A blade PC, also called a PC blade, is a computer that is entirely contained in a thin, modular circuit card placed in a centralized, secure location such as a server rack. A cable connects the card to the user's display, keyboard and mouse. Vendors of blade PCs include ClearCube and HP .
A blade PC, in contrast to a thin client , is a complete computer that includes all the components normally found in a desktop PC including the microprocessor, memory chips, hard drive, video card and network card. The blade PC concept is similar to the blade server paradigm, except that the ratio of cards to end-users is one-to-one rather than one-to-many.
Blade PCs are initially more expensive to deploy than the conventional arrangement, in which each station has its own computer box, because associated infrastructure, cards and cabling must be installed. Once installed, however, the blade PC model offers a number of advantages over the traditional approach, including:
- Lower administrative, operational and maintenance resource demands
- Space savings at the workstation
- Ease of adding and relocating end users
- Reduced workstation noise caused by fans and hard drives
- Reduced work area heat generation
- Sharing of certain accessories such as uninterruptible power supplies
- Improved physical security by placing critical hardware in a central, locked location.