Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Difference between Mainframe Computer and Supercomputer

Mainframes are used for problems which are limited by data movement in input/output devices, reliability and for handling multiple business transactions concurrently. Mainframes are designed to handle very high volume input and output and emphasize throughput computing.

Supercomputers are used for scientific and engineering problems which are limited by processing speed and memory size. Supercomputer have multiple processing units, making its speed unimaginably fast.

Mainframes are measured in millions of instructions per second(MIPS) while assuming typical instructions are integer operations, examples of integer operations include moving data around in memory or checking values.

Supercomputers are measured in floating point operations per second(FLOPS). Floating point operations are mostly addition, subtraction and multiplication with enough digits of precision to model continuous phenomena such as weather prediction and nuclear simulations.

Supercomputer is much concerning with calculating one data in a very high speed.
While Mainframe deals with storing of large amount of data
Therefore we can say that the Supercomputer is concerned much with speed while Mainframe is concerned with computing a large amount of data.

A Mainframe computer is similar only, it is more slower while running larger applications. Usually to huge amounts of data such as a census for every single house hold. Otherwise, there is no difference.


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