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Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach, 4th Edition [Paperback]

John L. Hennessy , David A. Patterson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Computer Architecture, Fifth Edition: A Quantitative Approach (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Architecture and Design) Computer Architecture, Fifth Edition: A Quantitative Approach (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Architecture and Design) 4.1 out of 5 stars (67)
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Book Description

September 27, 2006 0123704901 978-0123704900 4
The era of seemingly unlimited growth in processor performance is over: single chip architectures can no longer overcome the performance limitations imposed by the power they consume and the heat they generate. Today, Intel and other semiconductor firms are abandoning the single fast processor model in favor of multi-core microprocessors--chips that combine two or more processors in a single package. In the fourth edition of Computer Architecture, the authors focus on this historic shift, increasing their coverage of multiprocessors and exploring the most effective ways of achieving parallelism as the key to unlocking the power of multiple processor architectures. Additionally, the new edition has expanded and updated coverage of design topics beyond processor performance, including power, reliability, availability, and dependability.

CD System Requirements
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The CD material includes PDF documents that you can read with a PDF viewer such as Adobe, Acrobat or Adobe Reader. Recent versions of Adobe Reader for some platforms are included on the CD.

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The navigation framework on this CD is delivered in HTML and JavaScript. It is recommended that you install the latest version of your favorite HTML browser to view this CD. The content has been verified under Windows XP with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 6.0, Firefox 1.5; under Mac OS X (Panther) with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 5.2, Firefox 1.0.6, Safari 1.3; and under Mandriva Linux 2006 with the following browsers: Firefox 1.0.6, Konqueror 3.4.2, Mozilla 1.7.11.
The content is designed to be viewed in a browser window that is at least 720 pixels wide. You may find the content does not display well if your display is not set to at least 1024x768 pixel resolution.

Operating System
This CD can be used under any operating system that includes an HTML browser and a PDF viewer. This includes Windows, Mac OS, and most Linux and Unix systems.

Increased coverage on achieving parallelism with multiprocessors.

Case studies of latest technology from industry including the Sun Niagara Multiprocessor, AMD Opteron, and Pentium 4.

Three review appendices, included in the printed volume, review the basic and intermediate principles the main text relies upon.

Eight reference appendices, collected on the CD, cover a range of topics including specific architectures, embedded systems, application specific processors--some guest authored by subject experts.

Editorial Reviews


"If Neil Armstrong offers to give you a tour of the lunar module, or Tiger Woods asks you to go play golf with him, you should do it. When Hennessy and Patterson offer to lead you on a tour of where computer architecture is going, they call it Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach, 4th Edition. You need one. Tours leave on the hour.”
- Robert Colwell, Intel lead designer

"The book has been updated so it covers the latest computer architectures like the 64-bit AMD Opteron as well as those from Sun, Intel and other major vendors ... I highly recommend this book for those learning about computer architecture or those wanting to understand architectures that differ from those they are currently using. It does an excellent job of
covering most of the major architectural approaches employed today.”
- William Wong, Electronic Design, November 2006

"Computer hardware is entering into a new era, what with multicore processing, virtualization and other enhancements . Computer Architecture covers these topics and updates the insightful work in the earlier editions that laid out the full range of metrics needed for evaluating processor performance.”
- Joab Jackson, GCN, November 20, 2006

Book Description

The best-selling computer architecture book redefines the field with each new edition

Product Details

  • Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 4 edition (September 27, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0123704901
  • ISBN-13: 978-0123704900
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #427,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 66 people found the following review helpful
Computer architecture has seen vast changes in the last 20 years, and fortunately, H&P somehow manage to do a new edition about every 5 years, often enough to stay current. When the First Edition appeared, it quickly became *the* standard textbook on the topic, to be replaced in that role by each successive edition.

Computer architectures complexify over time, and so do books. The Third Edition was about 1100 pages long. The Fourth has been shrunk back to something more manageable by moving subsidiary details to a CD included with the book.

This edition is well worth having, even if one already has the earlier ones. In particular, the additional material on multiprocessors is especially welcome, given that it has become much more difficult to speed up uniprocessors.

Most people who work in or near computer systems architecture know these books, but I have often recommended them to others, such as technology journalists, venture capitalists, and financial analysts, i.e., people who are rarely computer archtiects, but need to understand computer technology and its trends. Many such have been surprised to find the book was useful to them.

H&P write very clearly, and each chapter outlines its key concepts for a topic, then works down to detailed analyses, and then comes back up to summarize. hence, I've often recommended to people:

1) Read the first few sections of each chapter.

2) In each remaining section per chapter, read until the going gets heavy, then skip to the next section. In some cases, this will happen after reading the first paragraph, but don't worry, the writing will return to a higher level.

