Computer architecture refers to various aspects of computer system designs which can affect compatibility, performance, and interfacing. Some issues related to computer architecture can be processor word size, memory bus size, or protocol implementation.

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What are fundamental advantages or disadvantages of the PowerPC architecture versus x86? [closed]

Why was PowerPC being used more in certain applications, while x86 has become the PC-standard?
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How does the framebuffer work?

I have been reading about the framebuffer and I'd like to know how it is managed in modern OSes (Windows, Linux, Android). Questions: The framebuffer seems to be a memory address range where ...
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1answer
37 views

Recovery of data from hard disk

Let's assume I have consumed 100% space of HDD with 3 movies (A,B,C) Now i have deleted A,B,C and filled 100% space of HDD with movies (D,E,F) can i recover the files A,B,C from the hard-disk? PS: ...
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2answers
152 views

32-bit to 64-bit skipping 48-bit?

Computer architecture upgraded from 16-bit to 32-bit to 64-bit. What was the logic for skipping 48-bit? What reasoning was used to upgrade to 64-bit and not some other exponent? The following tables ...
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1answer
75 views

x86 i386 i686 amd64 i5 i7 archtecture processor confusion

I noticed those items x86, i386, i686, amd64, i5, i7, archtecture, processor from the web, from my own notebook, from book readings. But I am really confused by those terminologies. I try my best ...
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4answers
181 views

Formatting a PC without admin rights

I was at a flea market the other day and bought a computer. However, the computer is locked and I can't login to it. Is there a way to format the computer and install Linux on it? It seems like the ...
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1answer
28 views

Calculating RPM of the disk drive

Well I have a question about RPM of the disk drive. I've seen an example where: seek time of the HD: 5ms track size: 5MB If an application wants to read 1MB from the disk with a maximum time of 20ms ...
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1answer
40 views

What architecture to choose with 2 GB of RAM in the computer [closed]

I have 2 GB RAM in my laptop. I want to install Window 7 Ultimate but I don't know which architecture to choose - 32 bit or 64 bit.
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1answer
47 views

Difference between “network RAM” and “distributed shared memory” (DSM)

What is the difference between "network RAM" and "distributed shared memory" (DSM)? Basically, I know that both of them provide a shared storage on RAM among all the systems in a cluster. So, what is ...
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1answer
78 views

Difference between “system-on-chip” and “CPU”

Very confused, in some websites, they have this line: iPhone 5s CPU: Apple A7 other websites saying that: iPhone 5s System-on-chip: Apple 7 CPU: 1.3 GHz 64bit dual core other sources saying ...
4
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2answers
157 views

why are RAM chips independent of whether my system is a 32bit system or 64 bit system?

I was recently out to buy a 4 GB RAM chip for my laptop, and all they asked me was whether I wanted DDR-3? When I specified that I had a 64 bit system, they said that it's not important, my question ...
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3answers
162 views

How mouse button re-mappings work?

I installed my new mouse (Anker 2000 DPI Wireless) and then the driver which installs a program named '5-button mouse' that allows me to remap what each button does, standard stuff and everything ...
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22 views

Is parallelism in computer science always directly tied to the number of processor cores?

Specific to the Java programming language, would it be accurate to say that two threads can be concurrent, but can only truly be run in parallel if there are two or more cores?
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2answers
157 views

How do modern smartphones compare to Apollo mission computers? [closed]

I saw an article some time ago that compared smartphones to the computers that had put mankind on the moon. I can't remember the exact comparison and I can't find an accurate comparison online, as ...
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1answer
151 views

How BIOS extensions (option ROMs) work?

How do BIOS extensions (option ROMs) work? I understand that an installed device may have it's own BIOS that adds features to the system but I'm not sure of how they are set up. I keep reading the ...
2
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1answer
224 views

PCI BAR memory addresses

Quick question, I was reading the OSDev Wiki page regarding PCI and it says the following - Base address Registers (or BARs) can be used to hold memory addresses used by the device, or offsets for ...
4
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1answer
302 views

Whats the difference between physical and virtual cache?

