Q32. Compare microcomputers with minicomputers and mainframe in terms of size, cost and capabilities.
A microcomputer is a computer whose CPU is a microprocessor. A microprocessor is a processor whose all components are on a single integrated-circuit chip. Those are normally single-microprocessor, single-user systems designed for performing basic operations like educational, training, small business applications, playing games etc.
Minicomputers, also called mid-range servers, are more powerful computers than micro-computers in terms of processing power and capabilities. Minicomputers are mainly multiuser systems where many users simultaneously work on the systems. Mini computers possess greater storage capacity and larger memories as compared to microcomputers. These are even capable of handling more input-output devices.
Mainframe computers are designed to handle huge volumes of data and information. These can support more than hundred users at same time. These very large and expensive computers have great processing speeds and very large storage capacity and memory as compared to minicomputers. These computers even possess and work with more than one processor at the same time. Thus one can say these are multiuser, multiprocessor systems. For mainframe computers very sophisticated operating systems are needed to control and supervise their operation.