The difference between multiprocessor & multicomputer systems

Written by joe lewis
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A multicomputer system is made up of several computers, each with its own memory. A loosely coupled Non-Uniform Memory Access computer, or NUMA, and a tightly coupled cluster of computers are both regarded as multicomputer systems. A multiprocessor system is a computer that has more than one CPU on its motherboard. Tasks are distributed between processors, and all processors share common memory.


Because multicomputer systems are made up of more than one computer, they take up more space than the average desktop computer. Multiprocessor computers are more space-effective because the processors need a single motherboard, placed in a single case.

Processing Power

Multicomputer systems are used when strong computer power is required, because each processor uses its own dedicated memory. Two examples of their usage are 3-D medical imaging devices and mobile radars. Multiprocessor computers are less powerful than multicomputer systems because their processors share the same memory.


Multicomputer systems can output on several display devices, in direct correspondence with the number of computers present. Multiprocessor computers can output to a limited number of displays, depending on their graphics processing unit.

Efficiency and Usability

When working with a multicomputer system, you can distribute different tasks to each computer. You can write an essay on one machine while another encodes a video file. Also, if you need to walk away from a computer, you can pick up exactly where you left off on another machine. In the unfortunate event one computer shuts down unexpectedly, you can continue working on the other computers. A multiprocessor computer, although definitely faster than a desktop computer, is less efficient. If the system shuts down unexpectedly, you must wait for it to reboot or, in a worst case scenario, have it repaired.

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