What is a minicomputer?
A minicomputer is also known as mid-range computer, is a class of small computers that was introduced into the world in the mid-1960s. A minicomputer is a type of computer that possesses most of the features and capabilities of a large computer but is smaller in physical size.
A minicomputer fills the space between the mainframe and microcomputer, and is smaller than the former but larger than the latter. They (mini) are generally used as mid-range servers, where they can operate mid-sized software applications and support numerous users simultaneously. They can do time-sharing, batch processing, and online processing.
Minicomputers may contain one or more processors, support multiprocessing and tasking, and are generally resilient to high workloads. Although they are smaller than mainframe or supercomputers, minicomputers are more powerful than personal computers and workstations.
What is a microcomputer?
A microcomputer is a computer with a central processing unit (CPU) as a microprocessor. Designed for individual use, a microcomputer is smaller than a mainframe or a minicomputer.
A microcomputer’s CPU includes random access memory (RAM), read-only memory (ROM) memory, input/output (I/O) ports, interconnecting wires and a motherboard.
A microcomputer system can therefore range in size from a huge computer with hard drives, floppy discs, and printers to a single-chip embedded controller. Microcomputers now have more computing capacity than earlier computer generations’ mainframes, at a fraction of the cost. As a result, they’ve evolved into powerful networked professional workstations for corporate users.
The term microcomputer is not as commonly used as it was during the 1970s-1980s. Microcomputers are now commonly referred to as, simply, computers, or personal computers (PC).
Microcomputer vs Minicomputer
|BASIS OF COMPARISON
|It is a personal computer introduced in 1970 and used for general purpose.
|It is a small computer introduced in 1960 and used for operating business and scientific applications.
|It is composed of single processing optimization.
|It is composed of double processing optimization.
|These computers are used by people for education and entertainment.
|These computers are used by companies for manufacturing control of process.
|It uses single microprocessor for CPU that performs all logic and arithmetic operations.
|It uses multiple processors.
|It is very slow in speed and performance when compared to minicomputers.
|It is faster in speed and performance because it contains multiprocessing system that is capable of handling different users simultaneously.
|It is less powerful when compared to minicomputer.
|It is more powerful when compared to microcomputer.
|It uses tapes and disks as storage devices.
|It uses magnetic disks or tapes for secondary storage.
|Storage capacity is in terms of Gigabytes (GB).
|Storage capacity is in terms of Terabyte (TB).
|They are primarily used for word processing, managing databases or spreadsheets, graphics and general office applications.
|They are primarily used for processing control, performing financial and administrative tasks, such as word processing and accounting.
|It is generally cost effective.
|It is generally expensive.
|It is easy to use when compared to minicomputers.
|It is difficult to use as compared to microcomputers.