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Difference between Minicomputer and Supercomputer

  • Difficulty Level : Easy
  • Last Updated : 04 Sep, 2020

Prerequisite – Classification of Computers 

Minicomputers are small Computers that are more powerful as compared to personal computers but they are less powerful if we compare them with mainframe or supercomputers. It comes under the class of multi-user computers that can able to perform the same kind of tasks as a mainframe computer. It was introduced in the 1960s. The minicomputer is designed to fulfill the computing needs of several people in a small to medium-sized business environment. The first mini computer was developed by IBM which was IBM’s AS/400e. 

Supercomputers are the computers that are powerful in the world and are primarily used for complex scientific calculations. These computers are capable of processing trillions of instructions per second. Although their components are similar to the desktop computer but their processing speed is very high that is why they are primarily used for engineering problems and scientific calculations. They are able to perform complex tasks quickly and efficiently. In 2003, India developed a supercomputer named PARAM Padma which marked a crucial step towards high-performance computing. 

Difference between Minicomputer and Supercomputer: 

Minicomputer Supercomputer
Minicomputers are standalone mid-sized machines that fall somewhere between smaller mainframe and powerful microcomputers. Supercomputers are most powerful computing machines on the planet and the ultimate engine of the digital age.
They have speed in the range of 10-30 MIPS. The speed of supercomputer is in the range of 100-900 MIPS.
They are functional intermediate between a microcomputer and a mainframe computer. They are able to process trillions of instructions per second.
The main purpose of the mini computer is to fulfill the computing needs for several people from small to medium-sized business environment. They are primarily used for scientific research and forecasting along with scientific simulations, fluid dynamics calculation, nuclear energy research, etc.
Minicomputers are very less expensive than supercomputers. Whereas supercomputers are quite expensive.


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