Workstation vs consumer PC: what’s the difference and which do you need?

(Image credit: Farzad Nazifi on Unsplash)

There are many different PCs available, all at different price points, in a variety of shapes and sizes, and with a bewildering range of specifications. And while you shouldn't overspend, it may not be wise to head too far downmarket either. With the continual improvement in computer components and technologies, the line between what constitutes a consumer PC and a workstation is somewhat blurred, but for our purposes we’ll delineate the two as follows…

A consumer PC is one that’s designed for general use: email, web surfing, some Microsoft Office perhaps, storing and editing of photos, playback of music and movies, casual gaming – that sort of thing. None of these are particularly demanding tasks, and even a relatively cheap laptop should be able to handle most of them.

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Steve has been interested in CG for many years. He’s a regular contributor to 3D World and edited the magazine for two years, and has worked for other magazines including Edge, T3, Official UK PlayStation magazine, Laptop magazine and Windows Visa: The Official Magazine. For Creative Bloq, he mainly contributes tutorials and reviews creative kit.