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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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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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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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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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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99 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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2answers
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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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2answers
555 views

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
483 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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6answers
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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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2answers
415 views

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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1answer
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Meaning of computer architecture [closed]

I am not a CS student. I have tried many times to understand what computer architecture means, including reading its wikipedia article, but still haven't got clear understanding. Besides directly ...
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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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0answers
222 views

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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1answer
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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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6answers
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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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7answers
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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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4answers
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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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9answers
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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
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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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Role of a bus bridge [closed]

Simple question: What is the role of a bus bridge?
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5answers
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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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5answers
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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
198 views

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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4answers
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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
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How many ALUs does a single core cpu have?

or does depend on the model?
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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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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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1answer
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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.
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Why does RAM need to be installed in pairs?

Why does RAM need to be installed in pairs? What's the reason behind this?
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Learning about BIOS memory, instructions and code origins

I'm learning about the BIOS and have a few questions. What is meant by, "This is the last 16 bytes of memory at the end of the first megabyte of memory"? The first instruction of BIOS is jump, which ...
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1answer
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Does my motherboard support dual-core processors?

Hi there! I'm very confused about my motherboard (ConRoe945PL-GLAN) It's manual says, that i can use only some kind of ConRoe processors. But some pages on internet says that i can plug in almost ...
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2answers
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What is the common ground for i7 processors? [closed]

If you see this page, you would see that there are "5 specifications of i7 processors" (is the terminology correct?). They are all i7. What is the common ground among all these processors? I know ...
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3answers
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Why are there so many pins on a sata power connector?

I was just looking at the power connector for a SATA optical drive, and noticed that it had fifteen pins! I then marveled at the data connector next to it, which has a measly seven pins. I know that ...
13
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10answers
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How can I determine if the current version of Windows is either 32-bit or 64-bit from the command line? [duplicate]

What's the command line to find out if the OS is running a 32-bit version or 64-bit of Windows?
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4answers
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What is the maximum addressable memory?

I just started learning assembly. My laptop specification says: Microprocessor: Intel Core Duo processor T2300 Microprocessor Cache: 2MB L2 Cache Memory Max: 2048MB Memory: ...
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1answer
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PCI max throughput

Hypothetical here, but I want to understand. Say I have a hand me down machine, 4 PCI slots, 64-bit 33 MHz PCI. How much data can that PCI bus handle? System bus is 133 MHz. I want to use one ...
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7answers
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What is the maximum amount of ram a 64bit machine can theoretically address?

I'm reading through my computer architecture book and I see that in an x86, 32bit CPU, the program counter is 32 bit. So, the number of bytes it can address is 2^32 bytes, or 4GB. So it makes sense ...
151
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19answers
27k views

32-bit vs. 64-bit systems

What are the differences between 32-bit and 64-bit systems? If you have used both of them, what kind of sharp differences have you experienced? Would it be a problem to use 32-bit programs on ...
28
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9answers
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How can I enable PAE on Windows 7 (32-bit) to support more than 3.5 GB of RAM?

I know that Windows XP 32-bit can be configured, through PAE, to support more than 3.5 GB of RAM. Is there a good tutorial to do this with Windows 7 32-bit? As to why I don't simply use 64-bit ...
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How does the CPU write infomation to ram?

My question is, how does the CPU write data to ram? From what I understand, modern CPU's use different levels of cache to speed up ram access. The RAM gets a command for information and then sends a ...