I'm confused about CPUs. What is the overall difference between a PC CPU (e.g. AMD Athlon 64 FX-60, Pentium D 955) and a workstation CPU (Xeon, Opteron, dual or single)? There appears to be some overlap in prices between these groups.
I'm trying to build a PC that will excel at Photoshop, games, some occasional 2D/3D rendering for radiology, as well as the usual surfing, email, etc. An all-around unit with great speed.
basically the only difference is the quality control checks they go through with the workstation chips being subjected to more stringent controls. this means that (hopefully) they will perform longer and with better reliability. That being said, they usually cost more because they are supposed to be more stable.
The processors are very similar, no real differences between them. (Socket, power usage, L2/L3 cache sizes, and number and speed of buses / links only). Same instruction sets, very similar cores across Intel and AMD desktop and server processors.