Conceptually, the current digital computers are very similar among themselves, since all of them are based on an architecture proposed in 1946 by the American John von Newmann (1903-1957). Now, nearly all current computers can be classified into four basic types: personal computers, workstations, minicomputers and mainframes. Personal computers (Personal Computer, PC) have a size suitable for a desktop and are economically more affordable. Originally, PCs were conceived and designed especially for home use, although they are nowadays used in a multitude of areas. Within this category of computers include laptops, which are very comfortable to carry, due to its reduced weight and size. The workstations have, in general, greater benefits (calculation, graphics, communications,) to PCs, and are used, especially in labour offices.

However, the differences between both types of computers are increasingly smaller, and the two are considered microcomputers. The minicomputers are higher power and size as any PC or workstation and, therefore, more expensive. These computers are used mainly in universities, laboratories or medium-sized companies. But when the required performance are still higher, then used the mainframe, which is a much bigger and more expensive computer. This computer is mainly used in research centers, government institutions and large companies. To this category belong the supercomputers calls, which are large computers that exist in the world, capable of performing billions of instructions per second. If you liked this article and want to include it on your website, you can do so, provided you cite and source at to find out more, visit the Carlos Pes basic computer course.