Desktop vs Workstation
In a work setting it won’t be surprising to know that workstation and desktop are used as synonyms. The purpose of both is to result in the desired work by the people using them. However, there is difference between the two. The major similarity of a workstation and desktop is that both use computer processors but this similarity does not make it viable to use them interchangeably.
Workstations are specialized, science based computer processors required for specific and specialized purposes. There can be several displays attached to the workstations as well as several other hardwares besides mouse and keyboards. All the items connected to a workstation are present for a specific purpose of the job. There can be sound mixers attached to a workstation, a specialized audio adjusting hardware and there can be professional speakers attached to listen to high quality sound.
A desktop is generally any personal computer that can be mounted on a desktop or a workstation. The workstation in this context refers to the working space of a person and not a specialized computer. Desktops have applications such as gaming, word document processing, for media purposes and web browsing, etc. generally the hardware attached to a desktop comprises of a QWERTY keyboard, a mouse and speakers.
Difference between Workstations and Desktops
Upon consideration, both can be the same thing. In a corporate environment setting, the desktops that we generally use at home are used to work on the office as well. The difference remains that the desktop present at work is being used for a specific purpose for example in a financial setting the desktops may be used to monitor financial data. A similar computer at home would not be used for such purpose.
It is also important to note that because of the fast paced setting of the work environment, the computers used there have to have a faster processing speed also. The application of a workstation therefore is more advanced and more hardcore than a desktop. Where desktops are required for word processes and media playing as well as for gaming; a workstation has bigger boots to fill as they are required by graphic designers for example to create animation or perhaps required in a research lab to do very fast and complicated mathematical calculations.
The major distinguishing factor is the setting a computer is being used in. A computer used at home will be referred to as a desktop whereas one present in a professional environment will be referred to as a workstation. The fact now is that even desktops carry such softwares that make them no less than a workstation. The differential gap has closed in immensely between the two types of processors.
Though both desktop and workstations have become of common usage and are closing in to provide the same functions essentially. There remains no major difference between the two. The speed of the computers too matters, however, the desktops used these days are of high speed as well and the prices of workstations and desktops have become almost the same.