Computer Graphics World

Winter 2019

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 42 of 47

w i n t e r 2 0 1 9 c g w 3 9 We have been monitoring and measuring the workstation industry for 30 years, and have seen it transition through various processor types, multiple suppliers, and applications. With one exception, the great recession of 2008–2009, we've seen a steady rise, with a CAGR over the past 15 years of 9 percent — a figure few markets can match. This last quarter held true to the trend and showed yet another impressive quarter of year-over-year growth for workstations in Q2 2019. But the volume isn't enormous: In that quarter, the industry shipped approximately 1.6 million units. Nonetheless, the quarter was another impressive 18.1% year-to-year growth with revenue enjoying similar gains (an estimated 19.6%). There are 48 companies offering 590 workstation-branded products, including those from @Xi Computer. However, the triumvirate of Dell, HP, and Lenovo account for the lion's share of units, with Lenovo, in particular, making strides of late. Workstations come in all sizes, arrange- ments, performance levels, and prices. A workstation can cost as little $2,000 and as much as $25,000. They can deliver from 1 TFLOPS to 20 TFLOPS. Controversy continues to swirl about what is a workstation. Some contend it is an inflated term designed only to charge users more for what is a PC. Yes, PCs do share several similar parts with a workstation, just as an economy car shares some parts with a sports car. To help existing and unaccustomed users recognize and specify a workstation, we at Jon Peddie Research have set up some rules, which many are referring to as the laws of workstations. The Laws of Workstations n Must have a workstation-class CPU, such as an AMD Ryzen-WS or Intel Xeon. n Must have a workstation-class graph- ics card, such as an AMD Radeon Pro or Nvidia Quadro. n Should have a minimum of 32GB RAM. n Must have application-specific, certified drivers. n Must have error-correcting code (ECC) memory. n Must have Windows Pro or an equivalent Linux operating system. n Must be ultra-reliable. Even though workstations have been around for over 30 years, and their char- acteristics are well defined, there is still confusion about them. JPR conducted a survey and asked hundreds of worksta- tion and non-workstation users what they thought about the differences. The following chart shows how this lack of clarity persists, despite efforts of system and component vendors to delineate the differences. Some key findings from the survey are: Nearly 19 percent of respondents don't know the difference between a gaming PC and a workstation graphics card, or say that it doesn't matter. MYSTERY SOLVED! THE REASON FOR CONTINUED GROWTH IN THE WORKSTATION MARKET: THEY ARE MISSION-CRITICAL DEVICES BY JON PEDDIE DESPITE RECESSIONS, THE WORKSTATION MARKET HAS GROWN STEADILY. USERS' PERCEPTIONS ABOUT WORKSTATIONS VS. PCS.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Computer Graphics World - Winter 2019