Difference Between Supercomputer and Mainframe Computer

By Aina Parasher|Updated : September 14th, 2022

The most efficient computers are mainframe and supercomputers. But we can identify the difference between supercomputer and mainframe computer based on their work. Based on the size, performance, operations, and a variety of other factors, there is a difference between supercomputer and mainframe computer.

The main difference between supercomputer and mainframe computer is that a supercomputer concentrates on the quick computation of complex mathematical processes. On the other hand, the mainframe computer serves as a server and supports huge databases, various I/O devices, and multiprogramming.

Difference Between Supercomputer and Mainframe Computer

Supercomputers and mainframe computers are the two primary categories of computer systems that will be discussed in this article. They are, without a doubt, the most powerful computer systems currently in use, having the capacity to serve a large number of users at once and process enormous volumes of data at extremely quick rates.

Let us check the difference between supercomputer and mainframe computer.

Supercomputer

Mainframe Computer

For large-scale, complicated mathematical computations, supercomputers are used.

While mainframe computers are used to store big datasets and handle the most simultaneous connections.

Supercomputers are all about speed and are specially made to process calculations quickly for science and engineering.

In terms of performance and storage, mainframe computers are one level behind supercomputers.

Supercomputers primarily focus on issues constrained by calculation speed and are designed for complex computation processes largely performed in memory.

The mainframe computers are built to handle enormous amounts of input, output, and storage and focus on problems with input/output and reliability restrictions.

These are the world's largest computers as of now.

These are also rather enormous in size, but they are not as big as supercomputers.

Currently, Linux and its alternative operating systems are used on supercomputers.

Unlike desktop computers, mainframe computers may run many operating systems simultaneously.

Supercomputer was invented by Seymour Cray.

IBM created the first successful mainframe computer.

Supercomputers can process data at speeds is between 100 and 900 MIPS.

The processing speed of mainframe computers can range from 3 to 4 MIPS to 100 MIPS.

What is a Supercomputer?

Supercomputers are the most expensive and largest computers in existence. Seymour Cray invented a supercomputer. For large-scale, complex mathematical computations, supercomputers are used. Supercomputers are faster than Mainframe computers and can process billions of floating-point instructions or other instructions in a second.

Supercomputers are mostly employed in scientific research, including physics, mathematics, and weather forecasting. They are also utilised in business, research, and virtual reality applications.

What is a Mainframe Computer?

Mainframe computers are less expensive, smaller, and slower than supercomputers. They serve a maximum number of concurrent users and are utilised as storage for large databases. IBM created the first successful mainframe computer. Mainframe computers are slower than supercomputers in comparison.

Mainframe computers frequently act as the central receiving and switching nodes and the database server in regional or national computer networks that can support the input and output requirements of all terminals linked to it. The insurance industry, corporate and individual service users, education industry, publishing and printing, banks and other financial institutions are the main users of mainframe computers.

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FAQs on Difference Between Supercomputer and Mainframe Computer

  • The major difference between supercomputer and mainframe computer is that supercomputers perform large-scale, sophisticated mathematical computations quickly whereas mainframe computers store large databases and also serves a lot of concurrent users.

  • Supercomputers are the most advanced and powerful computer systems. They can be distinguished by their high prices, greater-than-average execution rates, larger memory capacities, and high-speed input-output devices.

  • The term "mainframe" refers to a cabinet containing the central processing unit that manages many I/O devices. Large databases, I/O hardware, and multiprogramming are all supported at once by mainframe computers.

  • Based on speed, the difference between supercomputer and mainframe computer is that supercomputers are faster than mainframe computers. They can carry out trillions of floating-point operations in a single second.

  • Based on the operating system, the difference between supercomputer and mainframe computer is given below.

    • Today's supercomputers run Linux and its derivative operating systems.
    • A typical mainframe computer may run many operating systems at once.

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