so is the only real difference between a Server setup vs. a Desktop...?

...that a server computer is designed to handle the load moreso than the typical desktop is?

does that mean that as long as i set up a Desktop computer with enough RAM and a decent RAID array, it's about the same?

Update:

that's cool guys. it's just that i've noticed that many cheap servers with multiple CPUs have pretty low-end CPUs, so i figured if, by comparison, i had a desktop with a really AWESOME CPU (which is STILL cheaper than a server), that by price comparison, the desktop would do just as good?

Update 2:

thanks Ace, but that only describes the difference in SOFTWARE. i'm talking HARDWARE here.

5 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Any computer can run server software, but as some have pointed out, it will not "serve" well. Now, this being said, when you really think of servers, no...they arent the same as desktops.

    All servers but the very basic low end or self built servers run different hardware and technologies. Most servers run server based motherboard (very little room for any video or sound or anything like that) and usually have all of their resources dedicated to storage and data throuput, meaning many features of standard award bios are turned off and IRQ's are dedicated to things like ram and storage. They will also usually have more storage connections and features like built in RAID and SCSI, and we are talking real RAID not the cheap stuff that "gamming motherborads" have, we are talking real througput stuff here. The ram is also generally different. Its whats called Registered ECC ram, a far more stable and matched set of ram sticks that is meant to run fast, realiable, and best of all....expensive. While some motherboards for desktops CAN use ECC, most cant and if they do, dont use the technology wisely. Also, most servers run server processors, like the Xeon family of processors. While some workstations (powerful desktops) run these processors, its generally only 1 of them. Most servers will utilize 2 or more, which leads me to the last difference. The northbridge setup on a server is MASSIVE compared to a desktop, its meant to not only run high end ECC ram (and a LOT of it, up to 1tb of ram) it also handles instructions sets for anywhere between 2 to 64 processors).

    So...to sum up, a desktop and a server are both computers, but the technology, speed, RELIABILITY AND QUALITY, and what they can do are VERY different. Though, its still just a processor, ram, and a HD and a motherboard to tie it all together.....like a Geo Metro and a Firrari are both cars ;) If you want to setup a small server to run a personal website and hold some files on a home network a desktop would be ok, just make sure to keep things backed up. If you are going to have business stuff on it, id reccomend at least getting a good used server, after all, its whats its designed to do!

    Source(s): Many years as an IT professional.
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  • 4 years ago

    Nothing really. Commercial servers have very high-end hardware to be able to adequately process many simultaneous requests. The main difference though is that anything that you can call a `server` must be connected to the network it is serving at all times that it is operational. That could be a LAN or it could be the Internet. If it's the Internet, then commercial servers are usually on 100Mbps or 1Gbps ports.

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  • 8 years ago

    The answer to your question is yes. But let me qualify that simply by saying any computer can be a server but that doesn't mean it serves well. A server is a computer set up with a data base for all the workstations to use. The more workstations accessing the database, the more processing power and memory needed to serve them well.

    Source(s): A+ certified
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  • 8 years ago

    Servers often have more than one processor, and they tend to offer more drive storage bays and interfaces. They usually have SCI interfaces as well. As such a SERVER platform OS also unlocks the extra UMPH! in a server. A Desktop will make a fine server but it won't be able to serve as many clients at the same time as a geniune server can.

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  • 8 years ago

    Desktop version is configured to work as a personal computer while the Server version is intended to work as a web server.

    Source(s): Read more: Difference Between Ubuntu Desktop and Server http://www.differencebetween.net/technology/differ...
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