Difference Between Microcomputer and Minicomputer | Microcomputer vs Minicomputer

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

Microcomputer and minicomputer both have similar sounds, yet there is a lot of difference between microcomputer and minicomputer. Microcomputers are the kind of computers that most people use on a daily basis, such as laptops or desktop PCs, which have a faster processing speed than minicomputers. On the other hand, minicomputers, which have very weak processing and computational power, were utilized in the early 1990s.

The major difference between microcomputer and minicomputer is that minicomputers tend to be larger in size and slower when compared to microcomputers. However, due to its huge capacity, the microcomputer is becoming more frequently chosen for daily purposes. Let us discuss the difference between microcomputer and minicomputer in the upcoming sections.

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Difference Between Microcomputer and Minicomputer

Microcomputer and minicomputer both sound similar but there is a significant difference between the two. The difference between microcomputer and minicomputer is given below.

Key Difference Between Microcomputer and Minicomputer



It is a general-purpose personal computer that was first launched in 1970.

It is a compact computer that was first presented in 1960 and is used to run commercial and academic software.

Microcomputers are used for a wide range of instructional, presentational, and recreational purposes.

On the other hand, the production procedures for these computers are managed by minicomputers.

Microcomputers provide optimization and evaluation with a single processing unit.

Minicomputers are utilized for optimization and have two processing units for all evaluation and manipulation.

There are only one processing optimization in it.

It consists of two separate processing optimizations.

The CPU only uses one microprocessor, which handles all logical and mathematical processes.

It employs several processors.

Storage space is measured in Gigabytes (GB).

Storage space is measured in Terabytes (TB).

The power of microcomputers is lower.

Minicomputers are powerful.

It stores data on discs and tapes.

It uses magnetic discs or tapes for supplementary storage.

What is a Microcomputer?

Microcomputers are the tiniest computers designed just for personal use. These little computers are incredibly reliable, inexpensive, and small. Microcomputers can only support one user at a time and feature a single chip, data memory, and I/O buses. This group of computers includes smartphones, desktop computers, and other devices. Examples of microcomputers include desktop, IBM-PC, and laptop computers.

The characteristics of microcomputers are given below.

  • This is the smallest computer among all the other kinds of systems.
  • Its single-user interface is designed primarily for personal use.
  • Microcomputers have only one semiconductor microchip.
  • Multitasking activities include printing, accessing the internet, and watching movies.
  • These are inexpensive and easy to use.
  • Utilizing it does not require any specialized knowledge or skills.

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What is a Minicomputer?

Minicomputers are the most popular kinds of computers. Minicomputers can accommodate multiple users and it offers the same capability as more powerful computers. They are utilised for business applications and services, among other things because they are also small but have a quick processing speed. Examples of minicomputers include the MV 1500, AS/400, and Motorola 68040.

The characteristics of minicomputers are as follows:

  • A minicomputer is smaller than a mainframe computer in size.
  • It costs less than a mainframe computer or a supercomputer.
  • Minicomputers are more powerful than microcomputers but less powerful than supercomputers and mainframe computers.
  • Minicomputers are reliable and quick.
  • Minicomputers are useful for both people and small businesses.
  • These are easy to use, light and portable.
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