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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CPU clock cycle and instructions interpretation

I am new in computer architecture but I know the main topics since I had it as a course before. My question is in fact little deep and related to CPU clock cycle and how processor interpret ...
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The main difference between Superscalar and Parallelism

In superscalar processing, more than one instruction is executed in parallel at each core, so how would that differ from parallel processing then? Thank you.
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38 views

Is extra CPU on USB dongle possible? [on hold]

Is it theoretically possible to build a local cluster for distributed computing using any type of a dongle plugged into a USB or HDMI port, and connecting to the Linux console inside over SSH just ...
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30 views

Cheapest smallest linux computer that is network capable via ethernet phy [closed]

I am looking for the cheapest processor soc or system on a module with at least 80 Mhz that runs linux and has at least 256Kbyte SRAM. At the moment i found the following chip: ...
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19answers
36k 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 ...
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6answers
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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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798 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 ...
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115 views

Difference between a read and load

What is the major difference between read and load and write and store? I know it is a very basic question, but somehow I'm not able to get it.
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1answer
45 views

How does physical distance between processor and memory/cache affect data transfer speeds

The L1 cache is situated inside the cpu to speed up the process of data access but since electrical signals travel at the speed of light(almost constant) which is blazingly fast then how does distance ...
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75 views

Why do we need a CPU clock [closed]

I'm very confused regarding the working of a cpu clock.The following questions arise in my mind-What is the need of a clock in a cpu ? What does synchronization mean in context of working of a cpu ? ...
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15 views

Isn't overall cache miss time more than direct ram access time

Suppose there is a computer with three cache's L1,L2(inside the processor) and L3(external to the cpu) and a RAM. Now suppose CPU need to access data "ABC" for some operation which is definitely ...
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Is there a difference between an I/O port and a physical port?

AFAIK, the following definitions apply: I/O ports are memory adresses used as an interface to communicate with external devices e.g. a printer. A physical port (i.e. connector) is the physical ...
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79 views

Is a BIOS update in a laptop done by altering some microcode?

How does a BIOS get updated? Is it by microprogramming or microcoding? If not, then what happens?
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279 views

How many bits are in the address field for a directly mapped cache?

Here is the problem I am working on: The Problem: " A high speed workstation has 64 bit words and 64 bit addresses with address resolution at the byte level. Assuming a direct mapped cache with 8192 ...
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29 views

What happens if the associativity level is greater than the cache size?

I am working on a computer organization caching problem The Problem: What happens if the associativity level is greater than the cache size? I know that associativity level is how many blocks are ...
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4answers
3k views

What is the actual speed of SATA 3?

Google says it is running at 6Gb/s. The throughput is at 600MB/s. 600MB/s equals 4.8Gb/s. Does this mean that the bandwidth is 6Gb/s but the actual throughput is 4.8Gb/s ?
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3answers
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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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How does an atomic operation guarantee consistency from a hardware perspective?

As far as I know, an atomic instruction makes sure that when it is executed, no other threads can modify that data (just like a critical section). Am I correct? How is this implemented in hardware? ...
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'Power saver' mode in personal computers?

While working with laptops 'Battery saver' mode plays an important role. But what is the main reason behind this. Does the switching mode power supply woks in low-dissipation state or it's the ...
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2answers
152 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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38 views

Is it possible to create a distributed file system over P2P networks? [closed]

I was thinking about Napster, eMule, Kazaa and all that old school softwares to download and share digital content, like songs, books, videos and films. Learning about NFS (Network File System) and ...
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2answers
136 views

Do modern motherboards allow a PCI-E device to access ram without involving the CPU?

I'm doing research into novel Computer architectures and I need a clearer picture of how Memory Control works in a PC. In short, I would like to know whether a PCI-E device, such as a GPU can access ...
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9answers
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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 ...
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Which cpus use Tri-state buffer for data bus

I must doing some research about data bus system of cpus and I have to determine which ones use Tri-state buffer and which ones use Mux system for loading common bus . ( it's my computer architecture ...
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1answer
52 views

How does CPU access BIOS instructions stored in external memory?

During the process of booting, CPU reads address of system BIOS from the Reset Vector and jumps to the location where BIOS is stored. My question here is: As BIOS is stored on some external memory ...
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Why does FAT32 only use 28-bits for addressing?

