What comes to mind when we say workstation? If you’re thinking some big, spaceship-like contraption, you’d traditionally be right. But these days, workstations are sleek and trendy machines that still provide intelligent performance for most applications. They’re useful tools for designers, engineers, financial analysts and researchers running more demanding applications, like rendering complex graphics, financial analysis and computations and digital content creation. There are even a few amazing options that come in laptop form.
But, with so many on the market, what merits do the office “power users” look for when deciding upon which workstation is the best investment for an increase in productivity, limited downtime and improved reliability? Lenovo announced that it will bring Intel’s Xeon Skylake processor and choice of Nvidia graphics to the new ThinkStation P310, which will be available in two desktop form factors. Users can choose between the small form factor PC or a tower. Here are a few that we’ve reviewed that we recommend:
1. Dell Precision T7610
Meet the world’s most powerful workstation, so says Dell
CPU: Up to two Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v2 processors | Graphics: AMD FirePro or Nvidia Quadro | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 3TB, 7200RPM | Ports: 9 USB 2.0, 4 USB 3.0, Serial, RJ45, PS2, SATA, headphone, microphone | Connectivity: Optional | Size: 16.95 x 8.50 x 20.67 inches
Ample expansion Powerful processor Bulky and heavy Limited configuration options
The Dell Precision T7610 is a capable mid-range workstation that is expertly designed, sturdy, powerful and reasonably priced for what it offers.
2. Fujitsu Celsius W530
An impressive and compact desktop workstation
CPU: 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7-4790 | Graphics: AMD FirePro or Nvidia Quadro | RAM: 32GB | Storage: 256GB SATA III SSD | Ports: 9 USB 2.0, 4 USB 3.0, VGA, DisplayPort, DVI, Serial, RJ45, PS2, eSATA, headphone, microphone | Connectivity: Optional | Size: 6.9 x 16.5 x 15.6 inches
Fast Haswell-based Xeon processor Nvidia Quadro K2200 graphics Single processor socket only No support for DDR4 memory
The W530 is a solid performer which is more than capable of hosting basic CAD/CAM applications, and it represents good value for money.
3. Boxx Apexx 2
A high-end performance machine
CPU: Quad-core Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Up to two x16 NVIDIA GeForce, NVIDIA Quadro, NVIDIA Tesla AMD FirePro Graphics cards | RAM: 32GB | Storage: 4TB HDD, 7200RPM | Ports: 4 USB 2.0, 6 USB 3.0, VGA, audio, optical, Gigabit | Connectivity: Optional | Size: 6.85 x 14.6 x 16.6 inches
Powerful CPU is water cooled Pricey 24/7 support for one year
The Boxx Apexx 2 workstation is what any serious CAD, multimedia, and video designer needs to have in their workplace to increase performance and productivity.
4. Apple Mac Pro
With a unique design and tremendous power, this is the workstation to beat
CPU: 3GHz octa-core Intel Xeon E5 | Graphics: Dual AMD FirePro D500 | RAM: 64GB | Storage: 1TB SSD | Ports: 4 USB 3.0, 6 Thunderbolt 2.0, dual Gigabit, HDMI 1.4, audio, headphone | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 | Size: 6.6 x 6.6 x 9.9 inches
Lots of expansion ports Incredible performance Few internal expansion possibilities No bundled keyboard or mouse
Not everyone needs the workstation-level power and performance offered by the new Mac Pro, but wouldn’t you just love one? It’s a masterpiece of engineering and suitably expensive.
5. Overclockers RENDA PW-E7F
A pro workstation from British component retailer Overclockers
CPU: Intel Core i7 5820K / 5930K Six Core or 5960X Eight Core Processor with Hyperthreading | Graphics: 3 x Nvidia Quadro Series Professional or AMD Firepro Series Professional Graphics | RAM: 64GB | Storage: 3TB SSD | Ports: 10 USB 3.0, SATA 3, SATA Express, M.2, PCI-Express | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 | Size: 9.1 x 17.3 x 23.1 inches
Blazing overclocked CPU AMD FirePro W810 Loud under heavy load Lacks option for Quadro M6000 currently
Well-built and powerful, if you run any kind of professional software, from video editing tools to CAD or CAM, the PW-E7F will not disappoint.
If you need to upgrade to a larger solid state drive for your workstation, Samsung’s 850 Pro SSD delivers 2TB of capacity to store your most important files, documents, photos and videos. The 2.5-inch SATA drive delivers fast speeds and a long 10-year warranty.