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 64-...
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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 ...
83
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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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5answers
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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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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?
323
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18answers
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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 ...
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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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3answers
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
33
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5answers
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Why can't you have both high instructions per cycle and high clock speed?

The Megahertz Myth became a promotional tactic due to differences between the PC's INTEL 8086 processor and Apple's Rockwell 6502 processor. The 8086 ran at 4.77MHz while the 6502 ran at 1MHz. ...
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2answers
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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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2answers
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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 ...
12
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2answers
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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 ...
42
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4answers
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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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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 ...
6
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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 ...
12
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7answers
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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 ...
13
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4answers
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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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3answers
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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?
2
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1answer
182 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 unsafe?...
2
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1answer
4k views

Average time to read a single sector (disk)

If there is a magnetic disk as following: Average seek time: 12 ms Rotation rate: 3600 RPM Transfer rate: 3.5 MB/second Number of sectors per track: 64 Sector size: 512 bytes Controller overhead:...
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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 ...