERNET EXPLORER in two separate windows.

    Norton Systems Works an Personal Firewall run all the time.

    Two other computers can be networked but there are always at least two.

    I'm thinking of upgrading to OFFICE XP.

    I use MS Project and have recently discovered PhotoDeluxe for scanning
    digital pictures of home repair projects and landscaping. I can see an
    increased use in this area if I learn to superimpose one picture on top of
    another without spending hours on end.

    I listen to the radio sometimes and watch streaming clips of business news
    occasionally.

    I'd like to rum the computer into a receiver then distribute the program
    throughout my house; I wired it for speakers in every room and have a decent
    (not super) sound system.

    I don't play games but I can see some of my business interests taking to two
    monitors (although I don't know how that's done).


    "Night_Seer" <ecamacho4 at hotmail dot com> wrote in message
    news:...
    > John Gregory wrote:
    > > I've been looking at the inventories of Dell's refurbished machines
    > > over the past few days. I initially though I needed a Dimension
    > > series. I principally multitask MS canned Office programs, browse the
    > > net to read news, view graphs, and occasionally listen to a radio
    > > station.
    > >
    > > Can someone give me a thumbnail sketch of a workstation vs a desktop
    > > as they would relate to my purpose. I do have an intranet connecting
    > > another old 486 machine that's not too good for this type of use any
    > > more. The workstations look like they may be a bit beefier for this
    > > type of computing. Am I right?

    >
    > Workstation as in dual processors or what...those two words can mean
    > anything. Tell us exactly what your looking at and we can help. As far
    > as the typical workstation, it is probably overdoing it, as a desktop
    > would handle all these functions just fine. In fact most likely a 500
    > to 800 dollar desktop would handle all that just fine. Do you do any
    > graphics? games? other 3D applications? encoding?
    >
    > --
    > Night_Seer
    >
    >
     
    John Gregory, Oct 28, 2003
    #4
  5. John Gregory

    Night_Seer Guest

    John Gregory wrote:
    > Thanks Night. I appreciate the response.
    >
    > This description of a Dell Precision Workstation 360 says "power" to
    > me compared to the next one listed.
    >
    >

    http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/precn_360?c=us&cs=28&l=en&s=dfb
    >
    > I'd like to know what the following mean and how they impact upon me:
    >
    > A) 1MB L3 cache
    > B) Dual Channel DDR
    > C) The FSB is listed as 533 MHZ but someone told me I should get the
    > highest possible for the money. I've seen 800's for the same money in
    > the Dell Dimension series for around $1000.
    >
    > Here's the Dimension series:
    >
    >

    http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/compare.aspx/dimen?c=us&cs=28&l=en&s=dfb
    >
    >
    > These don't propose to have any specific cache like above not dual
    > anything. But they do tout "hyper-threading" which I suppose address
    > the same area as the Dual channel DDR. I'd like to know more about
    > that too.
    >
    > To clarify my applications:
    >
    > At any given time I'm likely to have running WORD 2000, EXCEL 2000,
    > OUTLOOK 2000, OUTLOOK EXPRESS, and INTERNET EXPLORER in two separate
    > windows.
    >
    > Norton Systems Works an Personal Firewall run all the time.
    >
    > Two other computers can be networked but there are always at least
    > two.
    >
    > I'm thinking of upgrading to OFFICE XP.
    >
    > I use MS Project and have recently discovered PhotoDeluxe for scanning
    > digital pictures of home repair projects and landscaping. I can see an
    > increased use in this area if I learn to superimpose one picture on
    > top of another without spending hours on end.
    >
    > I listen to the radio sometimes and watch streaming clips of business
    > news occasionally.
    >
    > I'd like to rum the computer into a receiver then distribute the
    > program throughout my house; I wired it for speakers in every room
    > and have a decent (not super) sound system.
    >
    > I don't play games but I can see some of my business interests taking
    > to two monitors (although I don't know how that's done).
    >
    >
    > "Night_Seer" <ecamacho4 at hotmail dot com> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> John Gregory wrote:
    >>> I've been looking at the inventories of Dell's refurbished machines
    >>> over the past few days. I initially though I needed a Dimension
    >>> series. I principally multitask MS canned Office programs, browse
    >>> the net to read news, view graphs, and occasionally listen to a
    >>> radio station.
    >>>
    >>> Can someone give me a thumbnail sketch of a workstation vs a desktop
    >>> as they would relate to my purpose. I do have an intranet connecting
    >>> another old 486 machine that's not too good for this type of use any
    >>> more. The workstations look like they may be a bit beefier for this
    >>> type of computing. Am I right?

    >>
    >> Workstation as in dual processors or what...those two words can
    >> mean anything. Tell us exactly what your looking at and we can
    >> help. As far as the typical workstation, it is probably overdoing
    >> it, as a desktop would handle all these functions just fine. In
    >> fact most likely a 500 to 800 dollar desktop would handle all that
    >> just fine. Do you do any graphics? games? other 3D applications?
    >> encoding?
    >>
    >> --
    >> Night_Seer


