It used to be pretty easy to tell the difference between a desktop PC and a Workstation-Workstations were expensive, large, power-hungry, hulking machines running advanced 64-bit operating systems and offering stunning performance, at least when it came to design-intensive tasks. On the other hand, PCs were relatively cheap, unobtrusive devices that sat at an office drone's desk, used to process words, input orders and perform the other mundane tasks associated with business operations.
However, Hewlett-Packard's latest workstations tear down the barriers between what was once a workstation and is now a PC-or at least something to that effect. HP has accomplished that by focusing on some key elements surrounding workstation design, and thanks to Intel's latest processors, HP has been able to maintain workstation level performance, but now at prices comparable to high-end PCs.
So, how has HP changed the workstation game? The answer comes from breaking down what's new with HP's workstations, Including:
- Price: HP's entry-level workstations start at about $720-a far cry from the multi-thousand dollar machines of yesteryear.
- Service: HP's latest workstations prove to be very easy to service, supporting quick disassembly, fast component replacement and toolless designs, very much like a typical PC.
- Efficiency: HP has greened up its workstations, incorporating several energy-saving technologies, super-efficient power supplies, and other elements that turn these units into power-sippers.
- Size: HP's new Z200 SFF (Small form factor machine) crams workstation level performance into a small unobtrusive unit, no larger than a small PC.
- Performance: By using Intel's latest i-core technology, HP has been able to incorporate high performance CPUs into the new workstations that are fully compatible with all desktop applications and are easily upgraded if the need arises.
- Operating Systems: With the arrival of Windows 7, 64-bit computing is now the norm. Desktop applications no longer have to be tied to 32-bit solutions, further empowering the argument for investing in a workstation.
Those are only some of the elements that HP has changed to blur the line between a PC and a Workstation. The only question is will businesses choose a workstation to do a PC's job?