Supercomputers, the world's largest and fastest computers, are primarily used for complex scientific calculations. The parts of a supercomputer are comparable to those of a desktop computer: they both contain hard drives, memory, and processors (circuits that process instructions within a computer program).
Although both desktop computers and supercomputers are equipped with similar processors, their speed and memory sizes are significantly different. For instance, a desktop computer built in the year 2000 normally has a hard disk data capacity of between 2 and 20 gigabytes and one processor with tens of megabytes of random access memory (RAM)—just enough to perform tasks such as word processing, web browsing, and video gaming. Meanwhile, a supercomputer of the same time period has thousands of processors, hundreds of gigabytes of RAM, and hard drives that allow for hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of gigabytes of storage space.
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