The meaning here is that they are big, enterprise-scale switches and routers.


That's the reason why I have some serious switches and routers.


That's the reason why I have some high-end switches and routers.

Is there a difference between serious and high-end? And which fit this context better?


There is a difference, and which is better depends in part on who you're talking to, and in part on what you're emphasizing:

'Serious' does mean 'weighty and important', but it most properly means these things in an emotional or intellectual way, rather than a physical one. You're not saying that the routers are a deep philosophical matter, or that they provoke somber emotions, so it's not quite correct. I might choose to stretch the meaning in this way, especially in an informal context, but it would be a deliberate (if slight) misuse.

'High-end' places a lot of emphasis on the equipment being expensive and good quality. If that's what you're saying, it would work. However, it sounds as though you're more interesting in the high capacity and size of the equipment. Since something can be expensive and well-made while also being small and having limited capacity, it may not be exactly what you want. If that's the case, I would suggest 'heavy-duty', which conveys the sense of being made to withstand heavy usage.

Side notes: You're missing an apostrophe in "That's". Also, "the reason" and "why" are basically redundant. It's probably better to say either "That's the reason I have..." or "That's why I have..".

  • "High-end" does not guarantee "high-quality". Many people think that "you get what you pay for" implies that "expensive" = "better", but there are many examples of expensive low-quality products. A famous high-end semi-custom home-builder has a history of installing weak foundations. A prestigious auto-maker had an entire department dedicated to fixing manufacturing mistakes. Many vintage wines have aged too long... and turned into vinegar. – Jasper Jan 16 '15 at 0:02
  • @Jasper While what you say is true, the question is about word use, and when someone describes something as 'high-end', they mean that it is high-quality. Otherwise, they'd probably use 'overpriced' instead. – MrTheWalrus Jan 16 '15 at 15:00

Serious in an informal context confers indeed the meaning of "very well up to the job, actually oversized for it!"

Big-ass can be used in the same (very informal) way.

High-end on the other side, means that it is on the high-end of a technological, quality and / price scale. It may be very advanced, very good en very expensive, but not usable in a corporate environment.

So when you say you have high-end equipment, it doesn't mean it is big or enterprise style.

When you say you have a serious (or big-ass computer system), you may be talking about an actual mainframe in your basement. Now that is a serious computer! On the other end, if it is an original 1960's model, I would hardly call it high-end!

The newest iPad mini is certainly a high-end gadget, but it is hardly a machine aimed at the corporate market. If I buy a modern 4 port optical switch for use at home, that probably is a high end switch (are there budget versions for glass networks?) However, where I work, they prefer to have rack-mounted 32-port manageable gigabit network switches with redundant power supplies and fail-over options. Those are not as high-end as my own switch, by far. But they are bigger, badder and more serious then my fancy toy :)


They mean the same thing, but "High-end" is formally correct. "Serious" is being used in the informal sense. Definition #5 from MW: "excessive or impressive in quality, quantity, extent, or degree [serious stereo equipment]."

I don't normally cite google dictionary as a reference, but I do like that on this word it notes that it is informal (see definition #4), whereas MW does not.

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