Supercomputer and mainframe computers are the most powerful computers. But they can be distinguished by the tasks they perform. On the one hand where supercomputer focuses on a fast computation of complex mathematical operations. On the other hands, the mainframe computer acts as a server and support large database, vast I/O devices, and multiprogramming.
Let us discuss some more differences between supercomputer and mainframe computer with the help of comparison chart shown below.
Content: Supercomputer Vs Mainframe Computer
|Basis for Comparison||Supercomputer||Mainframe Computer|
|Basic||Supercomputers fastly perform large and complex mathematical computations.||Mainframe computers act as a server, stores large database and serve a large number of users simultaneously.|
The first successful Supercomputer was invented by Seymour Cray in the year 1976 Cray 1.
|IBM invented the first successful mainframe computer and is still a dominant company for producing the mainframe computers.|
|The supercomputer can execute billions of floating point operations in a second.||Mainframe computers can execute millions of instruction simultaneously.|
|Size||Supercomputers are the largest computers in the world.||Mainframe computers are also large computers but somewhat smaller than supercomputer.|
|Expense||Supercomputers are the most expensive computers of the worlds.||Mainframe computers are also expensive but less than supercomputers.|
|Operating system||The modern supercomputers have Linux operating system and derivative variants of Linux operating system.||Mainframe computer has the ability to run multiple operating system. simultaneously.|
Definition of Supercomputer
Supercomputers are the largest, fastest and of the most expensive computers in the world. Before getting into details let us discuss the history of supercomputers. The company that delivered the first supercomputer to the world is Cray Inc. Seymour Cray developed the first supercomputer which was Cray 1, and it was released in the year 1976. Though it was as fast as our today’s home computers, Cray 1 was most successful supercomputer of its time. It weighed around 5.5 tons.
Our today’s supercomputers are optimized in size and have become faster than previous ones. As of now the fastest supercomputer in the world is Sunway TaihuLight in mainland China. The main focus of the supercomputer is faster complex mathematical computation.
The main purpose of the supercomputer is executing billions of floating point operations in just a second. Now, you can imagine the speed of the supercomputer. Most of the modern supercomputers have Linux operation system where each manufacturer possesses its own specific Linux derivative.
Mainly the supercomputers are used for weather forecasting, quantum mechanics, nuclear energy research, neurological research and such complex kind of operation which requires fast execution.
Definition of Mainframe Computer
Mainframe computers are also large, fast and expensive computers, but they are smaller, slower and less expensive than the super computers. Several companies started manufacturing the mainframe computers between the year 1950-1970. But the most successful and dominant till date is IBM (International Business Machines) Corporation.
Mainframe the name itself describe that it is a cabinet containing the central processing unit which controls a large number of I/O hardware. The mainframe computers support large database, vast I/O hardware, and multiprogramming simultaneously. The mainframe computer acts as a server and serves several users simultaneously.
Mainframe computers are scalable for both hardware and software i.e. it can support additional I/O hardware and can run multiple operating systems at the same time. One of the advantages of the mainframe computer is that it can run for years without interruption. Due to its cost-effectiveness, the mainframe computers are used only by a large organization like banks, airlines, finance, healthcare, etc.
Key Differences Between Supercomputer and Mainframe Computer
- The supercomputer is known for its fast computation of complex mathematical operations; it executes the billions of floating point operation in a second. The mainframe computers act as a server; it supports a large database, multiple user and multiprogramming, it is basically for large business transactions.
- The first successful supercomputer, Cray1 was invented by the Seymour Cray in the year 1976. The IBM is the most successful and dominant manufacturer of the mainframe computer.
- Supercomputer is the fastest computer of the world whereas; the mainframe computer is also faster but less than a supercomputer.
- Supercomputer is the largest computer. However, the mainframe computer is also large but less than a supercomputer.
- Supercomputers are more costlier than mainframe computers.
- The modern supercomputer operates on Linux or its derivative variants. However, the mainframe computer can run multiple operating systems as a single entity.
Supercomputers are the largest, fastest and most expensive computer. The mainframe computers are less powerful than supercomputers.