welcome to our last video about
selecting a new computer this video we’re going to be talking about our
high-end business workstations so in our other videos we talked about
understanding your minimum requirements and the questions you need to ask to
understand what type of computer to select in our second video we covered
our standard business workstation requirements for our standard office
user and in our last video we covered tablets and notebooks and laptops so in
this video we’ll be talking about the last category which is high-end
workstations these workstations are used in graphic intensive applications like
CAD or visual effects stuff there might be research institutions that use these
workstations for modeling and simulations and lots of calculations so
these are not your standard use case workstations so with these type of
workstations it’s really really important to understand what software
we’re using software selection first the software then dictates what hardware we
need to make sure that these applications work fast and smoothly for
what we’re trying to achieve so we look at the software we look at the hardware
recommendations there’s going to be minimum requirements and recommended
requirements and we always want to go recommended if it’s unclear talk to your
software vendor they’ll tell you exactly the requirements you need for the type
of work that you’re doing with their software with that said however there
are some decisions that you can make to save you budget and those decisions are
usually made by deciding what type of CPU or type of RAM and what type of
graphics card that you choose so I’m going to go into a bit more detail about
those so firstly CPU and RAM there’s two broad categories of CPUs that you can choose for a workstation if we look at one
brand Intel one of the biggest brands there’s two types of processes there’s
server grade high-end workstation processor called Xeon processor or
there’s your standard consumer grade or gaming grade CPUs called the i7 and i5 i3 etc processor range there’s some really important differences between the
two and it’s really important to understand when you would need a Xeon
and when you would need a consumer-grade i7 or i5 for example so firstly Xeon
costs a lot more than the consumer grade CPU so you need to make sure that you
really need a Xeon if you’re going to purchase it there are many benefits of
having a xeon processor it runs cooler for longer periods of time it uses less
power relative to the amount of work that you’re doing with it, it’s
designed to run for twenty four seven periods of time it supports more memory
and it supports a different special type of memory so there is a special type of
memory called error correcting code memory ECC memory
this memory is really really important if you have software or applications
that need to be highly precise so at this point let’s talk a little bit about
memory it’s really important to understand what memory errors are and
why are they important and if it matters to you or if it doesn’t matter to you
memory errors causes crashes they cause transactional losses they cause
little data corruption in in the day-to-day use of a computer for
desktops we don’t really care about memory errors too much and we don’t
notice them too much in the worst case we might get a blue screen of death that
mentions something about a memory error however with simulations or or graphical
processes that take days or weeks or modeling that has to be precise and
takes extended periods of time memory errors could crash that process and as a
result you could lose hours or days or weeks even of work so having memory and
a CPU that supports error correction is a really good investment to protect
against these type of data losses or data crashes so not only does Xeon’s
support high level of error correction and and supports error correcting memory
it’s also just a better performing chip you get more power in a smaller box so
if you really need the grunt of a Xeon chip it’s it’s it’s well worth the
investment however if any of those benefits don’t
really matter and an i7 processor can still meet the needs of your software
application then there’s no need to go to that more expensive level it’s ok to
purchase a cheaper i7 it’ll suit your purpose
the next biggest decision that you can make in regards to high-end workstations
is the graphics card and in a similar way that we were
talking about business or professional-grade CPUs with Xeon’s and
i7’s and i5’s with graphics cards there’s a similar divide so let’s talk
about another popular brand the Nvidia brand there’s a group of cards called
the Quadro range these are the professional workstation graphics cards
and then there’s another range which are the consumer grade graphics cards called
geforces so the Quadro cards are used by architects CAD design and special
effects firms for professional-grade graphics applications the geforces have
been designed for consumers mainly for gaming there are some cases where a
business requirement can get by with a geforce card the really important point
here is that quadros are four to five times more expensive than a geforce so
if you can get away we’re getting with using a geforce it’s highly recommended
but there’s some really important points to consider about what you’re trying to
do with the workstation so you’d use a quadro for these benefits firstly it
supports error correction so in a similar way that we’re talking about
error correction with CPU and RAM the graphics card itself is really important
to have error correction for these highly precise long simulation data
intensive processes that take long periods of time if a memory error
kind of creeps into the memory during a two day two-week simulation and crashes
the process you’ve just lost a lot of time so if that’s important to you then
going for a Quadro makes a lot of sense as and supports of what are those error
correcting functionalities a perfect example of this is medical imaging you
wouldn’t want a error in an image creeping into such a critical medical
document that is potentially being used to diagnose you know some sort of
illness so error correcting in that type of application is essential secondly
Quadro support a lot more memory so depending on your software application
and how much memory it needs Quadros might be your only option so it’s really
important to understand the types of data that you’re putting through your
workstation and how much memory requires talk to your software vendor a perfect
example again is medical imaging CT scans or various other medical images
take a lot of memory and therefore processing many of these images at one
time requires a significant amount of graphical memory on the graphics card
another consideration is cooling and space in the computer itself so your
GeForce gaming graphics cards requires a lot of space a lot of airflow has really
big fans on the side of the card to bring air in and out to cool down the
card whereas your quadros are designed to be a lot more compact and not need as
much airflow and in as much space so depending on your workstation where it
would be fitting that may be an important consideration and lastly
there’s a major difference in the precision of those two graphics cards so
the Quadro type graphics cards are really good at double point precision
calculations whereas geforce graphics cards are good
at single point precision. for basic CAD and basic 3d modeling and gaming that
doesn’t make much difference but for simulations or calculations that require
high precision it may be an important factor to consider as you can probably
tell we can get very technical in talking about high-end workstations and
the pros and cons of different components we haven’t even started
talking about storage or other peripherals so we can’t really cover
everything in one video so because of that it’s really important to get a
professional involved especially when dealing with
high-end workstations you’re talking about thousands of thousands of dollars
of investment and you want to get it right so if you have any questions
please reach out make sure you talk to us make sure you talk to you software
vendors that you’re using and make sure that you’re selecting the right
component for the right job it could save you thousands

Selecting a new computer (Part 4): High-End Business Workstations
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