I was reading Why is FAT32 limited to 8 TiB? The answer to that question was that 4 bits were reserved "for future use". What advantage is there in reserving these bits? Surely register size, ...
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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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237 views

Why do uname -p and uname -m and arch output different architectures?

On mountain lion (late 2010) $ uname -p i386 $ uname -m x86_64 $ arch i386 So i368 (32 bit) is my processor architecture, and x86_64 (64 bit) is my machine hardware name according to the uname man ...
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Is ALU used for all instructions?

On wikipedia page about Von Neumann Architecture is this picture. There are a lot of similar pictures like this.(Also in a lot of articles about Von Neumann Architecture is that only ALU execute ...
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How to calculate the rate by which CPU would be slowed down due to DMA transfer?

A DMA controller transfers 16 bit words to memory using cycle stealing .The words are assembled from a device that transmits characters at the rate of 2400 characters per second . The CPU is fetching ...
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2answers
66 views

What is meant by timer resolution in microseconds?

Sorry for putting up too simple of a question but I wanted to know what It meant by timer resolution in microseconds and resolution in nanoseconds? On what Basis this resolution is chosen ? Is it ...
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1answer
268 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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Are Modern Computers based on Von Neumann Model?

I read in the Foundation of Computer Science(by Behrouz A. Forouzan) textbook that a Von Neumann model's program must execute sequentially and the modern computer executes code in the order that's ...
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How does a computer get info about a connected monitor?

How does it get info, max resolution etc about it, for HDMI i could think of CEC, but what about VGA/DVI etc?
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Why is it not recommended to shut down a computer “brutally” (power switch)? [duplicate]

It is now in the general knowledge that one should not shut down a computer using its power switch. But why is that exactly? Is it a myth that stuck from past architectures? Is it solely to prevent ...
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Does 32 bit os running on 64 bit cpu support 4Gb ram [duplicate]

I want to know if I have a 32 bit OS running on a 64 bit cpu, will it detect or access 4 GB of ram or more
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Why is Xeon processor suited for HPC?

Among the different specs for Xeon, available here, http://ark.intel.com/compare/87720,84679, which aspects makes it relevant for HPC ? The processor base frequency is less than for Core i7. Why ...
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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 ...
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What's the internal operations for a PC to copy data from an external flash drive to an internal HD?

I was asked about the operations on how data is copied from an external storage to an internal storage in a computer. The info I could find is about how a CPU fetches data from RAM. I don't have ...
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1answer
888 views

Is the Front Side Bus part of the CPU or the Motherboard?

Something I'm working on wants a very fast/wide Front Side Bus (FSB). What component is the FSB part of? Is it part of the CPU or the motherboard? Is it something that can be placed on a board, or is ...
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4answers
2k views

How does xeon differ from regular processors?

Yes I know that Xeons are meant for server use, require different motherboards and you can have more than one of them in a box. But technically how is a Xeon processor itself different from a regular ...
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2answers
650 views

How Windows uses .inf files to load the correct drivers

What happens when a hardware device matches two or more inf files when Windows is loading the drivers for that devices? For example, the disk drive in my PC has two drivers loaded for it, cdrom.sys ...
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3answers
305 views

Hardware. What is the difference between a port and a bank?

Especially, these days, the distinction between them is very confusing.. For example, NVidia's shared memory is 32-banked, so what they say is in one cycle, 32 data can come out at the same time... ...
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1answer
213 views

How is microcode loaded to processor?

I read that microcode is loaded in the processor on each reboot. It resides on flash memory and when the machine is booted, it gets copied to the CPU. Or in the case of Linux, the OS itself has the ...
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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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How To Alphabetically Organize Zip Files With Folders In Windows 8

In Windows 8, when I have a zip file in a folder of folders, it doesn't sort by name. The folder ends up looking something like this: gymnastics (folder) juggling (folder) unicycling (folder) ...
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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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What converts binary code/machine code to electrical signals and how? [closed]

I went through lots of blogs and posts but could not exactly figure out how the machine code is converted to electrical signals? Any software program is compiled to machine code which is nothing but ...
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What does “address resolution at the byte level” mean?

Here is the problem I am working on The Problem :A high speed workstation has 64 bit words and 64 bit addresses with address resolution at the byte level. How many words can in be in the address ...
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1answer
135 views

How many words can be in the address space?

Here is the problem I am working on The Problem: A high speed workstation has 64 bit words and 64 bit addresses with address resolution at the byte level. How many words can in be in the address ...