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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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
128k views

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 ...
14
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5answers
16k views

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 ...
77
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18answers
19k views

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 ...
57
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6answers
13k views

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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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?
296
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18answers
112k 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 ...
9
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2answers
6k views

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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9answers
33k views

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.
2
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1answer
169 views

VM sandboxing- what happens?

How exactly does VM sandbox? Surely it is still using the same hardware resources and same underlying OS? I dont get why multiple VMs on an OS is safe but multiple applications/processes can be ...
24
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3answers
25k 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 ...
3
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2answers
956 views

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 ...
53
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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 ...
13
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6answers
7k views

What are “Instructions per Cycle”?

I've been learning a little bit more about how processors work, but I haven't been able to find a straight answer about instructions per cycle. For instance, I was under the impression that a four ...
19
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7answers
26k views

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 ...
5
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3answers
5k views

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 ...
10
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3answers
1k 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 ...
2
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3answers
2k views

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?
2
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4answers
2k views

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 ...
1
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1answer
7k views

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 ...