A study of the cost effectiveness of minicomputers vs. main frames for structural analysis programs is described. The study compares the performance of several finite element programs including SAP IV and SPAR. Most of the runs were performed with the Illinois Institute of Technology PRIME 400 minicomputer and the United Computing System UNIVAC 1100/81 main frame. Other computers were used selectively. The matrix of structural problems included beam, plate and shell problems and static, dynamic and nonlinear analysis.