Computer Organization and Architecture 6th Edition

42 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0130351197
ISBN-10: 0130351199
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Stallings provides a clear, comprehensive presentation of the organization and architecture of modern-day computers, emphasizing both fundamental principles and the critical role of performance in driving computer design. The text conveys concepts through a wealth of concrete examples highlighting modern CISC and RISC systems. The Fourth Edition captures recent innovations and improvements, while maintaining a broad, all-inclusive perspective of the entire field. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

William Stallings' book provides comprehensive and completely up-to-date coverage of computer organization and architecture including memory, I/O, and parallel systems. The text covers leading-edge areas, including superscalar design, IA-64 design features, and parallel processor organization trends. It meets students' needs by addressing both the fundamental principles as well as the critical role of performance in driving computer design. Providing an unparalleled degree of instructor and student support, including supplements and online resources through the book's website, the sixth edition is in the forefront in its field.

NEW
  • IA-64/Itanium architecture: chapter-length description and analysis that includes predicated execution and speculative loading.
  • Cache memory: Cache memory is a central element in the design of high-performance processors. An entire chapter is devoted to this issue in the new edition.
  • Optical memory: expanded and updated.
  • Advanced DRAM architecture: more material has been added to cover this topic, including an updated discussion of SDRAM and RDRAM.
  • SMP's, clusters, and NUMA systems: the chapter on parallel organization has been expanded and updated.
  • Expanded instructor support: the book now provides extensive support for projects with its new website.
  • Pedagogy: each chapter now includes a list of review questions (as well as homework problems) and a list of key words.
DISTINGUISHING KEY FEATURES
  • Running examples: numerous concrete examples, especially Pentium 4 and Power PC G4.
  • Bus organization: detailed treatment and evaluation of key design issues.
  • RISC: broad, unified presentation.
  • Microprogrammed implementation: full treatment for a firm grasp.
  • I/O functions and structures: provides full understanding and shows interaction of I/O modules with the outside world and the CPU.
  • Unified instructional approach: enables student to evaluate instruction set design issues.
  • Instructors Resource CD-ROM: includes solutions to homework problems, list of research projects, list of simulation projects plus student manual for both SimpleScalar and SMPCache, and a list of suggested reading assignments.
THE AUTHOR'S WEBSITE:

WilliamStallings.com provides support for students, instructors and professionals:

  • Links to important up-to-date site-related text materials.
  • Provides transparency masters of figures and tables from the book in PDF format.
  • Lists a set of course notes in PDF for handouts.
  • Includes a set of PowerPoint slides for lecturing.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 750 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 6 edition (July 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0130351199
  • ISBN-13: 978-0130351197
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1.5 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,012,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Richard Christopher on December 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is not a textbook for the beginner. This is probably not even a textbook for an intermediate. At best, this book is only useful as a reference for those people who are already very familiar with the material.

The text and the power point slides available on the website do contain useful information. However, the problems at the end of each chapter are totally indecipherable. They relate only vaguely to the material presented in the chapter. The questions are very specific about information not even hinted at in the text or in the slides.

There are several cases where large flowcharts and connection diagrams are presented with only a general explanation. The parts of the computer currently being examined are named and their general functions are briefly described. The problems then ask very specific questions about the inner workings of computer electronic components. There is absolutely no information given anywhere that in any way relates to solving these problems. The reader is asked to figure it all out on his or her own. There are exactly zero examples.

I would not recommend this book for an undergraduate student under any circumstances. It may be useful for a graduate student in computer engineering or a professional designing computer circuitry.

Otherwise, avoid this book at all costs.

This book is now in its 7th edition. The website notes that four editions, including this one, have been given the "Best Computer Science and Engineering Textbook of the Year" award by the Textbook and Academic Authors Association. The website mentions nothing about what the students thought of it.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I am sort of in between all the other reviwers on this one. The text seems okay for a intro. into the subject. There is enough information to teach a class and I assume it _is_ designed for someone with little to no previous knowledge in computer architecture. Although it sure does help when they hit assembly language instructions in chapter 3!
That's why it's so confusing when you hit the exercises in the back of each chapter. Where did these come from? Very little of it can be answered by reading the book, the teacher of my class was only able to answer the questions due to experience outside of the field. Most of the answers start with "it depends on . . ." and the answers really didn't come from anywhere in the book. Most of the questions are trick questions and this isn't a way to teach, but it is a way to confuse the reader. I guess I'm reviewing the book in the same way the book reads. Sorry. And sorry to anyone required to use this text!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Paul Chung Min Ha on July 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
First of all, this book is a very dry read; extremely boring. The concepts aren't very clear and the book as a whole is unorganized; the first chapters refer to things in later chapters and makes everything hard to comprehend. The questions in the back of the chapters are difficult to ansewr because the content of the chapters don't help in answering them. In addition, there is a countless amount of spelling errors and numerical errors in the book. And this is the 6th edition of the book!! I expected so much more from this!! It makes me angry that this book is so bad. The cover is nice though if you get the hardcover edition, but i suggest getting the cheaper international edition because there are no color diagrams in the entire book. What a waste of 100 dollars!!
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 23, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Sincerely, I know some people look at these reviews and decide to ignore them. DO NOT IGNORE THE BAD RATINGS this book receives! Trust me, to get a hold on digital computer achitectures and organization, look up the authors Mano & Kime for beginning logic and computer organization, and ESPECIALLY Patterson & Hennessey for all levels of technical readers. These (Patterson & Hennessey) guys wrote two different comp. arch texts that are widely considered the industry standard! AND...they have appendices to help explain the tought stuff! Trust me, enter their names and find those books. They are 5 stars compared to this 1 star book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. Mendez on October 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book only seems to cover very high level concepts. Then, the end of the chapters contain problems (that our professor loves to assign) that only vaguely relate to the material discussed in the chapter. Several problems involve numerical calculations using formulas that you simply have to magically form out of thin air. No examples of how to work these problems are given.

Also, the book's general explanation of concepts is absolutely horrible. They love to "explain" what they are talking about by providing a chart/figure/diagram labeled with numerous acronyms (that are rarely defined very well) that might as well be cave drawings because they describe these complex pictures so vaguely.

I despise this book, and because of it, I despise the related class.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
I was surprised by some of the low ratings of this book. Overall, it is clearly written and the graphics are very helpful to understanding the material. Some coverage at the logic gate level would be useful in future editions - I ended up surfing the web for this information. All in all, this is a good text for a CompSci course. However, it would be difficult to recommend it for self-study unless the reader is already comfortable with technical material.
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