15 February 2024

Difference Between Supercomputer and Mainframe

Supercomputer and Mainframe are the most powerful computers regularly constructed. Supercomputers and mainframe computers differ fundamentally in terms of size, performance, operation, and many other factors. In this article, we will discuss the main key difference between supercomputers and Mainframes to better understand both of these.

What is Supercomputer?

Seymour Cray and Boris Babayan invented the first supercomputer, known as the CDC 6600, in 1964.  A supercomputer is a sort of computer with a computational speed that is a thousand times faster than the personal computers we use at home. It can complete even the most complex jobs in a matter of seconds, whereas traditional computers would take much longer.  Supercomputers are the greatest choice for scientific and engineering applications due to their extremely fast processing speeds and power.

What is a Mainframe computer?

Mainframe computers are less costly, modest in size, and slower in speed than the supercomputers. It can be used to store massive databases and to serve as many users as possible at the same time. The first successful mainframe computer is invented by IBM. Mainframe computer's speed is considerably less than supercomputers. This process executes millions of instructions in the same frame.

Difference between Supercomputer and Mainframe computer 

  1. Supercomputers are used to perform great and complex mathematical operations, whereas mainframe computers are used to store large databases and service as many users as possible at the same time.
  2. Supercomputers are the largest computers, while mainframe computers are lower in size.
  3. Supercomputers are the most expensive in the world, while mainframe computers are less expensive.
  4. Supercomputers have higher speeds than mainframe computers. It can perform billions of instructions per second. Mainframe computers are slower than supercomputers. Millions of instructions are executed simultaneously.
  5. IBM created the first successful mainframe computer, while Seymour Cray invented the supercomputer.
  6. Another major difference is that supercomputers have Linux and their variant operating systems, while mainframe computers can have multiple operating systems simultaneously.
  7. Supercomputers are typically purpose-built for one or a few specific institutional functions, whereas mainframe computers are designed to handle a wide range of tasks.
  8. Supercomputers are used for nuclear bomb simulation, while mainframe computers are used for banking, health care, and other purposes.
  9. Supercomputers can handle between 100 and 900 MIPS, whilst mainframe computers can process between 3-4 MIPS and up to 100 MIPS.
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