First of all, it's 2020... not 2010.

A DELL R240 (The lowest end server) costs about $1500.

A small/mini desktop pc which is at least 3x faster costs only $500 (Example the Intel NUC)

Also to note: most server applications nowadays have some form of redundancy/clustering. So having two desktop PC, will still ensure reliability on the application side.

Thanks for any replies.


Not sure about the comment of 'lowest end server' - a quick Google gave this Dell T30 as the first result for £406.98 (= $533.76, at least until the end of the month when Brexit hits the economy and the £ crashes), so the price point is similar.

The R240 is a rack server, and there's lots of practical reasons why you want rack-installable units. As for the actual hardware - most servers will use ECC (error-correcting code) memory, which comes at a premium, along with a server-class processor like (Intel) Xeon or (AMD) Epyc. Again there are several reasons, but compared to consumer class equivalents they will have more cache, more PCI Express lanes, support for more RAM, and more cores. The motherboard supporting all this will also be fundamentally different, sometimes supporting multiple processors, larger memory banks, or more expansion ports.

Server Workstations(rack or BOX) are designed to work 24/7, usually have more robust build(you know there s a difference in industrial and consumer grade electronics) and much better cooling than consumer grade PCs/Workstations.

You're essentially asking why people eat a variety of food rather than just consuming a well-balanced vitamin powder - the comparison doesn't start from a proper place.

  • 2
    You also can point out that the hardware layout is different. If you need ONE low end server - yeah, granted, desktop hardware is an alternative. A rack full of higher end servers (and virtualization for smaller stuff) is WAY different. Every 1U rack server in my rack can handle 10 discs PLUS 2 internal boot discs. Not what you get in a small form factor. – TomTom Jan 8 '20 at 10:20
  • Thanks for the reply – Anthony Jan 8 '20 at 10:24

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