Before you can understand the purposes of a workstation computer, and some of the types of tasks it can be used for, you must first understand what a workstation is. For the sake of simplicity, workstations are nothing more than high-end microcomputers (or sometimes previously referred to as main frame systems). These systems are intended to be used in highly technical, scientific, or artistic settings and are built with the resources that end users will need to perform their job efficiently. These systems were not intended for public (or private) use and would previously be far outside of the typical consumer’s budget. A workstation could be utilized by various staff, each with their own profile, and usually will fall nicely in line with any business orientated group policy.
Many people confuse a Workstation with a personal computer; however the differences are quite numerous. A workstation must perform at higher speeds and capacities; harbor a much larger amount of memory and resources; and is usually connected to a high performance network. This station would have to have a working operating system, a larger than normal display, and are usually comprised of high end, reliable, sometimes customized components and peripherals. The graphics are purposely intended to be far superior to those found on a personal computer and such graphic usually will render at a much faster rate. Although these types of packaged systems are becoming more and more popular among the general public, there was a time when these types of configurations were only found on business workstation computers.
Optimization is key for a well manufactured workstation. This will enable the system to display and manipulate complex data. This data could be anything from 3D design, engineering simulations, and mathematical applications. Consoles often support multiple displays and peripherals, such as tables, pointing devices, and other new age technologies. One of the most common uses of a workstation falls within the scope of design or advanced visual tasks. Again, this is usually accomplished by configuring the system to have a series of specialized equipment, and software optimized for the task that user is trying to perform, or the “work” they need the station to help them do. In today’s market personal computers are commonly being referred to as workstations, and for good reason. Most personal systems today are far superior to their workstation counterparts of yester year; this is why the market for workstations has gravitated toward much more specialized applications. However, workstations are designed for situations requiring quite a large amount of computing power. Most standard systems would simply become unresponsive.
A very common use is a CAD workstation. Which is a computer designed for Computer Aided Drafting. This system excels in the most demanding, CGI, digital video, and CAD environments. This provides various engineers the tools they need to perform complex tasks, such as structural engineers and steel detailers who need to produce extremely large, complex models without any freezing or bottlenecks commonly computer hardware that has not been designed for this purpose. Creating drawings, issuing jobs, rendering intricate CAD models, or detailing digital video streams becomes effortless with these systems. This offers companies the maximum efficiency for any role dealing with high level graphics and benefits the firm by saving them time, money, manpower.