Computers are classified into four basic types; We can simply say that there are four types of computers;
- Mainframe Computer
Supercomputer – Largest Type of Computer
Supercomputers are the most powerful and fastest of all computer system. They even the mainframes. The memory capacity is 256MB or more. The supercomputer has more number of central processing units, an operating system in parallel which results in the very fast operating speed of supercomputers to make it very fast. Supercomputers are an important innovation in the history of the computer. They may be employed in massive data processing, solving very complex problems. Some examples of Supercomputer are;
- Rocket launching, seismology, nuclear physics, weapon research CRAY 1, CRAY X-MP, SX-2, and HITAC S-300.
Mainframe Computer – Smaller than the Supercomputer
A mainframe is the largest and fastest and perhaps one of the most expensive computer of general use. They have very large storage capacity and have a very high processing speed. They support a large number of terminals, so one hundred to two hundred people can work at the same time with one mainframe. Mainframe computer can be used in LAN, MAN, and WAN. With the help of a mainframe computer, communication can be established among the computers kept at hundred of KMs.
- Some examples of mainframe computers are: IBM 1401, ICL2950/10 IBM 4300 Series, HP 9000 Model 3705/300, HP 9000 Model 8705/400
Minicomputer – Smaller than Supercomputer and Mainframe Computer;
The minicomputer also large computer. But it is smaller than a mainframe computer. Minicomputer started in 1958. The creation of integrated circuits for computer-enabled designers to shrink the size of the computer. They support a large number of terminals two to hundred person can work at the same time on one computer. Minicomputer can be used in LAN, WAN. Some examples of minicomputer PDP-8 etc…
Microcomputer – Smaller than super, mainframe & minicomputer
A computer which is based on the microprocessor is called a microcomputer. It is small and low cost, digital computer, The microcomputer has a microprocessor on a single chip which is its Central processing unit. It also has other units like input-output device memory unit etc…
General Type of Computer that We’ve been using;
These types of computers are also known as notebook computers. They are portable computers and are comfortable for the person in the move. Instead of lightweight, they incorporate of all features of the desktop computer. It consumes very less power and gets very less heated. It operates with AC or DC power. It doesn’t contain any expansion slots so it is very difficult to upgrade the system. It has a very thin screen as it uses LED or LCD as VDU. Touchpad is used instead of mouse used in Desktop Computer and it has additional features like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc.
It is also known as the PC because it is a single user computer. It fits on the normal size desk and is non-portable. It has more storage capacity and has many expansion slots. It is very user-friendly and easy to use. It is used for word processing, accounting, desktop publishing, database mgmt., playing games, surfing the internet etc. Eg. General Computers found in offices, college, hospitals, shops, home etc.
It is also a portable type of computer. It is very small in size and fits on a palm. It has a CPU in a single chip is not very powerful. It has very less memory and features and uses flash memory instead of HDD. It is battery powered and operates with DC power. It doesn’t contain any expansion slots. As it accepts touch screen input, contains an electronic writing pad and light-sensitive electronic pen. It is used for scheduling appointments, storing addresses, phone no., contacts, pictures etc and storing small type of data. Eg. Palm pilot, Zr-3500x, REX-PC, Sharp Zarus etc.