Computer can be classified in different ways:

  • Classification by Capacity
  • Classification by Basic Operating Principle
  • Classification by personal computer type/ size

Classification by Capacity

Computers are classified according to their capacity. Capacity refers to the volume of work or data processing capability a computer can handle.

Their performance is determined by the follow:

  • Amount of data that can be stored in memory
  • Number and type of peripheral devices
  • Speed of internal operation of the computer
  • Amount and type of software available for use with the computer.

The Early generation computer’s capacity was determined by their physical size (The larger the size, the greater the volume).

The recent computer technology is however tending to create smaller (or portable) machines, making it possible to package equivalent speed and capacity in a smaller format.

Computer capacity is currently measured based on the number of applications that it can run rather than by the volume of data it can process.

The Computer capacity classification is then done as:

  • Microcomputers
  • Minicomputers
  • Medium-size Computers
  • Large Computers
  • Super Computers


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