Well there can be an enormous difference between the two terms special and general but simply one is intended for something specific and/or complicated and the other designed for the common household or simple customer. A specialized computer might be utilized for anything from, strictly gaming purposes to data storage (used as a server for a network). A general-purpose computer, one can usually find in the large electronics stores all around the country. They’re usually the ones sitting on the shelf at the store and at the open display for customers to buy, with everyday uses. However remember that either the buyer using the manufacturer can customize specialized and general purpose or the customer can customize the computer for his or her own necessities.
Let’s get into detail however; a special purpose computer can be for the individual computer guru or that movie producer that needs a computer to process information quickly so that the new movie he or she is creating has great graphics and clarity. A special purpose computer usually has a specific purpose to fulfill; such as I just mentioned, anything from movie editing and producing to networking. Which means that most of the hardware within the computer is specific in nature.
Here’s an example, let’s say that there are two computer shoppers who are looking for a computer, one is an avid computer gamer and a knowledgeable computer builder/enthusiast but he also needs the same computer to compute complicated information, since he’s a college student studying mathematics. The other computer shopper or the second shopper is a gentlemen looking to buy a home computer for his family to use, nothing fancy but good enough to do most tasks like surfing the web, writing, watching DVDs and gaming.
The avid computer gamer and mathematics student is going to need several options and actually many options that the Father won’t need. The computer gamer is going to need plenty of hard drive space or space to store his information on his computer, without overloading or running out of space for information. Now the gamer is also going to need a really large RAM space so that many programs and information can be passed between the hard drive and processor. Speaking of processor, or CPU, he is going to need a very fast computing processor. The other piece of hardware he will need is a powerful power-supply. The other item that might need to be above par with most standard computers on the market, is the video card, since he needs something that will be able to stay up to par with the games he plays, he’ll need several high speed video cards. The audio system will also have to be a superb audio system. The last option is the DVD drive, which is usually standard but must be good enough to read the discs that he plays with an above standard quality.
Now all the components the gamer is using might not be what he’s finding on the display center of his electronics store in his city. He might rather decide to build his own computer, which makes it even more specific and special purpose than the one bought off the shelf at his electronics store and building your own computer is a whole other subject.
The second shopper or Father who is looking for a computer for his family has less specific or special purpose needs. He looks around at the computer display showcase, at his electronics store, and can find his computer but likely is helped by a sells associate. He finds that most of the computers that are displayed are what he needs and usually has no problem finding the right computer; all it comes down to for him is personal preference and price. This is because most of these computers are general-purpose computers, with no specific roles to play.
These scenarios are examples of just everyday cases that most people get involved with. However on a bigger picture specific or special purpose computers can be that Father looking for a home computer and the corporation needing to get some new computers for their servers, which is very specific and special purpose. Also remember that sometimes what many of us consider special purpose is a wider scope of computers than we think of. For example, the computer in your car (which does have a computer, most just never see it) is considered a special purpose computer and is very specific with only certain tasks to conduct.