10 Types of Computers



CAD screen
Engineers often use workstation computers, though their popularity is declining as 'ordinary' computers get more powerful. Monty Rakusen/Getty Images

A workstation is simply a desktop computer that has a more powerful processor, additional memory, high-end graphics adapters and enhanced capabilities for performing a special group of tasks, such as 3D graphics or game development [source: Intel].

Workstations, like regular desktop computers, are intended for individual users. But they differ from desktops in that they are much, much speedier. Typically, it's businesses like engineering firms or multimedia companies that buy these workhorse PCs for their employees [source: TechTarget].

The power of a workstation doesn't come cheap. Whereas small businesses can easily find normal desktops for just a few hundred dollars, workstations might cost three times as much. Basic workstations easily go for $1,500 and double in price in a hurry [source: Benton].

But whereas cheap desktops are built with equally cheap (read: sometimes unreliable) components, workstations are quality machines meant for serious business. They may be left on overnight to crunch numbers or render animations. Therefore, these computers sport redundant hard drives for data safety, as well as faster CPUs and large-capacity solid-state drives. All of those factors point to a machine that's made more for profit instead of basic word processing or random games of Minesweeper [source: Benton].