Types of Computer | Uses of Computer

Computers since it development has been in different types and offers various services and this are also in different sizes so there is the need ti know the types of computer. A computer can be small as in mobile devices or as large as well house

What is computer

A computer is a machine that can be programmed to manipulate symbols and data. Its basic characteristics are:

  • It responds to a specific set of instructions in a well-defined manner.
  • Can execute a prerecorded list of instructions (a program).
  • It can quickly store and retrieve large amounts of data.

There are four (4) Basic types of computer, there are

  • ​Supercomputer
  • Mainframe Computer
  • The Minicomputer and
  • Microcomputer

Check out the full form of computer also


Types of computer

Let us look into them one after the other.


Supercomputers are one of the types of computer and the most powerful and very expensive computers in terms of performance and data processing.

These are specialized and task specific computers used by large firms for specialized applications that require a lot amounts of mathematical calculations.

Places where they are used includes weather forecasting, graphics, fluid dynamic calculations, nuclear energy research, electronic design, and analysis of geological data, NASA where supercomputers are used for launching space shuttles, controlling them and for space exploration purpose.

Supercomputers are very large in size and always kept in large air-conditioned rooms Supercomputers can be as a whole building.

CDC 6600 is the first ever Supercomputer that was designed by Seymour Cray in 1964. Currently the world fastest supercomputer is China’s “Tianhe _2” supercomputer. Tianhe – 2 can perform quadrillions of floating point operations per second (100 Petaflops).

In the table below is the five most powerful Supercomputers in the world.

Top Five Supercomputers ( not types of computer)

1National Super computer in Guanzhou, ChinaTianhe – 2 (MilkyWay – 2)3,120,000​33,862.7​54,902.4​17,808
2​DOE/SC/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, United StatesTianhe – 2 (MilkyWay – 2)560,640​17,590.0​27,112.5​8,209
3​DOE/NNSA/LLNL, United StatesTianhe – 2 (MilkyWay – 2)​1,572,864​17,173.2​20,132.7​7,890
4​RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science (AICS) JapanTianhe – 2 (MilkyWay – 2)​705,024​10,510.0​11,280.4​12,660
5​DOE/SC/Argonne National Laboratory, United StatesTianhe – 2 (MilkyWay – 2)​786,432​8,586.6​10,066.3​3,945
Table source: byte.notes.com

​Uses Of Supercomputers

Supercomputers are use in

  • Space Exploration
  • nuclear energy research
  • electronic design
  • Earthquake Studies
  • Weather Forecasting
  • Analysis of geological data
  • Nuclear Weapons Testing

​Common 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

The Mainframe is also one of the types of computer and a powerful and expensive computer capable of supporting hundreds, or even thousands, of users simultaneously.

When compared, a supercomputer puts all its power into carrying out few programs as fast as possible, but a mainframe uses its power to execute many programs more that supercomputer at the same time.

The Supercomputers are the fastest computers and have large data storage capacity, but Mainframes can also process & store large amount of data.

In another point of veiw, the mainframes are more powerful than supercomputers because they carry out more programs simultaneously. But supercomputers can run a single program faster than a mainframe.

Uses of Mainframe Computer

  • Banks
  • Educational institutions
  • Insurance companies etc

​Common Mainframe Computers

  • ​Fujitsu’s ICL VME
  • ​Hitachi’s Z800

Minicomputer ( my best in types of computer)

Minicomputers are used by small businesses & firms. Minicomputers are also called as “Mid-size Computers”. minicomputer is a multiprocessing system capable of supporting from up to 200 users simultaneously. Though not as big as supercomputer and mainframe computer but still stores large amount of data. Individual departments of a large company or organizations use Mini-computers for specific purposes.

​Common Minicomputers

  • ​K-202
  • ​Texas Instrument TI-990
  • ​SDS-92
  • ​IBM Midrange computers

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The micro-computers are also one of the types of computer and the most used and 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.

Common microcomputers

  • Desktop computers
  • Netbooks, Notebooks
  • PDA’s
  • Tablet PC’s
  • Smartphones
  • Calculators etc.