I am having trouble understanding what virtual cache actually is. I understand virtual memory. If the CPU wants to access memory, as far as I understand, it sends a virtual address to the MMU which, ...
4
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1answer
177 views

Why can't PCIe devices share lanes?

On older chip-sets it was not possible to have a dedicated graphics card in the PEG slot and have the Integrated Graphics Device (IGD) enabled at the same time. After looking online I found this was ...
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1answer
159 views

How are reserved and ACPI NVS memory sizes counted?

My PC has 8GB of memory installed and is running Win 7 64-bit. I ran a tool named fwmemmap that shows the firmware memory map for the system but it's showing around 60MB more than is physically ...
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1answer
66 views

where and How the computer/mobile phone time and date stored

i tried something, i noted down the current time within my laptop(dell.. win 7) it was 12.15 PM 5 April 2014, and i did the same with my mobile phone(samsung galaxy s2, andriod jelly bean) it was ...
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1answer
39 views

Harvard Architecture : How does it improve speed?

I don't understand the difference between Von Neumann and Harvard architectures. Let's say you have these two instructions : MOV ax, [address2] MOV bx, ax In Harvard architecture, the processor ...
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25 views

How are graphics produced on the screen?

I have been trying to get a complete answer to this for a long time and I know it is complex. For example lets say we wanted to produce the character 'H' on the screen. H is 72 in ascii or 48 in Hex ...
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2answers
377 views

What is the difference between primary and secondary bootloader?

What is the difference between primary and secondary bootloader? Does primary and secondary refer to the two parts of the bootloader or two stages of the bootloader? I am confused.
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1answer
35 views

How does an instruction in a CPU report that is has finished?

When an instruction is sent to a CPU, that may take multiple clock cycles to complete, when does the CPU know that the instruction has finished and can start processing the next one? I'm mostly ...
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3answers
112 views

Why do compilers have to be “smarter” for RISC instruction set architecture

Reduced Instruction Set Architecture (RISC) aims to reduce the number of instructions thereby improving performance . The only downside to this approach is that the compilers have to be "smarter" . ...
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45 views

How does fabrication process and compiler quality affect CPU performance

I was reading up on my lectures and one of the slides listed down the factors affecting CPU performance , I cant understand how does fabrication process and compiler quality affect CPU performance
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1answer
116 views

What is the difference between the terms “memory”, “main memory”, “RAM”, “Memory bank” and “Memory Module”

What is the difference in the followoing words? They seem to all be interchangable. Memory, Main memory, RAM, Memory bank, Memory Module. Correct me if I'm wrong but my understanding is memory is a ...
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118 views

Instruction cache vs data cache with reguards to size

In the context of cache for a CPU, I understand some are divided between instructions and for data. How exactly are they divided? Is one physical unit partitioned into two or are there two units ...
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1answer
174 views

Why is this memory range on the PCI bus?

Why is the following memory address range on the PCI bus? The image is from my Netbook that uses shared video memory with no dedicated video memory so I am unsure as to why the VGA memory range ...
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58 views

ReadyBoost : How a Software Component Helps Boost the System Performance by Exploiting Flash Memory as a Cache?

One of the nice feature of windows 7 for low memory system is ReadyBoost, a software component that uses flash memory as a cache to actually speed up the the performance(Ref-Wikipedia). But If we ...
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1answer
23 views

What is meant by distributed architecture in the context of old fashioned 1960s mainframes?

Here it says the CDC 6600 had a distributed architecture. It had a distributed architecture (central scientific processor supported by ten very fast peripheral machines) Can anyone elaborate on ...
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1answer
59 views

How shared graphics memory works?

How does shared graphics memory work? It is my understanding that when you set how much system memory to share with the graphics controller in the BIOS, this then becomes invisible to the OS, So ...
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1answer
98 views

Why don't computers start loading the OS earlier in the boot process?

