Computer Reviews

A Complete Review On Mainframe Computer – Types, Prices, Uses, Size, Component

The digital world needs processing of information and storage in a flash; As such the best device like the computer is needed in the world of today. There are different types of data processing computers that we have today, which the Mainframe computer is one of them.

The main uses of such computers (mainframe) are primarily by large organizations for critical applications, bulk data processing alongside census, industry, consumer statistics, enterprise resource planning, and large-scale transaction processing.

It is stated that from the last 50 years, there was a great revolution in mainframe generation in all field such as size, data transfer speed, processing speed, security, as well as flexibility.

With this post, you will be acquitted with all the factual information you need to know about the Mainframe computer. You just have to keep reading to find out.

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About Mainframe Computer

a complete review about mainframe computer and all its attributes

The Mainframe computer which is also known as the big iron is a powerful computer that is used mainly for bulk data processing and critical applications by large organizations. With Mainframe computer there’s higher processing power than others and it is larger in size too. A lot of other people use the Mainframe computers as their servers.

It has large cabinets that housed the central processing unit (CPU) and main memory, this is common on the early computers like mainframe itself, super computers, and other large computer that are distinct from mainframe.

This big centralized machine that contains the large memory, later was used to distinguish very big computers from less powerful ones know as minicomputers or personal computers (PC).

One of the biggest advantages and benefit of the mainframe computer to note is that they are compatible with all types of software & hardware. This is done because different user connects with servers along with different hardware, and software on their system. With this, they can easily communicate with server-side without any interrupt.

Who Uses Mainframe Computers

Mainframe computers are used mainly by the following:

  • Government institutions
  • Large companies (for tasks such as census)
  • Industry
  • Consumer Statistics
  • Enterprise resource planning
  • Financial transaction processing
  • It is specially used as servers on the World Wide Web (WWW)

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How does a Mainframe computer work?

The Mainframe computer works as a central processing unit for connected terminals and work stations. It works to process the huge and large amount of data in petabytes and control thousands of users. This way of it working is the reason for the name Mainframe. Mainframe computer works as a frame that holds a good number of processors and main memory alike.


The examples of Mainframe computer are the system z9, system z10 servers and the IBM series


The inventor of Mainframe computer is Gene Amdahl, A young computer scientist from Saratoga, Calif.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Mainframe computer has many advantages over its disadvantages, some of the advantages and disadvantages includes:


  • It provides a great security against the attack of viruses, warm, spyware, malware.
  • Mainframe computers have encryption technique such as file encryption, data set and file encryption, network encryption, alongside the clustering encryption empower security.
  • Mainframe computers can easily communicate with server-side without any interrupt.
  • They are compatible with all types of software and hardware.
  • It employs thousands of users to execute their instructions simultaneously
  • Mainframe computer features added storage, processors or memory, this is to extend the system capability.


  • The cost for purchasing mainframe is very expensive compare to the microcomputer.
  • It microcomputer is been handled by the single user, but employs many users to handled it operation.
  • Installation is not that easy and cost more.
  • Very difficult to maintain

Mainframe computer price

According to our finding, the price for a mainframe computers cost $300,000 – $850,000. To be specific, the high-end servers (mainframe system) costs in excess of $850,000, the midrange costs between $300,000 and $750,000 and the low-end mainframe computer costs below $250,000.

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The Mainframe computer is used for the following:

  • It is used for critical applications
  • Mainframe computer is useful for bulk data processing
  • Can be used for census data and statistics processing
  • Consumer companies and industries with large statistics to process
  • They are useful for enterprise resource planning
  • Mainframe computer is used for large-scale transaction processing
  • This computer types acts as a central processing unit for many workstations and terminals connected


The following are types of Mainframe computer

  • IBM Z15
  • IBM Z14
  • IBM system z 10
  • IBM system z9
  • I series system


The Mainframe computer is characterized by the following:

  • It runs multiple different instances of operating systems
  • Mainframe computer technique of virtual machines enables applications to run as if they are physical different computers
  • It can be used to replace a higher functioning hardware services available to conventional servers
  • Mainframe computer can be used to hot swap system capacity without disturbing the system function


The size of a typical Mainframe computer is about 600 -3000 square meters and it can take a storage space of about 2,000 to 10,000 square feet. So it is this big and large.


The following are the features of Mainframe computer

  • They are designed to handle mostly high volume of input and output computing
  • They come with subsidiary hardware which are termed peripheral processors
  • Mainframe computer have more much data storage facility
  • It has the ability for fault tolerant computing and it is result oriented


A typical Mainframe computer comes with the following specifications

1-16 CPU’S

  • Memory  from 128Mb to 8 Gigabyte online RAM
  • Processing power ranges from 80 -550 MIPs
  • Cabinets for storage, 1/0, RAM
  • Separate program for task management, communication, inter address space, catalogs, job management and program management

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Advantages and disadvantages of using a mainframe computer


  • It can be used for ultra computing power; it has the ability for huge data processing
  • It has the ability to support extra large power processors, huge ability for scaleability
  • Mainframe computer is great for virtualization system, this means elimination of memory limitation
  • This kind of computer is really reliable – it can detect errors and bugs easily
  • It has the ability of self-serviceability – it fixes self errors in a very short time


The disadvantages include:

  • Mainframe computer are really expensive so can’t be purchased by low income earners
  • They can’t be used at home since it has more processing power
  • Operating system for this is according to the need of a client
  • They require more storage space and less temperature
  • Mainframe computer consumes more resources and has less temperature.

Best types of mainframe computers to buy

Z13 mainframe computer

This is a computer from the IBM series, this is a powerful and most secure built of a Mainframe computer. This computer can process a total of 2.5 billion transactions daily. This Mainframe computer comes with embedded analytics tools that give real-time data on all transactions. This Mainframe computer is about $750

Linux on IBMZ

This is another great Mainframe computer that one can buy and know its really dependable. The good thing about it, is that it also support less expensive disk storage devices. It can as well be used for small businesses but must have up to 10 distributed linux servers

The IBM system z9

If you are looking for a good Mainframe computer, you can also go for this, it a good Mainframe computer that uses the z/Architecture. This computer comes with good support element, program directed RE-IPL, It has a DB2 and VSAM features same with java features too. It has a larger memory capacity which is up to 512 GB with a separate processor pools.


  • Processing units
  • Controller unit
  • Storage unit
  • Multiprocessors
  • Motherboard
  • Cluster controller system
  • Input and output channel (like IOCDS, ESCON, FICON, CHIPD’s)


The Mainframe computer has been revolutionized over the years to meet the demands of the times we are in. They have been increased functionalities in it gears towards providing the necessary benefits for large scale organization that needs a good device for consumer statistics, census data collation, and other scientific research.

The vendors of Mainframe computer such as Amdahl, IBM down to Hitachi knows this and are molding their computers to meet these needs. For questions about this topic, contact us or message us via the comment box we’ll reply to you as soon as possible.

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