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Best workstations of 2019: top powerful PCs for professionals

best workstation

Welcome to our list of the best workstations of 2019. These are the very best, most powerful, workstation machines that can power your business.

These days, the best workstations are around the same size as normal PCs, and offer high quality designs, without sacrificing pure power and performance. Some, such as the iMac Pro and the Surface Studio, are slimline all-in-one PCs that offer brilliant performance whilst not taking up loads of room in your office.

The best workstations can handle any application you throw at it, and they are 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

From small form factor models to powerhouses, from all-in-ones to one for all, there's bound to be one for you if you're in the market. 

At the bottom of this page you'll also find our list of the best online shops for buying workstations - so purchasing the perfect workstation for your business has never been easier!

Best workstations of 2019 at a glance:

  1. Corsair One Pro i180
  2.  Apple Mac Pro
  3. Apple iMac Pro
  4. Lenovo Yoga A940
  5. Microsoft Surface Studio 2
  6. Mac Mini 2018
  7. HP Z240 SFF
  8. Fujitsu Celsius J550

Corsair One Pro i180

(Image credit: Future)

1. Corsair One Pro i180

The ultimate workstation

CPU: Intel Core i9-9920X | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti | RAM: 32GB | Storage: 960GB SSD, 2TB HDD | Communications: Gigabit Ethernet | Dimensions (W x D x H): 20 x 17.6 x 38cm

Immensely powerful
Lovely design
Very expensive
Not all components are upgradable

The Corsair One Pro i180 is currently our pick for the best workstation in 2019. Not only is it one of the most powerful desktop PCs we've ever used, but it's also one of the most nicely designed. The dimensions of the Corsair One Pro i180 are 200 x 172.5 x 380mm, which is incredibly compact considering the amount of power it offers. This is a workstation that can easily fit on – or under – a desk, and it looks simply amazing. It manages to keep cool, and most of the components can be upgraded as well, though it's not as straightforward as in a traditional PC tower. Power-wise it comes with an Intel Core i9-9920X, Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, 920GB NVMe M.2 SSD and 2TB hard drive. That’s some seriously impressive and cutting-edge hardware. But this all comes at a cost. A very, very high cost.

Apple

2. Apple Mac Pro

Worth an update

CPU: Intel Xeon E5-1650 v2 | Graphics: Dual AMD FirePro D500 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Communications: 802.11ac, Gigabit Ethernet | Dimensions (W x D x H): 25 x 17 x 17cm

Ground-breaking design
Very compact
Long in the tooth
Can be tricky to upgrade

An upgrade to the Mac Pro is imminent so you might want to hold on. But when it comes to the quintessential workstation, nothing comes near to this monolith. How Apple has been able to pack so much firepower into such a small volume almost defies the laws of physics. The current model, though, is well past its prime.

It packs a 3-year old Intel Ivy-Bridge Xeon processor with up to 64GB DDR3 ECC RAM and 1TB storage (no RAID option though). Its two AMD FirePro D500 GPUs are likely to be the weakest link in the system, however, and even the top of the range model doesn't meet the minimum requirements to run the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift VR platform. It's also far more expensive than a comparable Windows-based workstation.

Read the full review: Apple Mac Pro

iMac Pro price

3. Apple iMac Pro

A fantastic all-in-one workstation

CPU: Intel Xeon W | Graphics: AMD Vega 64 (16GB HBM2 RAM) | RAM: 128GB | Communications: Gigabit Ethernet | Dimensions (W x D x H): 65 x 20.3 x 51.6cm

Most powerful Mac ever
Excellent design
Very expensive
Non user-upgradable

The Apple iMac Pro is the most powerful PC that Apple has ever made, so if you love the design of Apple's devices, while using its software, then the iMac Pro is an excellent workstation. Its all-in-one form factor gives you plenty of space on your desk, but it is very expensive, which turn some people off.

Lenovo Yoga A940

Lenovo Yoga A940 is plenty powerful to meet the needs of creative professionals.

