Types of Computers

Types of Computers Based on Size:


A computer is a device that can be instructed to carry out an arbitrary set of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Their ability to follow a sequence of operations, called a program, make computers very flexible and popular.

Types of Computer:

Types of computers are classified into many ways. They are:

1. Size.
2. Function.
3. Usage.

Types of computers based on size:

1. Supercomputer.

2. Mainframe Computer.

3. Minicomputer.

4. Microcomputer.


A Supercomputer is a computer with great speed and memory. It is very expensive and is employed for specialized applications that require immense amounts of mathematical calculations.

The supercomputer can do jobs faster than any other computer of its generation. They are usually thousands of times faster than ordinary personal computers made at that time.

In 1920 the United States with the IBM tabulators at Columbia University and a series of computers at Control Data Corporation (CDC), designed by Seymour Cray to use innovative designs and parallelism to achieve superior computational peak performance.

In 1964 The CDC 6600 released the first supercomputer.

Supercomputers are specialized and task specific computers used by large organizations. These computers are used for research and exploration purposes, like NASA uses supercomputers for launching space shuttles, controlling them and for space exploration purpose.

Popular Supercomputers:

IBM’s Sequoia, in United States
Fujitsu’s K Computer in Japan
IBM’s Mira in United States
IBM’s SuperMUC in Germany
NUDT Tianhe-1A in China

Mainframe Computer:

A Mainframe Computer is a very large computer capable of handling and processing very large amounts of data quickly.

In 1964 first Mainframe Computer was developed by IBM. It is known as “IBM and the Seven Dwarfs”.

Mainframe Computers are computers used primarily by large organizations for critical applications, bulk data processing such as census, industry and consumer statistics, enterprise resource planning, and transaction processing.

Mainframes can also process and store a large amount of data. But not so fast as Super Computer.

Popular Mainframe Computers:

Fujitsu’s ICL VME
Hitachi’s Z800


Minicomputers are popular in 1970’s and 1980’s.

Minicomputer is a computer of medium power, more than a microcomputer but less than a mainframe.

Minicomputers are used by small businesses and firms. Minicomputers are also called as “Midrange Computers”. It is a midsize multi-processing system capable of supporting up to 250 users simultaneously.

These are small machines and can be accommodated on a disk with not as processing and data storage capabilities as super-computers and Mainframes.

Popular Minicomputers:

Texas Instrument TI-990
IBM Midrange computers


The microcomputer is a small computer that contains a microprocessor as its central processor. Microcomputers became popular in the 1970s and 1980s with the advent of increasingly powerful microprocessors.

It is a small, relatively inexpensive computer with a microprocessor as its central processing unit (CPU).

The micro-computers are widely used & the fastest growing computers. These computers are the cheapest among the other three types of computers.

The micro-computers are specially designed for general usage like entertainment, education and work purposes. The manufacturers of Micro-computer are Dell, Apple, Samsung, Sony & Toshiba.

Desktop computers, laptops, personal digital assistant (PDA), tablets and smartphones are all types of microcomputers.

Supercomputers in India.

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