"Workstation" vs. performance PC of same brand / components

Our IT director has ordered a PC to my chosen specs. This will be a demo unit to replace my old workstation which has been flaking out lately and potentially supplied to the rest of the department.

So their supplier (CDW) has offered a computer of the same specs and brand (HP) except one is in their workstation line and the other is from their performance PC line. Being a demo, he chose the non- workstation option and we can swap later if it's not the right choice. I'm not uncomfortable with this, but I know we'll use this next round of computers for 4+ years and we need dead reliable equipment.

Aside from a more beefy looking case and maybe better PSU and motherboard, I'm not sure what else would elevate a PC into a "workstation". And I'm not certain that the PSU and mobo are even significantly better. The only question I have is related to expandability for additional RAM and the wattage rating of the PSUs.

For those of you who have faced this decision, what is your opinion?

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An answer filtered through that explained the cost savings: the non- workstation was not a full sized motherboard and case. So not only are the components of lesser quality the case was too small to fit a quality graphics card. And the cost savings was a few hundred bucks which made no sense. So if anyone else considers this option don't bother, get the workstation platform.

There is a workstation computer in the mail now. :)


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