A large powerful computer used to handle company wide information. For example an insurance company would have a mainframe to handle accounts. A bank would have a number of mainframes to handle their transactions.

The mainframe may have entire cabinets dedicated to just one part of the overall computer. For example several cabinets of hard disks, a cabinet for processing incoming requests another one for carrying out calculations and so on.

Normally a mainframe supports many users at the same time.

A supercomputer is more powerful than a mainframe and a mainframe is much more powerful than a desktop computer.

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