PCs

Poll: Is your home computer faster than your work computer?

Ten years ago, we all had far better computers at the office than we had a home. But, that's not always the story today. Where do you have a better computer? Take the poll.

Ten years ago, we all had far better computers at the office than we had a home. Our work desktops and laptops had better processors and more RAM. Business-class technologies tended to be faster, more durable, and more capable. However, that's not always the case today, and that's why some employees have started using their own personal laptops for work tasks.

Many work computers have been around for four or five years or more, as company upgrade cycles have been delayed year after year. As a result, many employees have old office computers that barely keep up with their daily tasks.

On the other hand, the prices of consumer computers have plummeted. The vast majority of desktops and laptops are all under $1000 now, with many decent machines available for $300-$500. Even the cheapest of today's netbooks tend to be faster than the corporate desktops of 2005 that are still hanging around in many organizations.

Last week, we asked if you had a faster Internet connection at home or at the office. This week, we'd like to know if you have a faster computer at home or the office. Answer the poll and then jump into the discussion.

Take the poll

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

66 comments
k.panesar
k.panesar

Size of the employer's organisation is a big factor. Bureaucracy is a stumbling block!

Tommy S.
Tommy S.

My home computer is a liquid cooled i7 930 @ 4 GHz with 12GB of RAM, 6 HDDs (3x500GB single platter in RAID-0 for OS drive and 3x2TB RAID JBOD for storage), BR player, 2 monitors, X-Fi, an OCed GTX 470, an awesome MoBo and Windows 7 Ult x64. So I think I could vitualize every single production server that we have and still be able to play a game at the same time. It would also rape our autoCAD workstations. Our work computers are still doing what they are supposed to do... Things dont really change that fast in the corporate world. Not in the heavy industry at least.

sonicsteve
sonicsteve

I'm the IT dept. of my school. I use Linux on my machines and they are very similar, not identical but very similar. work= Intel core2duo 2.93, Asus P5G41, 4gb, 500gb sata, running Ubuntu and VM's Home= Intel I3 2.93, Asus P7H55-m, 2gb, 500gb sata, running ubuntu and VM's. I upgrade my work machine every 18months, and home every 3-4 years. This means that soon my work machine will be better than home again.

OldHenry
OldHenry

I don't really have home vs. work computers. I have work computers I use at home and things made of spare parts that I've out together to use for work. There are a couple of differences between home and work computers. First, my work computers have far more security installed on them. This slows things down and I wonder if we really are that much more secure for the performance I lose. Also, our office network is slower. We have less bandwidth in our office than I have coming into my house despite the fact that we have more requirements for it in the office. Thanks

aussiejarrah
aussiejarrah

I just up graded at home but my old pc was Vista and my work PC is XP. So even the one I have upgraded from is better than work's computers.

VytautasB
VytautasB

Of course the home pc runs faster. However my work environment is a complex Wan with a lot of security running on top. Pretty much negates any speed advantages from hardware improvements. When one considers the bloated code our pc's are forced to run the speed seems to be about the same as one was able to get from a 386SX-25 cpu.

aandruli
aandruli

Thats very true but even without all the muckity muck security and network monitoring stuff at work, my home pc would still blow it away. The work PC is the least the company can get away with while my home PC is state-of-the-art. BTW -- Labas

geoffrey.uys
geoffrey.uys

I upgrade home PC every six months, at work upgrade every 5 years.

Jellimonsta
Jellimonsta

Wow... you need another hobby. :p :)

alarena
alarena

My Home computer! I have control over it. At work I'm burdened with corporate programs and processes that are pre-loading because they "have to". Services that are called to run after software installs are usually set at Automatic. Or worse, it may be a people problem. Non-Technical managers are good, if they are good in management and judgement But reality is sometime that someone has wormed their way into the influence vector of IT, and makes changes that are critcal but wrong. Human Worm attacks from the 'political platform' or "good looking platform" or "social platform". My experiances with huge Corporations have a 50/50 result for me. It all comes down to this. Are you happy where you are without change? Are you working for good people or corporate AH's. My "lecture of the day" results from a corporate #2 (and I mean that sincerely in all ways) stop gapping all of my suggestions with a bunch of "stop gap" new policies and procedures they created on the spot. Dilberts world. And I'm no Dilbert. Life is too IMPORTANT.