(Image credit: Future)

4. Lenovo Yoga A940

A great iMac alternative

CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i7-8700 | Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 560 4 GB | RAM: 32 GB DDR4 2666 MHz | Storage: 1 TB 5400 RPM + 256 GB PCIe SSD | Display: 27" 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS Multi-touch

Good price
Stylus included
Older components
Screen not great in direct light

Lenovo’s latest all-in-one offering isn’t as powerful as Apple’s premium AIO, the iMac Pro, or even the recently updated iMac, which now offers a 9th-generation Intel Core configuration. After all, at this point, the 8th-generation chips and Radeon RX 560 graphics are aging at this point. However, it is still plenty powerful to meet the needs of professionals who can't afford Apple's more pricey machines.

Surface Studio 2

The Surface Studio 2 ups the power significantly, making it a much more future-proof device. (Image credit: TechRadar)

5. Microsoft Surface Studio 2

An artist’s dream come true

CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 - GTX 1070 | RAM: 16GB – 32GB | Storage: 1TB - 2TB SSD | Display: 28-inch 4,500 x 3,000 PixelSense display

Powerful
Nothing like it
Very expensive

Microsoft has produced a brilliant all-in-one workstation that rival's Apple's iMacs for power and desirability. If you're wedded to the Windows 10 ecosystem, then this is a great alternative to the iMac Pro. Versatile and forward-thinking, Microsoft’s all-in-one puts the iMac to shame by introducing an all-in-one that can not only replace your lingering desktop tower, but your Cintiq as well.

6. Mac Mini 2018

Same size, way more power

CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i3 – Core i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 630 | Storage: 128GB – 2TB PCIe Flash | Dimensions (W x D x H): 19.7 x 19.7 x 3.6cm

Hugely improved specs
Tiny, aesthetic design
Expensive

The Mac mini 2018 has finally been refreshed with modern hardware, bring Apple’s tiniest Mac into the modern age. This thing is filled to the brim with 8th-generation desktop processors, a ton of RAM and some of the fastest SSDs we’ve seen – all while keeping the same beloved form factor. OK, while it's not as powerful as the other workstations on this list, it has a few tricks up its sleeve which makes this worth considering. First, you can add an external graphics card to the Mac mini for added graphical prowess. You can also chain several Mac minis together and offload tasks onto each machine, making it an expandable – and incredibly versatile – workstation.

HP Z240

7. HP Z240 SFF

Pint-sized power

CPU: Intel Core i7-6700 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 530 | RAM: 8GB | : | Communications: Gigabit Ethernet | Dimensions (W x D x H): 34 x 38 x 10cm

Surprisingly compact and powerful
A plethora of connectors
Card reader is optional

This is HP's entry level workstation and one which is very keenly priced with a very compact form factor (about 11L). It's hard to believe that the Z240 has an Intel Core i7-6700 CPU with 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard disk drive. There's even an optical drive. The company's engineers have managed to deliver a system that weighs less than 6Kg and somehow has 20 (yes, 20) connectors and expansion slots (not all of them empty of course).

It even has four DIMM slots to take full advantage of dual-channel technology. As for the rest of the HP workstation family, this one comes with the Remote Graphics Software as well as a three-year onsite warranty bundled. The only major compromise is the fact that it will only take low profile graphics cards. HP also offers the option to buy the workstation for as little as £16 per month excluding VAT.

fujitsu

8. Fujitsu Celsius J550

Quintessentially powerful

CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1275 v5 | Graphics: Nvidia Quadro K2200 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD | Communications: Gigabit Ethernet | Dimensions (W x D x H): 33 x 34 x 8.9cm

Very compact
Can take a full-size GPU
More expensive than the traditional equivalent form factor
Limited configurability

The small form factor market is attracting more manufacturers as they are vying to shed the bulky and wieldy image of the traditional workstation. Few, if any, however, can pride themselves on designing and manufacturing their products in the same area. Fujitsu can – take the J550.

It can take a Xeon E3 CPU, a full-size professional graphics card, 64GB of RAM, offering up to 13.5TB storage and nearly 20 ports and expansion slots including quite a few legacy ones. Fujitsu is also the only company to offer a three-year warranty (either onsite or bring-in) across the EMEIA region, which spans across the whole of Europe, into Africa and stretches as far as India.