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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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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2answers
25 views

What the technical difference between Serviceability, Manageability and Maintainability of a system?

Aren't Serviceability and Maintainability almost serve the same purpose in term of IT architecture so how to they exactly differ?
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19answers
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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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2answers
10k 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
31 views

Is there a difference CPU Clock and Instruction Clock?

I am a bit confused between CPU clock and instruction clock. I brought the following figure from this source as illustration. Does instruction clock imply the time it takes by the cpu clock to execute ...
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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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0answers
11 views

operations process in a computer

Is it true that all high-level operations in a computer (say, copying, pasting, web surfing, running apps etc) are all finally converted to micro-operations (say, arithmetic, logical and shift) and ...
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1answer
50 views

How byte addressing works?

I am new to computer architecture. So correct me if I am wrong. If a memory module consists of 8 memory chips and if each chip stores 4bits per address then by applying an address to the address pin ...
0
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1answer
228 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 Fermi,...
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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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4answers
3k views

What does it mean (to decode) in the execution cycle

In a typical instruction cycle, fetching, decoding, executing together form one cycle. My question is about the decoding step: What is the part that gets decoded, is it the instruction's opcode? If so,...
3
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2answers
96 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 ...
5
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0answers
322 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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2answers
37 views

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 ...
6
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4answers
5k 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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4answers
4k 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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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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2answers
110 views

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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1answer
19 views

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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1answer
53 views

Is extra CPU on USB dongle possible? [closed]

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 ...
190
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19answers
39k 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 64-...
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3answers
1k 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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2answers
296 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
113 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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2answers
118 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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0answers
21 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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3answers
252 views

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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3answers
93 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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0answers
311 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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3answers
5k 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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2answers
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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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1answer
17 views

'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
199 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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0answers
75 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
253 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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0answers
23 views

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 ...
0
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1answer
70 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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0answers
112 views

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, ...
6
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3answers
125 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 ...
0
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1answer
396 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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0answers
102 views

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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0answers
113 views

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 ...
0
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2answers
127 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
275 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 ...
3
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4answers
2k views

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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1answer
62 views

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?
12
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7answers
3k views

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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2answers
50 views

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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80 views

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 ...