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Such as 3ds max render nodes?

Or to put it another way, is Windows Server more like a barebones OS or is it specifically meant for Active Directory, DNS, IIS, etc?

And yes I know the question is simple, but I really can't seem to get a bead on this.

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Last I checked (admittedly a few years ago), client flavours of Windows were optimised for application performance, server flavours were optimised for background service performance; if you're running a server flavour as a workstation (i.e. not a server), you'll probably want to flip that registry bit to optimise for application performance. A brief search found a blog post referencing this, but I couldn't find instructions anywhere. –  Calrion Feb 2 at 0:28
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No need to hit the registry. Control Panel / System / Advanced system properties / Advanced tab / Performance options / Advanced. –  Jules Feb 2 at 9:36
    
I'd say that it's poor practice to use non server editions for this kind of thing! –  Tom O'Connor Feb 2 at 9:49
    
This reminds me of the MSFN guide for 2008 as a workstation. –  Tom Willwerth Feb 2 at 15:25
    
@Calrion Actually that's a simple selection that's quite easy to find. –  Michael Hampton Feb 2 at 16:30
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closed as primarily opinion-based by joeqwerty, ceejayoz, Ward, Greg Askew, Tom O'Connor Feb 2 at 13:47

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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Sure, why not?

Seems quite expensive, though, if you don't need the server functions, or to satisfy other hardware-related requirements (as noted by Michael below).

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The last time I checked, (which admittedly has been quite a while) client editions of Windows could only be licensed for a maximum of two sockets. So if you have a high end workstation with three or more CPUs in it, you might have to use Windows Server. –  Michael Hampton Feb 1 at 21:25
    
@MichaelHampton Good point. –  EEAA Feb 1 at 21:39
    
Another reason is that 32-bit server versions are able to access >4GB of RAM, while no 32-bit desktop version since XP-preSP1 has been able to do this. If you have a need to stick to a 32-bit OS (e.g. because you're running some 16-bit code still, or something that gets confused by the 64-bit filesystem redirection), but also need a lot of memory, this can be very handy... –  Jules Feb 2 at 9:34
    
Yeah, but you would not run 32 bit client software as the OP mentioned. I know some people that do it though - like sharepoint developers (needs sharepoint installed, needs server). Gets rarer with Hyper-V being avaialble in the client nowadays. –  TomTom Feb 2 at 14:00
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Use whatever operating system is most appropriate for the task. If you prefer to use Windows Server for an installation, then use it.

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