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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TLB access in SMT processors

In SMT (simultaneous multithreading) processors in which threads share the TLB, how does the TLB differentiate one thread's access from the other one? Each thread has its own set of pages loaded into ...
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Switch harddrive to different computer

I have an older amd system with a harddrive that has a fedora install on it. I have a newer intel system with a windows 7 install. Would I be able to put the old drive into the new machine and make ...
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196 views

What does R stand for in Von Neumann Architecture?

I would like some examples of modern day equipment that would equate with the 'R' in Von Neumann architecture. I am referring to Section 2.6 on page 3 of the PDF version of the "First Draft of a ...
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Why using hexadecimal in computer is better than using octal?

What are benefits that hexadecimal provides? And is it really octal is less common than hexadecimal?
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345 views

The idea that “nothing is ever truly deleted” doesn't make sense to me [closed]

Why do people say that nothing is ever truly deleted? Let's say I have a byte in my hard drive that contains the byte 0x00. If I overwrite it with the byte 0x01, how can anyone ever know that it ever ...
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How do hardware interrupts work compared to software interrupts?

To give you an impression of the level of detail I'm interested, one example. I know a system call ultimately leads to a trap which lets the processor store registers, switch to supervisor mode and ...
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Instruction per Cycle vs Increased Cycle Count

Increasing either instruction per cycle or increase cycle count both are valid design choice for processor manufactures. I understand theory, but it would be much clearer if I had some real life ...
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460 views

What type(s) of performance improvements to expect between architectures using QPI versus a FSB?

While comparing Intel's two new i7 processors, I noticed that the only difference between them apart from the L3 cache size and CPU speed is that one has QuickPath Interconnect, and that seems to ...
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676 views

Will a new processor with slower clockspeed run legacy applications faster?

I'm using Linux and have an old P4 with about 3 GHz clock speed. Will a newer chip that had slower clock speed run my legacy applications faster or slower? I only use one application at a time, an ...
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301 views

Are super computers made with just cache technology?

I was reading about memory hierarchy and I read that you can built a computer with just cache but it wouldn't be cost effective. I was wonderig if super computers are made with only cache technology?
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Front Side Bus and RAM speed

We encouted an odd question during a Cisco IT Esstenials course which didn't make sense. Which memory module has a front side bus speed of 200 MHz Possible choices were DDR-333 DDR-400 ...
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333 views

How to figure out the internal organization of my laptop

I am learning about buses and I/O. I want to figure out the various buses and the devices, controllers connected to it in my laptop. The website of my motherboard does not have a tech-spec. Neither ...
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705 views

Why can't memory clock speeds be as fast as the CPU speed?

I was reading that in old i386 based systems, the ram bus used to be the same speed as the CPU but when CPU frequencies increased, it became too hard to make RAM the same speed. Why can't we have 2GHz ...
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How to manufacture a computer from scratch? [closed]

I would like to learn to the smallest details how modern (x86) computer works. Let say I have all resources, time, people, facotry - everything I need to build modern computer except knowledge. This ...
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2answers
2k views

Virtual memory vs. Virtual address space

I know virtual memory is a paging file that computer uses to store a part of RAM on hard disk for a running process. But how different is Virtual address space? is it the RAM or hard disk or both?
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4answers
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Does having more installed programs slow down a computer? [closed]

I was wondering does having more installed programs in a Windows slow down the computer (like make it laggier because it has to perform more "stuff")? What about Mac? (I don't have a computer. I ...
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Is a higher core count or higher clock speed more beneficial to a computer's performance? [closed]

With lowering silicon costs and rising consumer needs, manufacturers seem to be pushing one of two things: clock speed and/or core count. With the way things are going, it doesn't seem that clock ...
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2answers
116 views

Run 10 sets of headphones from a pc via 10 separate channels

We have a PC application that runs on Windows 7 platform that is designed to play sound to up to 10 different MP3's to up to 10 separate sound cards (ie. 10 different inputs playing to 10 different ...
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0answers
103 views

Processor Multimedia Extensions. How Useful are they actually? [closed]

Ever since the original Pentium, both AMD and Intel have been releasing competing multimedia extensions to their architectures, mmx, 3DNOW!, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4, AVX, XOP... So many, that I ...
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what differences and relations are between logical and virtual memory?

I was wondering what differences and relations are between logical and virtual memory? How do their purposes differ? Are the relations and differences the same for logical and virtual addresses?
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Understanding “Flat memory model” and “Segmented memory model”

I am trying to understand Flat memory model and Segmented memory model. Are Flat memory model and Segmented memory model determined by CPU architecture or OS or both? Or are they not determined by ...
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2answers
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Is the size of a memory address and size of the address bus related?

My questions are about the relation between the size of an actual/physical address and the size of the address bus. If I understand correctly, the actual/physical address size is determined during ...
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3answers
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What do the terms “asynchronous” and “synchronous” mean, with respect to the definition of an interrupt?

Quoted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interrupt: an interrupt is an asynchronous signal indicating the need for attention or a synchronous event in software indicating the need for a change ...
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Northbridge + Southbridge = Unitedbridge? Is the division likely to persist? [closed]

Okay, hardware based question. I was at shopping for laptops the other day and one of the salespeople was trying to talk up an integrated graphics system as opposed to a discrete graphics system. He ...
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How do I interpret the specification of memory (RAM)?

