What’s the Difference? Consumer vs Business Computers

slow consumer PCYou see a computer sale at Best Buy or Costco and think, “Wow! What an excellent deal!” But is it? Low prices on consumer PCs are designed to draw you in, but are you really getting a device that can do what you need it to?

Too often, once someone gets that new desktop or laptop home or back to the office, they find out it’s lacking in performance and other key features that they need. And not all budget PCs are upgradable or have the ability to add more RAM.

When it comes to technology the old adage of “you get what you pay for” is very true.

At Gulf Coast Computer Solutions we’ve put decades of experience with multiple vendor solutions into our Recommended Technology Platform. This platform includes the “cream of the crop” when it comes to all types of tech, from PCs and laptops to webcams and network gear.

One thing we try to teach our clients is that buying the right equipment with the features, memory, operating system, and storage you need, even if it costs more initially, will end up saving you big time in the long run.

Differences Between Consumer Class & Business Class PCs You Should Know

You’ve just found a laptop at Walmart during a Black Friday sale for a steal. But when you start using it, you notice that it locks up often and isn’t very fast. It turns out that budget PC also has budget memory which is costing you precious time and lost productivity.

That’s one of the hidden “gotchas!” that come with buying a budget consumer grade PC… and there are more.

The average US worker loses 22 minutes per day in productivity due to IT issues.

Nearly 2 hours each week per employee dealing with computer issues, the biggest of which is often a slow or under performing computer, can put a real dent in your bottom line. You want your technology to fuel your work, not slow it down. Discover other ways a business PC is better than a consumer PC.

Looking over a matchup of business class versus consumer class computers reveals the performance you may be missing out on by choosing a device by the price tag only.


Business class computers are designed for a longer lifespan and to be used for more hours per day. In order to offer a lower price on a consumer class computer, they’re usually made with lower quality parts and not designed for the same hours of use and lifespan as business computers.


You’ll generally get a longer warranty that covers replacement parts and labor on a business PC as compared to a consumer PC. For example, an HP Slimline consumer desktop has a standard 1-year warranty, but HP’s EliteDesk business desktop offers a 3-year standard warranty.

Windows Version

Buying a consumer PC is going to mean it’s loaded with Windows Home instead of Window Pro, which comes on business computers. This means you could be missing out on important security and other features you need to effectively use your PC for work.

Here are some features Windows Pro has that Windows Home does not:

BitLocker device encryption
Windows Information Protection
Mobile device management
Microsoft Store & Updates for Business
Dynamic provisioning
Kiosk mode setup
Support for Active Directory
Speed & Memory
If your PC is lacking memory, you notice it right away as soon as you hit one of those webpages with videos and other heavy elements. On a system with good memory, it’s not even noticeable, but on a system with limited memory, you’ll end up having your entire computer locked up while you’re looking at a spinning wheel.

Cheap consumer PCs typically come with less memory than business PC’s. In the case of the two HP computers we discussed above, the consumer PC had half the memory of the business PC. Plus, you’re often limited in how much you can upgrade memory on a consumer PC and may find that you’re stuck with a slow performer that can’t be upgraded.

Ability for Repairs

Because business computers are designed to last longer, it’s easier to find their parts for any needed repairs. With a shorter lifespan, consumer PC’s can have parts that are more difficult to find just a few years into their lifespan, especially because big box stores are always trying to sell a newer model.


You know those programs that come loaded on your new computer that you never asked for? Then when you open one up, you find out its really more of an advertisement to get you to buy something? Bloatware can carry significant privacy and security risks with it, and consumer PCs tend to be loaded with it, much more so than business PCs.

Get Help Choosing the Best Computer for Your Needs & Budget

Don’t be tempted to choose a PC based upon price only or you could end up with a device that doesn’t perform and that you have to replace much sooner than you want to. Our team at Gulf Coast Computer Solutions can help you choose the right technology that’s both budget-friendly and has the performance and lifespan you need.