What Is Windows 10 Pro for Workstations and How to Upgrade

Windows 10 pro for workstations

Microsoft is always on the lookout for ways to make Windows 10 a better operating system. As such, they don’t shy away from rolling out editions and releasing updates, even when least expected. Currently, Windows 10 has twelve editions, all with different feature sets, use cases or intended devices.

With every new edition comes new features and improved performance. With that in mind, you’d expect the latest edition, Windows 10 Pro for Workstations, to be more powerful and robust. Sure, Windows 10 Pro for Workstations is powerful and one of a kind.

What’s more interesting is that this edition was not rolled out on a “business as usual” basis. It was created in response to feedback from the Windows Insider Program. So what is Windows 10 Pro for Workstations all about? Read on to discover.

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Windows 10 Pro for Workstations is the newest member of the Windows 10 family and comes with powerful features, most of which are lacking in the previous editions. This high-performance edition of Windows 10 Pro is designed for power users who aim to use Windows 10 on high-performance, server grade software.

As such, it comes equipped with full support for server grade PC hardware, which makes it the best-suited edition to handle intensive workloads and most demanding tasks. Windows 10 Pro for Workstations is, therefore, ideal for advanced users looking to deploy workstation computers in highly demanding and critical work.

The value proposition of this edition is to boost performance and enhance the reliability of high-performance PCs. To meet this demand, Microsoft has equipped Windows 10 Pro for Workstations with unique specs that put it in a league of its own. Here are the salient features that make it unique and powerful.

Expanded Hardware Support

Microsoft has extended the hardware support for this edition of Windows in a bid to fix the common problems users frequently encounter when trying to utilize their machine’s raw power. This new functionality will enable users to run Windows 10 on devices with server-grade AMD Opteron and Intel Xeon Processors. Such devices would normally require a Windows server.

Currently, Windows 10 Pro only supports a maximum of 2 CPUs and up to 2 TB of RAM per system. The Windows 10 Pro for Workstations has bumped things up with support for up to 4 CPUs and an insane 6 TB of RAM. This feature will come in handy for those looking to build expensive, high-end PCs.

This new edition of Windows 10 supports SMB Direct – a feature borrowed from Windows Server. SMB Direct utilizes network adapters that support Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA). Microsoft claims network adapters that are RDMA capable can function at extremely high speeds with low latency and minimal CPU usage.

Think about apps that access and share huge amounts of data on your network. Such apps will benefit from low latency when accessing the data, faster data transfer speeds, and low CPU usage. But to enjoy this feature you’ll need a powerful PC that supports such high-end hardware (RDMA enabled) than an ordinary consumer PC might not work here.

Another exclusive feature you’ll find in Windows 10 Pro for Workstations is support for NVDIMM-N hardware. The NVDIMM-N is a non-volatile memory, which means the data stored in it won’t disappear once the computer is switched off.

With the NVDIMM-N memory users can read/write files with the fastest speeds possible using the computer’s main memory. While the NVDIMM-N seems promising, it’s not common because it’s much more expensive than normal RAM.

The Resilient File System is designed to be more resilient to data corruption and is capable of handling huge volumes of data. This system will provide users with cloud-grade resiliency for their data while protecting it on mirrored Storage Spaces.

When used with Storage Spaces, ReFS can detect corrupt data and repair it or replace it with a clean copy from another drive.

While the specs might make you think that the Windows 10 Pro for Workstations is out of reach for mere mortals, it’s not that hard to get it. You can get this edition via many channels. One of the easiest options is to get it through Microsoft hardware partners such as Lenovo, HP, or Dell.

If you already have a Windows 10 PC, you can also upgrade via the new Microsoft Store App. Just launch the Store, type “pro” in the search box, and Windows 10 Pro for Workstations will display on top of the search results. Click on it and follow the instructions.

Keep in mind that to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for Workstations you’ll need to first install or have Windows 10 Home or Pro Fall Creators Update as your current edition. An upgrade from Pro or Home will cost you $125 while a full license goes for about $205. For more information, check out our article about what you need to know about the Windows 10 activation procedure.

The Windows 10 Pro for Workstations is a robust and performance-oriented edition. But is it worth upgrading? If you are an advanced user who wants to get the most out of your PC’s raw power, then this edition is for you. For an average consumer with less demanding daily tasks, upgrading might not make much difference.

What’s your take on Microsoft’s Windows 10 Pro for Workstations? Share with us in the comments section below.

One comment

  1. its only rdma client.. you still need a windows server to use smb-direct with rdma..
    i wish microsoft would make this clear

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