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A fat client is a networked computer with many locally-stored programs or resources and little dependence on network resources, such as auxiliary drives, CD-RW/DVD players or software applications. Typically, users prefer fat client computers over thin clients because fat clients allow easy customization and greater control over installed programs and system configuration.
Because output is locally generated, a fat client also enables a more sophisticated graphical user interface (GUI) and reduced server load.
A fat client is also known as a thick client.
A fat client is often built with expensive hardware with many moving parts and should not be placed in a hostile environment. Otherwise, the fat client may not function optimally.
An example of a fat client is a computer that handles the majority of a complex drawing’s editing with sophisticated, locally stored software. The system designer determines editing or viewing access to this software.
A fat client has several advantages, including the following: