How Many Types Of Computers

How Many Types Of Computers
  • Sep 13th, 2023
  • Divya Sachdeva
  • Computer
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How Many Types Of Computer

"Computers" are a basic need of the present time and represent the state of new features and technology and innovation of the world. Computers have their history from manufacturing to development. Do you know what the definition of a computer is? And what are the types of computers? If you don't know then don't worry because this article helps you to know all the details about computer types.

What Is A Computer?

We see the computer as a machine or device that helps us to do our daily tasks such as making presentations, online meetings, paying bills, office work, school works, etc. But the definition of computer is not so easy as it includes a lot of complex meanings in it but the easiest definition from which we can define computer is that "A computer is an electronic machine that is used to store, find and arrange information, calculate amounts and control other devices." Another definition of a computer is "Computer is an electronic device that is programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically and can perform generic sets of operations which are known as programs".

Also Read: Who Invented Laptops?

What Are The Types Of Computers?

Let's discuss the types of computers that are used in different fields of the electronic world to fulfill the basic digital requirements of an individual or system. Traditionally, computer classification was based on size, processing speed, and cost. Based on these factors, computers were classified into different parts such as Supercomputers, mainframe computers, microcomputers, and minicomputers. However, with rapid and continuously changing technology, this classification of computers is no longer relevant. One of the big problems in deciding on the classification of computers is that computer technology is changing so fast that after every few months and years, new models and versions of computers are introduced in the market with much higher performance and cost. The cost is also less than the preceding models of the new models. Hence, today computers are categorized based on their mode of use or the aim for which we use any specific model.

Computers Can Be Classified Into Three Types:-

i. Based On The Size

  1. Super Computer
  2. Main Frame Computers
  3. Mini Computers
  4. Micro Computers /Personal computers (PCs)
  5. Desktops
  6. Laptops (Notebook computers)
  7. Palmtops

ii. Based On Purpose/Aim

The two main purposes of computers are:-

  1. General purpose
  2. Specific purpose

iii. Based On Data Handling

Based on the mechanism or data handling computers can be classified into three subtypes:-

  1. Digital
  2. Analog
  3. Hybrid

Computers Based On Size

Based on size computers can be classified into different types such as supercomputers, minicomputers, supercomputers, Mainframe computers, Laptops Workstations (desktops), PC (Personal Computers).

1. Super Computers

Supercomputers are one of the most powerful and expensive computers available at the back time or now. Supercomputers are primarily used for processing complex scientific applications and programs that require massive processing power capacity.

Supercomputers have multiprocessing and parallel processing technologies that can solve complex problems much faster. Some uses and applications that need supercomputers for processing are listed below:

1. We can see the uses of supercomputers in the Petroleum industry as this industry uses supercomputers for analyzing the volumes of seismic data that are gathered during the oil-seeking explorations to identify areas or places where there is the absolute possibility of getting petroleum and oil products inside the earth crust.

2. Aerospace industry also uses supercomputers to simulate airflow around an aircraft that flows at different speeds and altitudes. This specific simulation helps in producing effective aerodynamic designs and these designs develop aircraft with improved performance.

3. Automobile industry also uses supercomputers for the crash simulations of the design of an automobile. It crashes simulations released before the manufacturing.

2. Main Frame Computers

Mainframe systems are computer systems are one of the computers that are mainly used for handling the data processing needs of mid to large-size or simply vast organizations. Mainframe computers are also used in such present environments where a large number of users need to share a common computing facility to complete daily tasks.

For example, 

There are several organizations such as research groups, educational institutions, engineering firms, banks, insurance companies, hospitals, railways, etc. where mainframe computers are used for processing a large number of online transactions and this can only be done by mainframe computers as they have massive data storage and processing capabilities.

3. Mini Computers

Minicomputers are generally multiprocessing computers that are of medium size with the lowest cost of maintenance. It can support 4 to 250 users at one time and is used in billing, accounting, etc. Minicomputers can easily perform the tasks of an earlier mainframe computer at a very lower expense.

4. Micro Computers

Microcomputers are generally known as "Personal computers (PCs)".  PCs are non-portable and are general-purpose computers that have a normal size that fit on office tables easily. PCs are generally used by one person or an individual at a time. PCs are single-user-oriented means one person can use them individually for their needs. Desktops and laptops are the two popular parts of Microcomputers that are used widely.

· Laptops

Laptops are portable computers mainly used by people who need computing resources in any place or wherever they go. The size of a laptop is approximately the same as the size of medium size (11-inch approx) notebook and can easily be carried anywhere and fit in a bag also. Since laptops are light in weight and easy to carry that's why they are also known as Notebooks. Laptops are also known as personal computers or simply computers used for personal. Laptops are as powerful as a moderate PC and their small size and light weight allow an individual to be used comfortably anywhere by placing them on one's lap.

· Desktops

Desktops are also a part of microcomputers and desktops are specifically designed to facilitate the specific computing needs of engineers, architects, and other professionals who need enormous processing power, larger storage, with better graphics display features in comparison to normal PCs provide.

For example,

Workstations are also a form of desktop powerful system that is used for computer-aided design or CAD which helps in the simulation of complex scientific and engineering problems and multimedia applications such as generating special audio-visual effects in movies or films and television programs.

· Palmtops

A handheld computer or the computer that can be handled single handly is known as palmtops. The size, weight, and design of palmtops are such small computing devices that can be used comfortably by holding in hand. It is known as a palmtop because it can be kept on the palm and operated in the hand effortlessly. Tablets, Smartphones, and Pocket PC are the types of palmtops.

Computers Based On Purpose

Two basic purposes of computers are general and specific. General-purpose computers come in many different sizes and capabilities whereas specific-purpose computers come in a specific size that can only deal with some particular operations. General-purpose computers are for general use whereas specific computers are used for some special and particular programs and operations.

Computers Based On Data Handling

Based on the mechanism or data handling computers can be classified into three types -:

· Digital

Digital computers are used to perform mathematical calculations and logical operations at high speed. All laptops, desktops, and smartphones are the new forms of digital computers.

· Analog

The data that changes continuously and cannot have discrete values is known as analog data and to process this analog data, analog computers are specially designed. For example speedometer, mercury thermometers are known as analog computers.

· Hybrid

The combination of both digital and Analog computers is known as a Hybrid computer. It carried out the process of system operation fast as an analog computer and has accuracy like a digital computer.

For example,

The processor or system used on petrol pumps shows the specific converted numbers of fuel flow into the price and quantity known as hybrid computers.

Also Read: Difference Between Desktop And Laptop

Also Read: Latest Technology RollTop Laptops


This article concludes with detailed information about what is computer and the types of computers based on their size, purpose, and mechanism.

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