Difference between Workstation and Desktop?

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by sysadmin, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. sysadmin

    sysadmin Guest

    I need to purchase a PC for doing video editing. Mostly the applications I
    will be using are from Adobe (Premiere, Photoshop, After effects). There is
    a huge price difference between workstations and Desktops and I was
    wondering if somebody can tell me if a workstation is really necessary or if
    I can soup up a desktop to do the job?

    Thanks in advance!
    sysadmin, Jan 18, 2006
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  2. sysadmin

    Whiskers Guest

    I don't think there is any official distinction between what constitutes a
    'workstation' and what makes a 'desktop'; todays 'desktop' PCs are far
    faster and more powerful than the 'workstations' sold a few years ago.

    Whatever you buy, make sure that the hardware is at least up to the
    'recommended' specification for the software you intend to use. Ideally,
    talk to a PC builder about what you want the system for and ask for their
    expert advice. Ready-made systems are unlikely to be optimised for your
    special purpose.

    You probably could 'do video editing' on the cheapest outfit on sale in
    your favourite chain-store - but it would be a slow and frustrating
    experience if you want to do very much of it.
    Whiskers, Jan 18, 2006
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  3. sysadmin

    Leythos Guest

    If the builders on the same site classify two different systems, one as
    a workstation, one as a Desktop, you typically find this:


    Either designed for a managed environment, may not come with software,
    may come in very-low end (like for Terminal Server client only) or very
    high-end for CAD/Graphics work.


    Anything goes, could be high-end or low-end, normally has a lot of
    fluff/crap loaded with it.

    If you are doing PhotoShop you want as much RAM as you can afford, at
    lest 2GB. With you do a lot of Video, then you want more than one hard
    drive, a source files drive and a finished files drive - this lets you
    save a LOT of time by reading files/source from drive 0 and writing them
    to destinatio drive.

    If you get a Intel CPU, get one with a 2MB CACHE on the CPU, and get one
    that is Hyper-Threaded and faster than 3.2Ghz...

    Video is another area, a quality HIGH-END card, read the reviews online
    about them, something with 256MB RAM.
    Leythos, Jan 18, 2006
  4. sysadmin

    Meat Plow Guest

    Really no difference if both have the same CPU muscle, video and memory.
    I used to call a PC a "workstation" if it was an office PC networked and
    sharing resources located on the network such as printers and file servers.
    Meat Plow, Jan 18, 2006
  5. sysadmin

    Oldus Fartus Guest

    Why do some people assume a high-end video card is necessary for video
    editing? It is NOT!
    Oldus Fartus, Jan 18, 2006
  6. sysadmin

    fred-bloggs Guest

    Spend as much as you can afford. The more powerful the system, the more
    effects you will be able to preview in real-time. If you want to build
    your own system, start by choosing the video card (Matrox, Canopus) with
    the features you want and then build around that.

    features most of the best hardware.
    fred-bloggs, Jan 19, 2006
  7. sysadmin

    Leythos Guest

    Why do you assume High-End is the same in all cases. There are HIGH-END
    gamer cards, high-end 2D cards, high-end 3d cards, etc... I find that
    the generic High-End cards have a faster clock rate which makes a BIG
    difference using Photoshop and shading.

    There is a lot more to the world than just gaming.
    Leythos, Jan 19, 2006
  8. sysadmin

    Oldus Fartus Guest

    FFS. You said *"Video is another area, a quality HIGH-END card, read
    the reviews online about them, something with 256MB RAM."*

    I did not mention games or gamers, or Photoshop or shading, or even the
    relative merits of so-called high-end video cards. I stated, and will
    repeat. "Why do some people assume a high-end video card is necessary
    for video editing? It is NOT!"

    Comment on what was said, not what you think was said.
    Oldus Fartus, Jan 19, 2006
  9. sysadmin

    Leythos Guest

    Because based on the OP's question, you appeared to be going after
    something other than what was asked. In many cases, a HIGH-END card will
    help with ALL of the programs that the OP mentioned.

    Why don't you go back and read what the op asked about. I stand by my
    suggestion for a High-End video card as being a must.
    Leythos, Jan 19, 2006
  10. sysadmin

    Oldus Fartus Guest

    Then you are either stupid or misguided. Photoshop does not require
    anything of the kind. On one of my computers here I run it (along with
    Elements) with a low-end generic 64 Meg Nvidia chipset video card, and
    it runs very well. The computer is a 3.0 Gig PIV with 1 Gig RAM, PATA
    and SATA HDDs and is used for video editing and label and cover design.
    (In fact I have only recently taken out the 256MB Radeon RX850 XT
    Platinum Edition to put into my grandson's gaming machine, and there has
    been no difference in performance at all.)

    If the OP has the latest Premiere Pro 2 then he will need a better card,
    and between 1 and 2 Gig of RAM, but for earlier versions virtually any
    video card will be fine.
    Oldus Fartus, Jan 19, 2006
  11. sysadmin

    Leythos Guest

    My experience with PhotoShop and different, maybe when it was Photoshop
    4 it didn't make much difference, but the latest versions benefit from
    the faster cards "in my experience".
    Leythos, Jan 19, 2006
  12. I didn't even know there *was* a difference. I'll be damned. I thought
    "workstation" simply meant "not server". You learn stuff here. :)
    Blinky the Shark, Jan 20, 2006
  13. sysadmin

    Whiskers Guest

    Strictly speaking, a 'workstation' is the location one is meant to occupy
    when 'working'.

    When I did 'working', there was a brief period in the '90s when the term
    'workstation' was used by our IT dept to refer to a computer that could
    sit on or under a desk and was more powerful than an 'ordinary personal
    computer' but not as large as a 'mini-computer'; they were used for things
    that needed special operators to be trained, such as DTP or data-base
    crunching that wasn't quite complicated enough to bother the 'mainframe'
    with (or which the mainframe was too busy to handle). 'Workstations' were
    made by Sun or Hewlett Packard, whereas 'personal computers' were labeled
    IBM or Compaq. Many HP, IBM, and Compaq, machines ended up being used as
    'servers' after they'd been retired from desktop or workstation status.
    (The Sun machines curiously vanished from sight if they were ever no
    longer required).
    Whiskers, Jan 20, 2006
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