When looking at memory there are a few specifications that I don't understand and was hoping to have clarification on. What do these terms mean, and how do they affect the systems performance? Feel ...
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1answer
543 views

Intel's AES-NI performance: Isn't the hard drive the bottleneck?

Will I see a performance gain with AES-NI using dm-crypt/LUKS for hard drive system encryption? Isn't the hard drive the bottleneck even without hardware acceleration?
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Can some software physically damage hardware?

I know a question similar to this one has been asked before however it was about installing a 32bit OS on a 64bit laptop. My question is more about damaging the hardware. I was wondering if there was ...
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How does a CPU 'know' what commands and instructions actually mean?

How does a processor 'know' what the different commands mean? I'm thinking of assembly level commands like MOV, PUSH, CALL, etc...
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Bits of CPU, architecture and OS

I was wondering if the bits of OS, of instruction set, of CPU registers, of data bus from CPU to memory, and of address bus from CPU to memory must be consistent in some sense and how? When we cay ...
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Why my computer working without harddisc with livecd, but with hardisk not working - computer not response to any signals? [closed]

History of problem: I formated computer (HP Pavalion Desktop). When I restart computer - computer come to first screen before boot and not response to any signals (f2, f10, ESC, etc..) I take out ...
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How to tell if an EXE is 32-bit or 64-bit? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Quick way to tell if an installed application is 64-bit or 32-bit What's the easiest way to know if a Windows EXE is 32-bit or 64-bit?
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Block diagram containing computer buses,motherboard

I am trying to understand computer architecture. In particular: - Physical view i.e. what all is packed inside the motherboard and what all outside - Conceptual view. how processor,memory,peripherals ...
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1answer
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Harvard vs. Von Neumann architecture [closed]

Our teacher told us, that Harvard architecture is the most evolved and produced architecture today and towards future. But I think because of massive overhead of x86 and Von Neumann based ARM systems ...
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Difference between cache memory and register?

What is the difference between cache memory and registers?I know them by definition but why do we need the other when we have any one of them?
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Where exactly L1, L2 and L3 Caches located in computer?

Where exactly L1, L2 and L3 Caches Located in computer ? I know, we use Cache to increase performance by picking DATA and INSTRUCTIONS from Cache rather than Main Memory. Following are my questions ...
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How to build my own single-board computer?

For fun, I would like to build my own single-board computer which I can later program. I know there are already many development kits out there, sold by companies such as Altera and Xilinx, but I want ...
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10answers
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How can I determine whether my processor is 32-bit or 64-bit?

How can I determine whether my processor is 32-bit or 64-bit? My processor is AMD Phenom 8450 triple-core.
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7answers
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How to find the architecture of OS installed?

I'm using Core 2 Duo. So, from Intel website I found that it is 64-bit architecture CPU. Long back I've installed Ubuntu OS on this machine. But I'm not sure if I installed x86-32 or x86-64 version ...
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3answers
379 views

What hardware is at physical address 0x80000000 on powerpc New World Macintosh?

Open Firmware device tree gives no clue what device might decode at physical address 0x80000000 to 0x8008200 on a G4 New World Macintosh. The mmu has three adjacent Virtual=Real translations for that ...
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526 views

Role of a bus bridge [closed]

Simple question: What is the role of a bus bridge?
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Why multi core processors?

Why are chips containing more and more cores? Why not manufacture a larger single-core processor? Is it easier to manufacture? Is it to allow programs to multithread using seperate cores?
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How is the processing capacity of modern devices compared with that used decades ago?

I saw on t.v. a description of the computer used in the first travel to the moon. I wonder if modern devices such as an smarthphone have already that same capacity? Does anyone have a link where ...
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3answers
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Relation between controllers, interfaces, adapt cards, chipsets, buses

I am confused about the following concepts and their relations: controllers, interfaces, adapters, chipsets, buses and north/south bridges. Can anyone point out how they are working together, what are ...
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2answers
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Physically moving a hard drive from older iMac (c2d) to new iMac (i7)?

Instead of my usual habit of using superduper to mirror my drive to a new computer, I just physically moved the hard drive from an older iMac to a new one. But... it now doesn't boot, getting stuck at ...
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How does increasing the number of transistors in a chip increase its speed

Is the only purpose of transistors in a cpu to act as the switches that define its instruction set? And if so then why does increasing the number of transistors increase its speed?
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1answer
457 views

How many ALUs does a single core cpu have?

or does depend on the model?
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350 views

Intel data bus of Intel 80486 and above CPUs

Why do Intel 80486 and above CPUs have a double 32-bit internal data bus? ALU is still 32 bits wide, so what is the extra 32-bit bus for?
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774 views

Why are GPUs cheaper than CPUs?

What are the technological reasons whereby GPUs are cheaper than CPUs?
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If the size of the (accessible) RAM is limited, why isn't the hard disk?

When the number of possible RAM adresses is limited by the computer architecture (32/64 bit), why isn't the size of the hard disk limited? Or is it limited? If yes, what would be the highest possible ...
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What is the SMMA flag?

I'm new to computer architecture. What is the full form of the SMMA flag? Where is it used? Please help me understand it with a brief description.