    Well from what I gather here, it sounds like the Dell workstation is
    simply overkill, and would not be optimized for your use anyways.
    Unless you have money to burn for that "power", then I would stick to a
    high end desktop. For your needs I would recomend the Dimension 4600 or
    if you have money to spend and really want that extra juice, the 8300.
    The XPS is touted as a gamers machine, but I would recommend other
    vendors to get that type of system (alienware, voodoo computers come to
    mind).
    I would highly recomend a 800mhz FSB, but if you can get a really
    good deal on 533mhz FSB, then go for it. The only thing I understand
    about dual channel memory is that you need to have two memory sticks in
    specialized slots, so you'll need 2 sticks of 256mb to make 512mb, or
    two 512mb to make 1024mb (1gig). Although it doesn't necessarily
    improve speeds, it seems to be necessary in some intel boards in order
    to make it 800 mhz FSB otherwise it reverts back to 533.
    The Hyperthreading is something I understand a little better. It
    basically shows to the operating system that it is two seperate chips
    when in fact its one. By doing this, it allows the chip to be utilized
    more fully, especially when running more than one application (which is
    something you do a lot of). Rather than programs taking turns or
    getting in line for the processor, there is now the ability to run more
    than one process at once, on a single processor. Its a little bit more
    hype than bite, but there is an improvement in running multiple
    applications. When running single applications, there is no difference,
    or in fact the performance can be worse. Fortunately this is something
    you can turn on or off, after you've decided what works best for you.
    Do not get anything with integrated video or shared memory for the
    video. This is bad. For running bitmap or raster photo programs, lots
    of memory is better, in order to not be waiting around for your comp to
    do something. Raster images (your scanned photos) can get large in
    size, and will get swapped back and forth out of memory, and when that
    fills up, will get swapped back and forth to the hard drive (which is
    VERY slow when compared to memory).
    The L3 cache is a smaller amount of memory more easily accessible by
    the processor, alowing it to run better (more efficiently?). Most
    processors have an L1 on die or near, L2 near (on die?) and L3 near as
    well. For your purposes its overkill.
    Lastly for dual monitor support, most any decent video card supports
    this now. Any of the video cards (not the integrated intel extreme
    graphics) on the those dell dimensions should handle it right out of the
    box, you just need another screen. On a side note, I was reading an
    article about building the ultimate PC, and gave a very good idea for
    dual monitors. All you need to do is find yourself a good set of 17"
    flat screen monitors that have the ability to turn portrait mode
    (vertical) as opposed to a landscape mode (horizontal), and put the two
    together, and you have something equivalent to about 23 inches viewable
    (diagnal measurment) or so depending on the monitors, and each screen is
    set perfectly for a word document or web page (being in portrait mode
    makes long documents like web pages easier to read).
    As for any mistakes in this, I apologize and someone here will be on
    soon enough to correct them. Hope it helps.

    --
    Night_Seer
     
    Night_Seer, Oct 28, 2003
    #5
  6. John Gregory

    Night_Seer Guest

    John Gregory wrote:
    > Thanks Night. I appreciate the response.
    >
    > This description of a Dell Precision Workstation 360 says "power" to
    > me compared to the next one listed.
    >
    >

    http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/precn_360?c=us&cs=28&l=en&s=dfb
    >
    > I'd like to know what the following mean and how they impact upon me:
    >
    > A) 1MB L3 cache
    > B) Dual Channel DDR
    > C) The FSB is listed as 533 MHZ but someone told me I should get the
    > highest possible for the money. I've seen 800's for the same money in
    > the Dell Dimension series for around $1000.
    >
    > Here's the Dimension series:
    >
    >

    http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/compare.aspx/dimen?c=us&cs=28&l=en&s=dfb
    >
    >
    > These don't propose to have any specific cache like above not dual
    > anything. But they do tout "hyper-threading" which I suppose address
    > the same area as the Dual channel DDR. I'd like to know more about
    > that too.
    >
    > To clarify my applications:
    >
    > At any given time I'm likely to have running WORD 2000, EXCEL 2000,
    > OUTLOOK 2000, OUTLOOK EXPRESS, and INTERNET EXPLORER in two separate
    > windows.
    >
    > Norton Systems Works an Personal Firewall run all the time.
    >
    > Two other computers can be networked but there are always at least
    > two.
    >
    > I'm thinking of upgrading to OFFICE XP.
    >
    > I use MS Project and have recently discovered PhotoDeluxe for scanning
    > digital pictures of home repair projects and landscaping. I can see an
    > increased use in this area if I learn to superimpose one picture on
    > top of another without spending hours on end.
    >
    > I listen to the radio sometimes and watch streaming clips of business
    > news occasionally.
    >
    > I'd like to rum the computer into a receiver then distribute the
    > program throughout my house; I wired it for speakers in every room
    > and have a decent (not super) sound system.
    >
    > I don't play games but I can see some of my business interests taking
    > to two monitors (although I don't know how that's done).
    >
    >
    > "Night_Seer" <ecamacho4 at hotmail dot com> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> John Gregory wrote:
    >>> I've been looking at the inventories of Dell's refurbished machines
    >>> over the past few days. I initially though I needed a Dimension
    >>> series. I principally multitask MS canned Office programs, browse
    >>> the net to read news, view graphs, and occasionally listen to a
    >>> radio station.
    >>>
    >>> Can someone give me a thumbnail sketch of a workstation vs a desktop
    >>> as they would relate to my purpose. I do have an intranet connecting
    >>> another old 486 machine that's not too good for this type of use any
    >>> more. The workstations look like they may be a bit beefier for this
    >>> type of computing. Am I right?

    >>
    >> Workstation as in dual processors or what...those two words can
    >> mean anything. Tell us exactly what your looking at and we can
    >> help. As far as the typical workstation, it is probably overdoing
    >> it, as a desktop would handle all these functions just fine. In
    >> fact most likely a 500 to 800 dollar desktop would handle all that
    >> just fine. Do you do any graphics? games? other 3D applications?
    >> encoding?
    >>
    >> --
    >> Night_Seer


    One last thing, I took a closer look at those workstations, and
    indeed they are intended for highly intensive cad or graphic (3D)
    programs. Every one of them use workstation class video cards that will
    have no affect on your daily work, and you iwll see no difference in
    performance with the programs you do.

    --
    Night_Seer
     
    Night_Seer, Oct 28, 2003
    #6
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