I was reading an article referred to me from another thread on the Windows OS boot process, and while reading, I couldn't help but wonder -- When a computer turns on, why can't it start loading the ...
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3answers
576 views

Do I really need 1 GB Ram for a graphic card if i'm going to use only for HPC? [closed]

I have a Nvidia GT640 with 2GB memory and it requirements says that my computer must have at least 1 GB RAM. My computer can't have the enough needed ram (Could be a Raspberry Pi, CubieBoard, 86 Duino ...
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1answer
1k views

Difference between port mapped and memory mapped access?

Can anyone explain what's the difference between port mapping and memory mapping, and what having both accomplishes? Why is there port mapped, how does it differ in structure from memory maps, and is ...
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1answer
151 views

What is the actual data transfer rate for the magnetic disk with the given specifications?

I saw the question bellow in a Computer Organization Practice Book for University exams. Its given that, a magnetic disk has the following specifications: Number of tracks = 1024Number of ...
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18answers
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If 32-bit machines can only handle numbers up to 2^32, why can I write 1000000000000 (trillion) without my machine crashing?

32 bit computers can only store signed integers up to 232 - 1. This is why we have run out of ipv4 addresses and have entered the 64 bit era. However, the number 232 - 1 (2,147,483,647) is not as ...
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1answer
4k views

How does a USB external graphics card work?

I am interested in extending my multi-monitor setup, but I was wondering if anyone could shed a light on how external USB graphics cards work? I have extensively searched but have not found an ...
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2answers
942 views

Is it possible to run a larger than 4GB .exe?

I created a >4GB SFX archive (the self extracting archives) in 7-Zip, without warning. When the recipient tried to extract it, he got this error ribbon: I found it's because the .exe is larger than ...
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1answer
70 views

max Ram size in 32-bit system [duplicate]

I know that on 32 bit system max number of memory cells in RAM is 2^32. But RAM in my computer show not exactly this size. Can someone explain why on 32 bit system size of RAM not equal max size of ...
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174 views

Doing some detective work on old computer hardware [closed]

On a recent holiday to Bangkok, I visited the science museum and planetarium that is there. While eating lunch I was very surprised to see some very recognisable vintage computer equipment in almost ...
2
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1answer
192 views

How interrupts and privilege levels work?

I'm trying to get a better understanding of how interrupts work (both hardware and software) and the privileges that go with them. If we use the NIC as an example. When the OS creates the IDT, does ...
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2answers
340 views

On x86 architecture, why are there fewer bits for virtual address space than physical?

I was reading this article on 64 bit computing, and it mentions: For example, the AMD64 architecture as of 2011 allowed 52 bits for physical memory and 48 bits for virtual memory I would think ...
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13k views

How to check my RAM configuration (Windows 7)?

I would like to check my RAM configuration. I know it is easy to check the total RAM installed on a computer (eg 32 GB), but is there an easy way to check in Windows if the RAM is e.g. 2x16 GB, 4x8 ...
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1answer
88 views

Why so many modes are in CPU?

In microprocessor, there are a number of modes like user mode,supervisor mode and so on depending on the architecture of the computer. Why they have created so many modes(why they have assigned so ...
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2answers
95 views

How to teach a gut without no computer major experience to program [closed]

I have a friend who is non - computer major. For example, he dose not know what is a bit,byte and etc. Now he want to program . So I wonder which language is better? C,JAVA or something else?
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Why does x86 stands for 32bit OS [duplicate]

I often have seen 32bit OS being referred to x86 (i hope it is the x86 architecture). What is the significance of this 32bit and why is it related to x86.
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9answers
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Why have CPU manufacturers stopped increasing the clock speeds of their processors? [closed]

I have read that manufacturers stopped concentrating on higher clock speeds and are now working on other things to improve performance. With an old Desktop machine with Intel® Xeon® Processor E3110 ...
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Alternatives to the 0 and 1 bit style/structure

I've looked everywhere for this answer or even at least a question like this one (even tom's hardware didn't have anything 'explicitly' related to this). My question is simple: Is there or are there ...
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107 views

ON/OFF Toggle Switch for a HDD

I've got two hard drives running two different OS. I need both of them, but want to run them on separate drives without dealing with the struggle of switching the cables every time.I suppose cutting ...