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Difference between Micro Computer and Mini Computer

Last Updated : 09 Apr, 2023
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1. Micro Computer :

Micro Computer, as the name suggests, is a personal computer that is specially designed for personal use and generally consists of a single chip that is CPU, data memory, I/O buses, etc. It can be used by one person at a time. Its type includes tablet and smartphone microcomputers, desktop microcomputers, workstations, and server microcomputers, etc.

Example: Laptop, desktop, IBM-PC, etc.

 Features of Microcomputers:

  • Small size: Microcomputers are small in size and are designed for individual use.
  • Low cost: Microcomputers are relatively inexpensive compared to other types of computers.
  • Limited processing power: Microcomputers have limited processing power and are generally not suitable for complex tasks.
  • Popular operating systems: Microcomputers typically run popular operating systems such as Windows or macOS

2. Mini Computer :

Mini Computer, as the name suggests, is a type of computer that offers most features and capabilities that a large computer generally offers. It generally supports multiple users at a time so one can say that it is a multiprocessing system. It is a smaller computer designed for business applications and services and also can do time-sharing, batch processing, online processing, etc.

Example: AS/400 computers, Motorola 68040, MV 1500etc.

Features of Minicomputers:

  • Larger size: Minicomputers are larger than microcomputers but smaller than mainframe computers.
  • Higher processing power: Minicomputers have higher processing power than microcomputers and are designed for multi-user applications.
  • Customizable: Minicomputers can be customized to fit the specific needs of the user and can be used for a variety of applications.
  • Proprietary operating systems: Minicomputers often run proprietary operating systems developed by the manufacturer.

Similarities between Microcomputers and Minicomputers:

  • Both are general-purpose computers capable of performing a wide range of tasks.
  • Both can be used for personal or business purposes.
  • Both use microprocessors to perform calculations and data processing.
  • Both can be connected to peripherals such as printers, scanners, and external storage devices.

Uses of Microcomputers and Minicomputers:

some common uses of microcomputers and minicomputers:


  1. Personal computers: Microcomputers, such as desktops and laptops, are widely used by individuals for personal computing tasks, such as web browsing, email, and word processing.
  2. Gaming systems: Gaming consoles, such as the Xbox and PlayStation, are microcomputers that are specifically designed for gaming and multimedia applications.
  3. Point-of-sale (POS) systems: Microcomputers are often used in retail settings as POS systems for sales transactions and inventory management.
  4. Industrial control systems: Microcomputers are used in industrial settings to control and monitor manufacturing processes and machinery.
  5. Internet of Things (IoT) devices: Many IoT devices, such as smart home appliances and wearable devices, are microcomputers that are designed to perform specific functions.


  1. Scientific and engineering applications: Minicomputers are used in scientific and engineering applications that require high-performance computing, such as simulations, modeling, and data analysis.
  2. Large-scale data processing: Minicomputers are often used in data centers for large-scale data processing and storage, such as in financial services and healthcare industries.
  3. Network servers: Minicomputers are used as servers for network applications, such as email, web hosting, and database management.
  4. Telecommunications: Minicomputers are used in telecommunications for managing and routing network traffic and data.
  5. Military and defense: Minicomputers are used in military and defense applications for radar systems, missile guidance systems, and other critical systems.

Difference between Micro Computer and Mini Computer are as follows cost-effective:

Micro Computer  

Mini Computer

It is a personal computer introduced in 1970 and used for general purpose.   It is small computer introduced in 1960 and used for operating business and scientific applications.  
These computers are used by people for education and entertainment.   These computers are used by companies for manufacturing control of process.  
It is composed of single processing optimization.  It is composed of double-processingand a  optimization.  
It uses single microprocessor for single-processing purposes slow, processes CPU that performs all logic and arithmetic operations.   It uses Multiple processors.  
Storage capacity is in terms of Gigabyte (GB).   Storage capacity is in terms of Terabyte (TB).  
They are primarily used for word processing, managing databases or spreadsheets, graphics and general office applications.   They are primarily used for process control, performing financial and administrative tasks, such as word processing and accounting.
It is more cost effective and easy to use as compared to a a minicomputer.   It is more costly and difficult to use as compared to microcomputers. 
It is very slower in speed and performance as compared to mini computers.    It is faster in speed and performance as compared to microcomputers because it contains multiprocessing system that is capable of handling different users simultaneously.  
It uses tapes and disks as storage devices.   It uses magnetic disks or tapes for secondary storage. 
It is less powerful as compared to mini computers.   It is more powerful as compared to microcomputers.  
Typically designed for personal and small-scale computing tasks. Designed for larger-scale computing tasks that require high-performance computing and processing capabilities.
Generally less expensive and more widely available than mini computers. More expensive than micro computers, but often more cost-effective for large-scale computing tasks.
Examples include personal computers (PCs), laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Examples include mid-range servers, mainframe computers, and high-performance computing clusters.
Generally have less processing power and memory than mini computers. Typically have more processing power and memory than micro computers.
Often used for personal and small business applications, such as web browsing, email, and word processing. Often used for scientific and engineering applications, large-scale data processing, network servers, and telecommunications.
Typically run on a single processor, with limited capabilities for multi-tasking and parallel processing. Often have multiple processors and are designed for multi-tasking and parallel processing.
Easy to set up and use, with a wide range of software and applications available. Typically require specialized knowledge to set up and use, with custom software and applications developed for specific tasks.
Limited scalability, with less room for expansion and customization. Highly scalable, with the ability to expand and customize the system to meet specific needs.

Conclusion :

microcomputers and mini computers differ in size, processing power, cost, user interface, and customization. Microcomputers are smaller, less powerful, less expensive, and designed for personal use, while minicomputers are larger, more powerful, more expensive, and designed for business or institutional use. Minicomputers require specialized training to operate and can be customized to meet specific requirements, while microcomputers are designed for ease of use and are not generally customizable beyond adding components. 

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