hasnul_amrie
hasnul_amrie

@ work am using Dell laptop with windows Xp but.. @ home, am playing with my iMac with leopard. Much much better, easier to navigate and can do lots of other heavy duty task like grafics, movies and video editing

dogknees
dogknees

10 years ago, my PC at home was more powerful than the servers at work, let alone the desktop PCs. My last was still faster than the new ones at work when it was 3 years old. Not bragging, just pointing out that the assumptions here are flawed.

czeltman
czeltman

Many companies often have a refresh program that requires employees to use the same PC for 3-5 years before upgrading. Internal IT depts. are barely able to keep up with timely virus protection upgrades, never mind repairing PCs. Add to that overloaded network traffic with poor management of assets and the result is a slow work PC.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

The primary home PC is a 2GB Athlon 64 with 1G RAM installed. The work laptop is a 2GB Core2 Duo with 1GB RAM installed. Other than that, they are pretty much identical as far as specs go: same size hard drives, CD-ROM burners, etc. I guess the home PC wins: it has a floppy.

Timespike
Timespike

...If my work computer ever exceeds the power of my home system, it's time for an upgrade!

cgkomeshak
cgkomeshak

C'mon - we're geeks! My Home server is faster than my work server.

DNSB
DNSB

But is your home server as reliable as your work server?

Sterling chip Camden
Sterling chip Camden

So the question doesn't apply to me. But I loooove my new ASUS K72F running FreeBSD 8.1-STABLE. IT ROX!

mtkaswede
mtkaswede

My home computer is a pooch.. actually a cast off work machine.

Snuffy09
Snuffy09

Windows 7 Pro AMD 2.8 Ghz 6Core ATI HD 5750 1 GB Graphics Card 4GB DDR3 PC3 2000 RAM Work Computer: Windows 7 Pro Intel Core2 duo 3.0 Ghz ATI Radeon x1300 256MB 4GB RAM

JamesRL
JamesRL

My home computer started life as a high end graphics workstation. Its a Dell Precision 490 with 2 Dual Core Xeon processors(2 Physical CPU with 2 logical cores each). Its twice as fast as my work laptop. It also has fewer drivers and addons. My employer uses a lot of monitoring software. James

helforama
helforama

I JUST upgraded my work pc from a 1.4ghz tualatin P3 with 1.5gb of ram and 160GB of HDD storage space to a dual 3ghz/HT workstation with 2gb ddr266 ecc ram. Still old, but far quicker. At the same time I upgraded my home pc from a dual 1.4ghz tualatin with 1.5gb of ram, ati 3850 agp vidoe card, etc etc to a intel quad core q9550 @ 3.4ghz with 4gb ddr3-2000 memory. So for a long time my home pc wasn't all that much faster than my work pc, but now it stomps it into the ground while laughing maniacally :)

Adrian Watts
Adrian Watts

if i count up all the ones at home in daily use i have 4. the ones i occasionally use take it to 7. all built by me apart from a laptop. the biggest difference between work bought and home bought is the hard drive size; home is measured in terabytes. after that it is ram for running vm. haven't really worried about cpu speed for a while, so long as it can decode 1080p and run vm i am fine. i used to budget ?700+ to build a new pc, now i can do it for ?500.

Tink!
Tink!

work has Pentium 4 (2.8Ghz) processor. Home is only 2 ghz but home isn't bogged down by all the work apps.

kevin8441
kevin8441

My persional laptop is faster than the work laptop as the soe is full of bloatware with out of date drivers running xpsp2

Jellimonsta
Jellimonsta

Work PC is P4 3GHz w/ 1.5GB RAM and 256MB video running XP SP3. Main home PC is Dual core i5 3.2GHz w/ 8GB RAM and 1GB video running Win 7 64Bit. Multi tasking at work has it's challenges (though when I got here I only 512MB RAM). :0 Told them I needed at least another Gig if they wanted me to work at an appropriate level. However coming from private sector to public sector, it seems we may have a different gauge to 'acceptable level'. :p :D

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

a two-three year old HP/Vista laptop is WAY faster than my work computer - a year old Dell desktop of some make or model. That freaking thing is a dog, in spite of the fact that I ordered the latest and greatest in hardware.

