Workstation pc are computer systems built to handle graphic-intensive applications like video editing and 3D design. They typically feature high-end graphics cards and fast storage for smooth performance. They also have more configuration choices to help buyers build a system that matches their specific needs and budget. Workstations can be found in a variety of form factors including tower, small-form factor desktop, and mini PC.

The distinction between workstations and standard computers has faded over time as advances in hardware, processors, and operating systems blurred the line. Traditionally, workstations had expensive, proprietary hardware and specialized operating systems that set them apart from standardized PCs. However, today’s workstations use largely the same x86-64 hardware as traditional desktops and laptops.

Some workstations have special features that improve reliability. For example, they might come with error-correcting code (ECC) memory. This additional chip fixes single-bit errors as they occur in random access memory, which helps prevent crashes and data loss. This feature is available in all modern desktops, but it’s especially useful in workstations that run nonstop for extended periods of time.

Durability is another important characteristic of workstations, which often undergo strict testing to ensure they can withstand rigorous use. For example, HP workstations go through mil-spec testing, meaning they’re capable of withstanding drops, sand, vibration, extreme temperatures, and altitude. This durability is particularly important if you’ll be using your workstation in a mobile environment or in an office with less-than-ideal air conditioning.