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Difference between server and workstation

In this article, we will discuss the comparison between server and workstation. In IT, both are commonly used terms. Both are used for different purposes. A server commonly refers to a computer program that receives and responds to requests made over a network. Whereas, the workstation is a single-user computer, that is designed for technical or scientific applications. Both server and workstation have many differences between them. Both are designed for a specific purpose. A server cannot be a workstation, whereas a workstation can be a server.

Before jumping directly to the comparison, let's first see a brief description of server and workstation.


Server is a computer program or software that receives and responds to requests made over the network. A device can be both a client and a server at the same time, as an individual system has the ability to provide resources and use them from another system in one go.

It has high efficiency and performance. Simultaneous multiple-user login and request processing are supported in servers. Some of the complex tasks like fulfilling client requests, storing and processing large datasets, data analysis are common for servers. Most of the servers are never turned off; they are always on. Switching off servers may be disastrous for client systems that continuously request the services.

server vs workstation

There can be various types of servers: web server, application server, database server, cloud server, file server, proxy server, mail server, and many more.


It is a single user or personal computer with a faster microprocessor, large amount of RAM, and high-speed graphic adapters. It is suitable to perform any specific type of task professionally. In terms of storage capacity and speed, it comes between a personal computer and a minicomputer.

server vs workstation

It is generally used for specialized applications such as desktop publishing, software development, and engineering designs. It can handle animation, data analysis, CAD, audio and video creation and editing.

Workstation was designed to work on complex and difficult data. Rather than using it personally or in a home, a workstation is mainly used by businesses and professionals for performing tasks like animation, music creation, video editing, poster designs, data analysis and more. On the basis of tasks, workstations are of different types such as graphics workstation, music workstation and engineering design workstation.

Operating systems that are used in workstations are Windows NT, UNIX, and LINUX.

Server v/s Workstation

server vs workstation

Now, let's see the comparison between server and workstation. We are comparing both terms on the basis of some characteristics to make the comparison more clear and understandable. On the basis of Server Workstation
1. Basic Server is the computer program or the software that responds to the requests of the client. Workstation is a personal computer that is designed for scientific or technical applications.
2. Operating system The operating system in server are - Solaris server, Linux, Windows, etc. Operating systems that are used in workstations are Windows NT, UNIX, and LINUX.
3. GUI GUI is optional in server. While GUI is generally present in workstations.
4. Example Some of the examples of server are Web server, FTP server, Application server, mail server, etc. Some of the examples of workstations are Audio workstations, video workstation, etc.

Along with the above comparisons, some other differences between server and workstation are listed as follows -

  • A workstation can be a server, but a server cannot be a workstation.
  • Server performs the applications related to the internet, whereas the workstation is used in business-extensive application like architectural designs, digital content creation, etc.


A server performs several tasks simultaneously. It supports multiple user login and request processing simultaneously, whereas, workstation performs the application-specific task. Workstation is capable to solve scientific and highly technical problems, while the server provides the services to the client connected to it.

So, that's all about the article. Hope it will be helpful and informative to you.

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