robert_shields
robert_shields

Way faster and its 5 years old with XP/sp3. - R

kapptaink
kapptaink

Work has not upgraded the systems since Katrina, even as an IT network admin I still get the low of the low because we should be able to keep them running. At home I reinstall the OS partition about once a year if it starts slowing down. Seems to always pick it up to brand new like performance. Something no Malware scanner, reg cleaner, or defrag can do.

uftr
uftr

How about work from home folks? There should be a 3rd category in this poll.

azbat
azbat

In the office it's whatever comes from the lowest bidder for the mediocre/generic desktop PC that everyone gets. Between that and whatever default apps that get installed by the main IT dept. At home, mine is customized, dual drives, 4 times the RAM and twice the cores of the office PC, with the system optimized for my use, not the office ... even though I work in IT, there's stuff on there that hogs the system for IT and business use that is not necessarily used by me.

edbjr
edbjr

Now my internet is another story. It's so irratic, I have difficulty with Vonage & Skype! You think Net Neutrality has hit Comcast......Whoops, sorry, It's "XFINITY"!

Andrew.Hall
Andrew.Hall

I got a new computer at work and I got to spec it out. I'm the net admin. I custom built my home computer to the latest and greatest 7 years ago...

deb
deb

You need a third choice: "My home computer IS my work computer." :)

Slayer_
Slayer_

Though my work computer is fairly new. Basic spec to spec Both AMD Duel cores. both 2.4ghz each core Both 120gb HDD's But home computer has 2gb, work has 3.2. Home computer blows away work computer. Tho the processor is an AMD 4800, is runs by default overclock of 2.55 ghz. Thats just the default settings on the Bios, I can switch it to AI High and it will jump to 2.8ghz per core safely with no heat or power issues. Graphics card.. Integrated vs nVidia 9600... Of course the home machine wins here. Number of processes? Home machine is far lower, far leaner, .Net will never be installed, no Java, no programing languages at all. All those are stored on Development virtual machines. Spec to spec, my work machine looks faster (aside from Video) but my Home computer can run circles around it. My home computer is also far more stable, even though they both run XP Pro SP3.

adamspivey
adamspivey

Home computer, because I use Linux at home and Windows XP at work

Daniel Breslauer
Daniel Breslauer

* HP EliteBook 6930p * CPU = Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 @ 2.40 GhZ * RAM = 4 GB DDR2 * HD = 232 GB, 5400 RPM * WiFi = Intel 5300 AGN * Monitor = 14", 1440x900 I'm pretty much blessed with this kind of system, really. The facility (side branch of a large enterprise, 100 employees here) for which I am the IT person is almost entirely laptop-based, and all are pretty much in the same range, hardware-wise, though some are business-class and some are consumer-class.

brandons
brandons

The poll is missing one important, and growing option: "My home computer is the same as my work computer." Many employees now use one system for both. In fact, recent corporate surveys show that some companies are loosening the reigns on allowing employees to self-provision with their own computers.

Ralph Wells
Ralph Wells

Anything done for work purposes is 'discoverable' under FOIA, for those of us working for government agencies - even as consultants. Therefore, the boss buys the computer for work purposes and the boss as well as various busybodies stay the hell outta my personal affairs.

sachin99
sachin99

A skilled professional team can develop its own technology and learn how to apply technologies developed by others. The technology alone does not reach its final destination - the customer, where it produces benefits computer technology

sachin99
sachin99

Design Technologydesign and technology are two factors that combine to provide the benefits the home user, office and the company requires in its work.

DNSB
DNSB

At home, I buy parts and assemble them. Doesn't matter to me if I have 3 or 4 computers with little hardware in common. I also have no problems with having a computer on the bleeding edge (both hardware and software). If one computer goes down, it's not that big a deal. If the box that runs my virtualized servers goes down, again not that big a deal. I'm the only one who uses those "servers". At work, we buy much larger quantities -- 200 computers is a small order -- and try to keep as few machines types as possible in use. This simplifies IT's existence so we can try to do the rest of our job. The difference between dealing with 3-4 computers at one site and 2000-3000 computers scattered over 19 sites are more than just those of quantity, there are also expectations for quality of service. Servers are expected to run 24/365. Users expect to come in Monday AM, turn their computer on and have it work. Storing any data on the local hard drive is NOT a good idea -- any given evening, that computer may be re-imaged -- so store your data on a drive mapped to the SAN where it will be backed up.

