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The computer knowledge section of the RRB PO Mains 2022 exam encompasses 40 questions of 20 Marks. And, as the information regarding computers is vast and important, it is essential to know the Types of Computers to tackle the related questions in the upcoming exams.

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Computer Awareness/Knowledge- Types of Computers

This article will delve into the knowledge related to the classification of computers based on Size, Purpose, and Types. But before jumping over to the types of computers you should be aware of the history of computing hardware, which covers the developments from early simple computers for calculation purposes to modern-day computers we use today. Before the 20th century, most calculations were done by humans. The oldest mechanical tools that helped humans with digital calculations, like the abacus, were known as the calculating machines or calculators. Amazingly, the man who acted as the operator of the machine or device was called the computer. This is how this word came into being in the computing world.

But before moving on, let’s take a look at the Computer Knowledge Syllabus for the Nainital Bank exam 2022:

IBPS RRB PO/Clerk 2022-Computer Awareness/Knowledge-Types of Computers

The history of computing hardware is often used to reference the different generations of computing devices:

  1. First generation computers (1940-1955)
  2. Second generation computers (1956-1963)
  3. Third generation computers (1964-1970)
  4. Fourth generation computers(1971-present)

Classification of Computers

There are three major categories of computers based on:

  1. Size
  2. Purpose
  3. Types

Types of Computer-Based on Types

The three types of computers along with their functions are given below:

Analog Computer:

An analog computer uses the continuously changeable aspects of physical phenomena to model the problem being solved. These phenomena may be such as electrical, mechanical, or hydraulic quantities and they are extremely complex to be used. Such computers are mostly used for scientific and industrial applications. The first modern analog computer was the tide-predicting machine, invented by Sir William Thomson, later Lord Kelvin, in 1872. Analog computers include Thermometer, Operational Amplifiers, Electric Integrators, etc.

Digital Computer:

Digital computers are can solve problems in a separate format. It can only operate on data entered in binary language and can perform the dynamic function of managing large amounts of data and regulating the operations of the machine. Examples of Digital computers are desktops, laptops, Mobile Phones, etc.

Hybrid Computers:

Hybrid Computers are those computers that exhibit features of both Analog and Digital computers are called Hybrid Computers. The logical operations are solved by the digital aspects and the differential equations are solved using the analog features. Some important examples of Hybrid Computers include Space Flights, Food processing Plants, etc. 

Computer Awareness/Knowledge- Types of Computers

Types of Computers – Based on Size & Purpose

There are 4 types of Computers based on their sizes and functions. They are:

  1. Microcomputers (personal computers)
  2. Minicomputers (mid-range computers)
  3. Mainframe computers
  4. Supercomputers
  5. Micro-Computers

A Microcomputer is a low-priced and small computer that has a microprocessor and a Central Processing Unit (CPU). These devices are made with minimum circuitry mounting on a single circuit board. Desktop and Laptop are some of the most commonly used and useful Micro-Computers. The term microcomputer was introduced with the coming of systems based on single-chip microprocessors.


Minicomputers are a class of multi-user computers that lie in the middle range of the computing spectrum, in between the smallest mainframe computers and the largest single-user systems (microcomputers or personal computers). Mini-Computer was developed in the mid-1960s. They were developed keeping into consideration human interaction, control instrumentation and were cost-effective. Smartphones and iPads are some of the most vibrant examples of Mini-computers.

Mainframe Computer

The term mainframe computer was created to distinguish the traditional, large, institutional computer intended to service multiple users from the smaller, single-user machines. These computers are capable of handling and processing very large amounts of data quickly. Mainframe computers are used in large institutions such as government, banks, and large corporations. They are measured in MIPS (million instructions per second) and can respond to hundreds of millions of users at a time. Their prime functions include managing customer statistics, census, and other heavy data in a single device. For example, the system used at Trading companies.

Super Computer

A supercomputer is focused on performing tasks involving intense numerical calculations such as weather forecasting, Quantum Mechanics, fluid dynamics, nuclear simulations, Climate research, theoretical astrophysics, and complex scientific computations where a high level of performance has to be justified are called Super Computers. A supercomputer is a computer that is at the front-line of current processing capacity, particularly speed of calculation. The term supercomputer itself is rather fluid, and the speed of today’s supercomputers tends to become typical of tomorrow’s ordinary computer.

Types of Computers – By Purpose

Given below are the two varieties of computers on the basis of purpose:

General Purpose

Given below are the following functions which a device is expected to perform based on general purpose:

  • Basic Input/Output functions
  • Calculations
  • Data Saving on a smaller scale
  • General performing activities

These may include basic calculators, laptops, desktop computers, mobile phones, etc., which can help people with their basic necessary functions.

Special Purpose

Special-purpose computers play an important role for big organizations and their applications are perfectly crafted to complete a specific work easily and efficiently. Special Purpose computers are designed to perform specific functions like:

  • Thermometers to test temperature
  • Devices used for analysing Climate Change
  • Large computers for IT Companies
  • Generators to manage electricity
  • Machines used at Manufacturing Units and the list goes on and on

Takeaway for Success

By the above-mentioned information on the types of computers in terms of size and purpose, you may have got an idea about what type of questions can you face in Bank Exams and around what topics these questions will revolve. To ensure better preparation we recommend you take Mock Tests for RRB PO/Clerk Mains, Nainital Bank PO, NABARD grade-A, or any other Exam that you have chosen to test your current knowledge and prepare well for better results.

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