Understanding Mainframe

Variation A

A very large and expensive computer
capable of supporting hundreds, or even thousands,
of users simultaneously. In the hierarchy that
starts with a simple microprocessor (in watches,
for instance) at the bottom and moves to supercomputers
at the top, mainframes are just below supercomputers.
In some ways, mainframes are more powerful than
supercomputers because they support more
simultaneous programs. But supercomputers
can execute a single program faster than
a mainframe. The distinction between small
mainframes and minicomputers is blurry,
depending really on how the manufacturer
wants to market its machines.

Variation B

A large computer, often the hub of a
system serving many users.

Variation C

A large digital computer serving 100-400
users and occupying a special air-conditioned room.

Variation C1

The part of a computer (a microprocessor chip)
that does most of the data processing

Variation D

A large, often powerful computer, usually
dedicated to lengthy, complex calculations or
set up for use by many people simultaneously.

Variation E

A large, powerful computer system. A mainframe
computer typically carries out complex calculations
and is shared by many users.

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