Updated: Buying Guide: Best workstation: the top enterprise desktops
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Desktop Workstations

What comes to mind when we say workstation? If you're thinking some big, spaceship-like contraption, you'd traditionally be right. But these days, workstations are sleek and trendy machines that still provide intelligent performance for most applications. They're useful tools for designers, engineers, financial analysts and researchers running more demanding applications, like rendering complex graphics, financial analysis and computations and digital content creation. There are even a few amazing options that come in laptop form.

But, with so many on the market, what merits do the office "power users" look for when deciding upon which workstation is the best investment for an increase in productivity, limited downtime and improved reliability?

Update: Fujitsu updated its enterprise offerings to include desktops with Intel's new Skylake processors.

Here are a few that we've reviewed that we recommend:

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1. Dell Precision T7610

Meet the world's most powerful workstation, so says Dell

CPU: Up to two Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v2 processors | Graphics: AMD FirePro or Nvidia Quadro | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 3TB, 7200RPM | Ports: 9 USB 2.0, 4 USB 3.0, Serial, RJ45, PS2, SATA, headphone, microphone | Connectivity: Optional | Size: 16.95 x 8.50 x 20.67 inches

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Ample expansion
Powerful processor
Bulky and heavy
Limited configuration options

The Dell Precision T7610 is a capable mid-range workstation that is expertly designed, sturdy, powerful and reasonably priced for what it offers.

Read the full review: Precision T7610

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2. Fujitsu Celsius W530

An impressive and compact desktop workstation

CPU: 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7-4790 | Graphics: AMD FirePro or Nvidia Quadro | RAM: 32GB | Storage: 256GB SATA III SSD | Ports: 9 USB 2.0, 4 USB 3.0, VGA, DisplayPort, DVI, Serial, RJ45, PS2, eSATA, headphone, microphone | Connectivity: Optional | Size: 6.9 x 16.5 x 15.6 inches

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Fast Haswell-based Xeon processor
Nvidia Quadro K2200 graphics
Single processor socket only
No support for DDR4 memory

The W530 is a solid performer which is more than capable of hosting basic CAD/CAM applications, and it represents good value for money.

Read the full review: Celsius W530

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3. Boxx Apexx 2

A high-end performance machine

CPU: Quad-core Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Up to two x16 NVIDIA GeForce, NVIDIA Quadro, NVIDIA Tesla AMD FirePro Graphics cards | RAM: 32GB | Storage: 4TB HDD, 7200RPM | Ports: 4 USB 2.0, 6 USB 3.0, VGA, audio, optical, Gigabit | Connectivity: Optional | Size: 6.85 x 14.6 x 16.6 inches

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CPU is water cooled
24/7 support for one year

The Boxx Apexx 2 workstation is what any serious CAD, multimedia, and video designer needs to have in their workplace to increase performance and productivity.

Read the full review: Apexx 2

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4. Apple Mac Pro

With a unique design and tremendous power, this is the workstation to beat

CPU: 3GHz octa-core Intel Xeon E5 | Graphics: Dual AMD FirePro D500 | RAM: 64GB | Storage: 1TB SSD | Ports: 4 USB 3.0, 6 Thunderbolt 2.0, dual Gigabit, HDMI 1.4, audio, headphone | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 | Size: 6.6 x 6.6 x 9.9 inches

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Lots of expansion ports
Incredible performance
Few internal expansion possibilities
No bundled keyboard or mouse

Not everyone needs the workstation-level power and performance offered by the new Mac Pro, but wouldn't you just love one? It's a masterpiece of engineering and suitably expensive.

Read the full review: Mac Pro

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5. Overclockers RENDA PW-E7F

A pro workstation from British component retailer Overclockers

CPU: Intel Core i7 5820K / 5930K Six Core or 5960X Eight Core Processor with Hyperthreading | Graphics: 3 x Nvidia Quadro Series Professional or AMD Firepro Series Professional Graphics | RAM: 64GB | Storage: 3TB SSD | Ports: 10 USB 3.0, SATA 3, SATA Express, M.2, PCI-Express | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 | Size: 9.1 x 17.3 x 23.1 inches

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Blazing overclocked CPU
AMD FirePro W810
Loud under heavy load
Lacks option for Quadro M6000 currently

Well-built and powerful, if you run any kind of professional software, from video editing tools to CAD or CAM, the PW-E7F will not disappoint.

Read the full review: RENDA PW-E7F

Update: If you need to upgrade to a larger solid state drive for your workstation, Samsung's 850 Pro SSD delivers 2TB of capacity to store your most important files, documents, photos and videos. The 2.5-inch SATA drive delivers fast speeds and a long 10-year warranty.

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