3) Read "Concluding Remarks" and any "Fallacies and Pitfalls" or Historical Perspectives" sections at the end of a chapter.

Anyway, I expect this Edition will be just as indispensable as the earlier ones.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative, but poorly organized February 13, 2009
I had this book for a graduate course in computer science, and after having been through it, I can say several parts of it are in major need of a rewrite. To be fair, a lot of the material was engaging, and even fun to read; but the layout was so awful that much of what they were saying couldn't be understood by someone not already familiar with the subject without wading through the appendices. In their defense, it is the fourth edition of the book, and the technology has changed much since its inception, so the format is going to be a little messed up. This is also likewise a major strike against them in the area of the exercises: Many of them are very badly written, have little to no relation to what is actually taught in the text, and are fraught with obvious errors that should have been caught two editions ago. On a few of them, even our instructor (who is very knowledgeable) had to throw up his hands and declare that it was anyone's guess.

All in all, this text has a lot good information and potential, but badly needs revision and restructuring if it's to be a truly great learning tool.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must-have for computer engineers December 27, 2007
By Y. Zhu
I read the 3rd edition cover to cover a few years ago and was amazed by its comprehensive coverage for computing related topics from high level to details. Now, the 4th edition is no worse and worth the money. With significant shift from single processor to multiprocessor, it matches the technology trend and stays on top of current industry challenges. This book is a definitely must have for both learning and referencing.

Regretfully, the publisher decided to save cost by moving many useful appendix chapters to CD and use paperback. The stretch to other topics like virtual memory, networking seems unnecessary. But that doesn't affect the overall book quality.

Combining this architecture level view with in-depth coverage of other important computer areas like "Computer organization and design", "operating system concepts" and "computer network", you will have a clear view of the whole infrastructure of the high tech industry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The bible... Nothing like others. July 22, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For those who have never read this book, I'd emphasize that this is not a computer architecture book that explains some basic stuffs. Instead, this book focuses more on the performance aspect of the computers and I'd say this is the ONLY worthwhile book that discusses from that viewpoint. So, if you are to study the computer performance, your choice is either reading this book or reading tons of papers published by researchers or both. It means you must have a good understanding on the computer architecture before reading this book.

My only complaint is that though the book is available only with paperback now, they didn't reduce the price. It's still worth the price, though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very detailed, not for quick study April 19, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's a comprehensive book for computer architecture, not so deep, but not pleasant to read.

It covers many things, but sometimes too much.

If you want a quick study, go back to lecture notes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good in theory but text totally unrelated to exercises November 8, 2011
By Yogesh
Information given in chapters is plain text while exercises are purely numeric. Just going through book you cant get down to solving exercises, equations and how to solve questions are not considered important by authors. Even solution manual does not covers any equations and simply starts putting numeric values. If goal of book is to make readers learn concepts this book is good but when it comes to making them solve computer architecture problems, it fares poorly.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on computer architecture
A must have for all computer engineering graduates. Widely used and highly rated-introduces advanced concepts and provides plenty of examples
Published 10 months ago by Rahul Gosavi
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Textbook
I have purchased this book as a textbook for a college course. I have been satisfied with the depth and organization of the book. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Theo
2.0 out of 5 stars Computer Architure
The book binding was really very bad. The book split into 4 parts in 2 days.It was not worth getting it.
Published 22 months ago by me
4.0 out of 5 stars Some folded pages
I took the class but didn't really get too much into this book. I needed it in some sort of way, but online previews are enough since some assignments just need figures in the... Read more
Published on June 14, 2012 by TXRock
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good.
I am pleased with the book I received which is very nice. However, the content is a little too difficult for me. It's very professional.
Published on November 25, 2011 by I.Dk
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Buy
The book is a great extension to the computer organization book. Came super quick in the mail and was in perfect condition.
Published on October 28, 2011 by Alexander Fosdick
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Good!
Really good. Like a new one. It's very useful for me. I just have a course on this book. Thx
Published on October 4, 2011 by Patrick
1.0 out of 5 stars Almost worthless
I have not figured out the purpose of this book but definitely not for an undergraduate course in computer architecture or computer organization.
Published on June 16, 2011 by Richard G. Breault
4.0 out of 5 stars Bible
For computer architecture. Bought this book several years ago, but got down to writing the review only now. But that makes me realize how good the book is. Read more
Published on April 27, 2011 by Pi3142
2.0 out of 5 stars it is an international edition
The book was brand new and delivered very fast in an excellent condition. However, it is international edition which was not mentioned in the product description. Read more
Published on February 28, 2011 by looing
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