santeewelding
santeewelding

That you have reduced all there is to life in this.

blcslv
blcslv

My home computer is always top of the line for what I do at home. My work computer does not need to be for just writing emails or script programming. The only people at my work with the best machines are the programmers who have to compile code.

andronin
andronin

Don't need any more than my 2 year old notebook at work, almost all my work is done on servers with some Word, Excel and Powerpoint "programming" done on the notebook.

rindi1
rindi1

In my point of view it's not fair to compare home and work hardware this way. At work you have to consider other factors than pure speed. A work computer must work reliably for as long as possible. It needs to run a few tools of the company, and usually isn't used for gaming (unless you work in a niche business like game production). So an integrated GPU is usually more than good enough. It also needs hardware that is tested and reliable, so there you can't also use the newest and greatest. HD space is irrelevant too, as data is stored centrally on a server and doesn't belong on the local PC (unless you use a laptop and need your data when offline).

kacaudle
kacaudle

Yes, my home computer is faster than my work computer. I am a "techie". Most people subscribing to or reading this page would probably be "techie". I have many family members and friends (who call for support regularly ;-) ) that have machines with less power than my office machine. They are not associated with the industry, so they would not be in the response group of this poll. Ken C.

jimt007
jimt007

The sad truth of it is that work computers are not more reliable and rarely have enough processing power to run office applications without crashing. This has to do with the economic times we live in, and nothing else. Even when a company buys new computers, they are not buying top of the line, they are buying the best "value." Honestly I don't blame them, in a few years they are nothing more than recyclable paper weights. What companies have to learn to do is properly assess each user's need. I am sure there are some top execs who how gigs of power they will never use. Meanwhile the tech/design/excel/database users downstairs that have hard deadlines and have to make due with what they got. I think it is too much in this day and age to expect a work computer to rival your home computer, except in special circumstances, but it has absolutely nothing to do with reliability.

cdstendel
cdstendel

Not even the same species. Work is a Core 2 Duo Tosh lappy. Home is Canyon case, OC I7 on liquid, 6gig ram, SSD, (2)1Tb WD Black RAID Storage, Dual GTS285, and a dual tuner TV card to boot. Everything is instantaneous. Work Hard, play HARDER :)

cmol
cmol

Likewise ... my work computer has enough processing power to sustain my tasks there, but my home PC is a ADM Phenom II X6 1090T OC'd to 4.3Ghz (and that's on air!) w/ 8GB RAM @ 1600Mhz, WD VelociRaptor etc etc ... Definitely a hell of a lot more power there, albeit not more than a I-i7, but then at a quarter the price for only a 30% performance bump ... more value for money ;-)

Roc Riz
Roc Riz

My home computer runs OSX, and only has a 2.4Ghz Core 2 Duo. It is faster than the newer 3.2Ghz i5 running Windows 6.1... I mean 7. How is this possible? Also, the graphics are nicer on the Nvidia chip on the Macbook Pro than on the Intel graphics chip on the Lenovo desktop. The Macbook Pro even runs other versions of Windows under VMWare. It's quite awesome having one little box that can do so much. Much more than the work supplied box, which is supposed to be more powerful than the one I bought for home use! Go figure.

Richard-H
Richard-H

I'm running a 7 year old Mac Pro laptop, on it's last legs :-) and it serves as my work and home computer, I wouldn't dream of going near a PC, I did so on a Sony Vaio a few years back and couldn't believe that people actually chose to work on PCs! hostgator coupon

dave
dave

My work computer would wet it's diaper if it had to handle what my home computer does.

cruizok
cruizok

games...photoshop...more games :) home computer has to rock, work computer...not so much. heck they still have win98 machines running an outdated POS system heh. technology is not their friend

tatec3
tatec3

Is your smartphone at home more powerful than your work computer?

cvandeve
cvandeve

My home computer is more powerful, it has to run Fallout 3, Halo and other important software. My work computer is just used for email, word and part searching.

Ricewilliamj
Ricewilliamj

My home computer trumps my work computer by leaps and bounds. No comparison.