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Things To Look For While Buying A Workstation

Times are changing. There is a launch of new products that wash up every few months, all of which promise a better something- more power, higher quality output,  quicker processing, larger storage and the list goes on. It’s difficult to keep up with the changing tides of technology, and this becomes even more apparent when there’s a new purchase round the corner.  One such technology that is rapidly becoming indispensable in the fields of animations, movies, audio, 3D renderings, scientific researches is the workstation.

Here’s is what to look if you want to buy best workstation for your requirements.

Let’s start with the basics. What do you need a workstation for, and who exactly needs it? Well, I can sum that up in:

a)    You need a good workstation you want access to more CPU cores, more graphics, more storage, super-fast memory and a performance that is several notches above what an ordinary or even high-end laptop can deliver.

b)    Your workloads are classified under mission-critical or the time to market is important

c)    A professional who has high quantities of input data that needs to be rendered in the form of the highest quality output.

Next, ask yourself the question: What with all the workstations currently buzzing the market, which one should I choose? What are some considerations to keep in mind?

a)    Firstly, figure out which bracket your organization comes under. Are you a small office or home office entrepreneur? Do you work in a medium scale organization or a large enterprise? While this point seems self-evident, it defines a lot of your choices such as the investment and choice of hardware components

b)    How much workload do you expect to tackle on a regular basis? If it is anything that requires huge terabytes of storage, you might want to pick a workstation that best suits your needs. It all comes down to your organization’s current portfolio and its future plans of expansions. Careful planning can fetch a future-proof investment

c)    Online vendors like Server Basket which sell workstations online at affordable prices also provide free technical consultations on any workstation you wish to purchase.

Once you narrow down the answers to these questions, then begins your earnest search for the workstation of your dreams.

For starters, what goes into building a fully-equipped and functioning workstation?

For Example, Let Us Take HP Z440 Workstation.

Product specification

Product    HP Z440

Part#    L2X43PA#ACJ

CPU    E5-1607v3 3.10GHz 10MB 1866 4C

Memory    8GB DDR4

HDD    1TB

Graphics    NVIDIA Quadro K620 2GB

OS    Win 8.1 Pro

Listed above are the most basic and fundamental components of an HP Z440 workstation. These components are what you need to look at while purchasing a workstation, as they largely determine its performance capabilities. For instance, this workstation is ideal for SOHO and even SMBs who are currently working on less-demanding projects frequently.

The CPU:

The CPU is the most important organ of the workstation, as most operations are very reliant on the processor speed and number of cores. When it comes to choosing processors, the choice narrows down to either Intel or AMD processor. While AMD is generally preferred on account of its affordability, Intel comes with a slew of advanced features and that’s the reason why it is available at slightly heftier price.

Let’s speak examples. The Dell Precision T7920 workstation is powered by Intel Xeon scalable family CPU that has an excellent 28 cores as the maximum. Also equipped with cool features like Turbo Boost, Advanced Vector Extensions and Intel AES New Instructions, it is worth the investment.

It is generally believed by experts worldwide that while these two competitors offer pretty fierce competition, the choice ultimately narrows to your work. If you work specifically in Auto-CAD application, perhaps Intel is your ideal choice. Else, both AMD and Intel are perfect for most workloads.

Along with choosing the right processor, you should also give careful thought to the appropriate cooling system. Generally, processors produce large quantities of heat as the number of cores goes up in number. You can either choose the regular air-coolers to dissipate the heat or the more efficient liquid cooling system.

Form Factor:

The form factor of the workstation is not the most critical factor, but definitely, a good place to start your search from.

An all-in-one workstation sounds like a great option for those who tend to work on-the-go and require mobile equipment. It does have certain drawbacks, like expensive components designed to fit specifically into their special spaces. Unlike tower stations, these are not easily upgradable either as it requires buying the entire set of components instead of a single one.

The tower workstation is definitely an excellent choice and boasts of several advantages such as much more power more storage cards and graphic cards and less expensive than an all-in-one station. However, it does tend to take up a lot more space than the previous option.

RAM:

Random Access Memory (RAM) is where your system will store instructions and data for read and write options. Crucially, the amount of memory offered combined with the clock speed expressed in megahertz (MHz) are what determines the quality of RAM. These two together will determine the multi-tasking abilities of your workstation as well as increase the processing speed of tasks.

For those dealing with huge databases, pick a RAM with a minimum of 16GB storage. If you can afford a more expensive RAM, anything above 16GB is also a great choice as you can store more data as you edit it. Higher clock speeds provide quicker access of data to other components, thereby making your work speedy.

GPU:

Just like the CPU, a workstation also relies on the GPU for its performance. Graphical Processing Units inside the graphics card handles all the graphical processes and determines how powerful workstation you have.

While considering graphics cards, there are certain points to keep in mind, such as the number of cores and their clock speeds. There is also something called the VRAM that specifies the amount of dedicated memory inside. For professional graphic cards, the sky is the limit when it comes to these features provided, one is ready to shell out the big bucks.

Either NVIDIA or AMD makes the most common graphical cards. Take, for instance, the Dell Precision T7920 workstation that is “Built with Next-Generation AMD Radeon Pro™ and NVIDIA Quadro Professional Graphics, these Workstations support close to 750W of Graphics Power, 48TB of Storage and flexibility in storage options & scalability.”

Graphical cards are also classified based on the level of output your organization requires. The HP Z440 workstation, for example, is compatible with a range of graphics cards for entry-level, mid-level, high-end and ultra-high-end graphical workloads.

Storage:

Finally, storage is definitely the one thing you should keep into consideration while picking a workstation. A good workstation has plenty of drive bays for expandable storage, compatibility with both hard disk drives (HDD) and solid state drives (SSD). Storage capacity is important for both scientific, as well as creative workloads as the data input is staggeringly heavy. Inadequate storage can slow down your workstation and frustrate your ease of operations.

For example, the Dell Precision 7820 workstation has scalable storage of 68TB using SATA, SAS drives. The Dell T7400 workstation, on the other hand is better suited for smaller organizations with its maximum scalable storage reaching a decent 5TB. The HP Elite Desktop tower workstation has 2TB storage capacity making it a good choice for entry-level workloads.

Bottom-Line

Choosing your own workstation can be an exciting, adventurous process. There are so many to-dos to consider while picking a new workstation station and a lot of information that needs to be assimilated so that you make an informed decision. While the subheadings described above certainly form the bulk of it, you might also want some more specifics such as the number of input-output slots, the brand of the workstation, the warranty period provided, the accessibility to franchise stores in your region and more.

Purchasing a powerful workstation is easier than ever with the wide number of options available.  Narrowing down, just focus on the workload you deal along with expectations and methods to do an efficient job. These might include using multiple cores in your CPU and GPU for more comfortable multitasking capacities or great RAM storage for faster access to data computing.  Another important factor to consider is the power used to run the workstation. If the power intake is more, it is not only unfriendly to your budget but also to the environment.

Ultimately, your workflow is the key to deciding the best workstation. Enjoy the process of customizing your workstation.  Pick the workstation that fits your needs .Remember, always keep in mind that websites like Server Basket and Cyberwala provide technical guidance for free so that building your station is easier.  Workstations are an expensive investment, and we hope you reap the most benefits from it. Hope this guide has helped you to get a better idea of what all the components of a workstation mean to you and helps you to have a deep look at the specifications and features while buying a workstation. Grab the powerful workstation that renders powerful performance as well.

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