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What is a midrange computer system?

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Quick Answer

A midrange computer system features computers that have more processing power than personal computers but are less powerful than mainframe models. These types of systems involve a broad range of memory capacity, processing power and applications for business or scientific use, explains TechTarget.com.

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One of the main functions of a midrange computer system is to provide servers for small and medium-sized businesses. Historically, midrange computers were the backbone of medium-sized businesses as their main computer. Midrange models were ideal for branch or departmental operations of large firms.

The computer industry does not define what exactly a midrange computer does. However, many companies use these computers as servers to apply software to other computers within the firm. These servers allow company computers and customers to access software or Web applications at any time. IBM, Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard manufacture a lot of midrange computers for businesses. These types of models are also used for scientific applications in laboratory settings.

Midrange computers were once called minicomputers because their size was not as massive as the mainframes common at the time. Midrange options have dedicated hard wires connected to other computers on office networks to enable sharing of files and software. Most of these computers run on standard computer operating systems rather than proprietary interfaces.

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