Choosing the Right Computers for Your DesksPosted by
Desktop computers come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important to ensure everyone in your business has the right machine for the job.
If you manage a fleet of company vehicles, some staff probably need more than your average family sedan, but you’re obviously not going to issue everyone with a three-tonne truck – you’re going to spend your budget wisely to ensure everyone has what they need to do their job.
It’s the same with office computers – not everyone in the business needs a powerhouse PC, but you want to ensure those people who do need grunt aren’t stuck with a computer that can’t handle the heavy lifting.
The terms “desktop” and “workstation” are often used interchangeably, but they don’t quite mean the same thing. A computer described as a “desktop” is usually intended for average office tasks, whereas a “workstation” has the extra grunt required for high-end work. Trying to perform this kind of work on a typical desktop machine can be a slow and painful process.
These days something like the HP Pro 6300 All-In-One Desktop is fine for your typical office worker. It packs an Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM so it’s no slouch, but it relies on integrated Intel HD Graphics rather than a more powerful standalone graphics card. That’s fine for everyday office tasks such as checking your email, browsing the web and editing documents in applications like Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
All-In-One Desktops build the computer into the back of the monitor, which saves on desk space, plus they tend to come with a wireless keyboard and mouse. This makes them particularly well-suited to areas like reception, where space is at a premium, and you’re aiming for an uncluttered look to make a good first impression on visitors. If you need an all-in-one with extra grunt and/or more screen real estate, you might upgrade from the 21.5-inch HP Pro 6300 to the 27-inch Lenovo ThinkCentre E93z.
The next step up in performance is a HP Elite Desktop or Tower, perhaps with an SFF (Small Form Factor) design, which takes up less space. The G1 packs a more powerful Intel Core i7 processor but still relies on integrated Intel HD Graphics, whereas the G2 and 8100 step up to standalone ATI and NVIDIA graphics cards designed to handle the heavy lifting if you’re working on graphics-intensive projects. You can also swap the G2’s hard disk drive for a solid-state drive with no moving parts, offering the system a major performance boost.
Workstations are a step up again. They typically run on powerful multi-core Intel Xeon processors with at least 24GB of RAM. They’re overkill for your average office worker but have the kind of grunt that makes light work of demanding design tasks – such as multimedia editing, special effects, 3D design and Computer Aided Drafting – especially when you’re using high-end software designed to take advantage of multi-threading and multiple cores. All that grunt can also come in handy if you’re looking to take advantage of virtualisation to run several virtual machines on the one physical machine.
You don’t need the same computer for everyone in your office, so it’s important to choose wisely to ensure everyone has everything they need at their fingertips.
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