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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PCIe slots sharing lanes?

I was reading the Spec for the GA-Z87-HD3 and it says - When it says - "The PCIEX4 slot shares bandwidth with all PCI Express x1 slots. All PCI Express x1 slots will become unavailable when a PCIe ...
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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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Intel - How pre-allocated memory and legacy VGA works

Reading a few datasheets for Intel processors and I keep reading - This address range extends from 1 MB to the top of physical memory that is permitted to be accessible by the IMC (as ...
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1answer
51 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
22 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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26 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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21 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
54 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
27 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
56 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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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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32 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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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
86 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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0answers
43 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
19 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
34 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
91 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
134 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
111 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
84 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
97k views

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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2answers
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How to get codename (“wheezy” or “sid”) of a package version?

apt-cache show shows various versions of the package # apt-cache show libc6:i386 Package: libc6 Version: 2.17-97 Architecture: i386 ... Package: libc6 Status: install ok installed Version: 2.17-7 ...
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1answer
1k 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
439 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
63 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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124 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 ...
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1answer
149 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
258 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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3answers
3k 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
66 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
92 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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4answers
296 views

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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2answers
299 views

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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3answers
80 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 ...
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3answers
277 views

Is this system 32 bit or 64 bit? [closed]

I would definitely say that this system is 64 bit but the owner says it's 32. The computer is a Dell Optiplex 960 which comes both in 32 bit and 64 bit versions but I installed windows 8 64 bit ...
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2answers
1k views

Calculating hard disk block model reading time

My professor posted a slide on how to calculate the data retrieval from hard disk using the block model. The specs were: 7200 RPM 5ms SEEK 80MB/s TRANSFER RATE BLOCK MODEL : Block size 4KB I ...
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1answer
27 views

Cache Organisation

Whats's the difference between Direct Mapping and Four-way Set Associative? They both mean that certain blocks of the cache are associated with certain parts of the main memory. The only difference ...
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242 views

How to understand block size / line size?

I want to understand the theory behind block size and line sizes. I know, for instance, that a block size = 2^(number of bytes offset within the block), is it correct? Can you tell me where to look ...
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1answer
103 views

Which GPUs are real Kepler cores?

With Nvidia's naming scheme I'm having a lot of trouble looking for a card that isn't a repackaged fermi or even older architecture. For example I was looking at the GT640, but the GF116 GPU is ...
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16answers
4k views

Why do computers count from zero?

Computers traditionally tally numerical values starting from zero. For example, arrays in C-based programming languages start from index zero. What historical reasons exist for this, and what ...
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1answer
32 views

Is it possible to see what disk blocks a file uses in Windows 7?

I would like to see what blocks some files are using. I am talking about files being stored on disk, not blocks in memory. Is this possible in Windows 7?
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1answer
2k views

How does copy and paste for large files work

I am curious to know how computers execute "copy" and "paste" of large folders. I've read that copy and paste of text between different processes or same process is achieved by saving the content into ...
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2answers
123 views

When powering off a computer, what exactly happens?

What exactly goes on when my computer is shut down? Not the "Shut down" button in the Start menu, but instead how the command (maybe machine code or something similar) is issued on a lower-than-OS ...
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1answer
99 views

Why is it possible for me to install either 32 or 64-bit linux on my PC? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Can a 32 bit OS run in a 64 bit processor? I am buying a PC and installing Linux on it. Apparently, I can install either 32 or 64-bit Ubuntu on it. Why is that? I ...
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2answers
77 views

How does playstation work with 256M RAM? [closed]

The 200$ phone I have in my pocket has more RAM than that. I realize that it has a very fast processor. But wouldn't the entire time be spent in transferring the data from secondary storage to RAM? ...
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249 views

Intel assembler/architecture documentation?

Would anyone know where the best "official" Intel documentation regarding the low level architecture/assembler internals would be? How the ESP works, the various registers- fetching values from RAM ...
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4answers
2k views

How can I find a list of all SSE instructions? What happens if a CPU doesn't support SSE?

So I've been reading about how processors work. Now I'm on the instructions (SSE, SSE2, etc) stuff. (Which is pretty interesting). I have lot of questions (I've been reading this stuff on Wikipedia): ...
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What specific advantages does mainframe architecture have over pc architecture? [closed]

Large banks typically have very scalable front-office trading systems which can process hundreds or thousands of trades per second. Most of these are distributed systems running on large numbers of ...