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Computer Organization and Design, Third Edition: The Hardware/Software Interface, Third Edition (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Architecture and Design) Paperback – August 16, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-1558606043 ISBN-10: 1558606041 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Series: The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Architecture and Design
  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 3 edition (August 16, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558606041
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558606043
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 7.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"The choice of 'Real Stuff' is judicious. The 'Computers in the Real World' sections are interesting to read and should widen the horizons of the too often too tech-oriented Sophomores and Juniors. On the whole this is a very solid book and the success of the third edition is assured as has been the success of its two predecessors."
-Jean-Loup Baer, University of Washington

"I am very impressed with the new sections 'Computers in the Real World.' It is very interesting and speaks to the students who would like to feel a connection between classroom materials and real-world applications. I am very pleased with the manuscript for the third edition. This revision is well-updated and a comprehensive introduction to the hardware and software fundamentals."
-David Brooks, Harvard University

"The logical development and explanations and examples were always great to begin with. The 'Historical Perspectives' have become even better-- they are part of the book that I enjoy most."
-David Harris, Harvey Mudd

Book Description

A thourough update of the Morgan Kaufmann classic.

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Customer Reviews

Good examples and an easy book to follow along.
No, I made an A actually, but I sure didn't learn much from this book.
A Student
I can say that, its one of the best textbook I have ever had.
Erhan Senlik

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

101 of 106 people found the following review helpful By David A. Lessnau on March 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a tough book to review. On one hand, it's got an amazing amount of information in it. On the other, it's got a lot of editing problems. It also suffers from a lack of focus on who its audience is. So, splitting the difference, I'm rating this book at 4 stars out of 5.

Regarding the book's audience, it's vital that you pay attention to the chart on page xiii of the Preface. It maps your path through the book based on whether you're a software-type or a hardware-type. Assuming I was so brilliant that I could ignore such trivia, I attempted to plow my way through the whole book. Software-type that I am, I had some tough times in a couple of sections and then utterly failed to understand anything when I hit the core of Chapter 5. If I had paid attention to that chart, I would have known to skip that part of the book. However, even for the material that's within the path laid out for you by that chart, a lot of the work seems to assume knowledge on the part of the reader. For instance:

- Chapter 2 is about the MIPS assembly language. In the exercises, you're supposed to write various code snippets. Many of these snippets assume far more familiarity with writing entire assembly programs than is presented.
- The exercises at the end of each chapter are broken into three types: regular, "For More Practice," and "In More Depth." Those last two types require far more knowledge than is presented. It looks like the authors culled them from previous editions and, instead of trashing them, just stuck them on the CD and referenced them.
- Exercise 3.9 is annotated as requiring Section 3.2.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Christopher D. Smith on November 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
The information contained in this book is sound, and the coverage of a variety of topics is relatively thorough. It is, however, difficult to appreciate these strengths given the numerous flaws in the text. Minor flaws include numerous misleading typographical errors, and too little attention to the flow of information.

The big mistake, though, is the failure to publish a complete book. If you want to learn from this book, then you will need to spend a good bit of time either sitting at a computer reading, or printing out the PDF files on the accompanying CD. The appendices (which are not extraneous, but rather a fundamental part of the text which contain information that's referred to throughout the book) are included ONLY on the accompanying CD. For more than 50% of the review exercises are just references to PDF files. The contents of the CD are not available from the publisher's web site. Do NOT buy a used copy of this book that's missing the accompanying CD. If you like taking books with you to read away from the office, don't buy this book at all. You'll spend too much effort wondering why the printer felt the need to offload a good bit of the printing work onto you. All of this is made even less tolerable by the poor information flow, which will leave you needing to make reference to the appendices many times throughout virtually all other chapters of the book.

It's possible that a future edition may fix these issues. Until then, there have to be better ways to learn.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jose Portillo on March 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
I use this book as a reference in my technical writing.

I recommend this book to everyone who have a basic Assembly Language programming background and want to understand everything behind the Machine Language Operation Codes decoding process.

The authors build from scratch (and you learn from scratch):

* How to build a complete Arithmetic and Logic (ALU) Unit

- Basic Logic Gates processing

- more advanced topics as Ripple Carry

* How to build a complete Control Unit to guide the ALU Operation

- Microprogramming vs. Hardwired Control Implementation

* Assembly language examples for programming the Control Unit

It is a good Technical Book in this area.

Complement the study of this book with the Assembly Language Programming presented in the book "The Art of Computing Programming", Volume 1 by Donald Knuth (also, if you need more application examples of low level programming, review Volume 3 "Sorting and Searching"). This is a very good study track.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Daniel J. Romaniuk on July 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
The first few chapters are a bit wasted. If this is your first exposure to computer internals, the material there is densely packed and not so well organized. The authors take a sort of patchy top-down approach to introducing the computer, visiting instructions, high-level languages, compilers, arithmetic, memory addressing, etc. I found a much more coherent and satisfying introduction in Patt's "Introduction to Computing Systems", which starts from transistors and works its way up to C over a whole volume. In all fairness, the authors did include a brief introduction to digital logic in Appendix B.

It's around Chapter 4 that this book really takes off, as the topic shifts to performance and optimization. The explanations are very clear and punctuated with brief, worked-out numerical examples. The discussions of pipelines and memory hierarchy are superb. There are some interesting asides where they compare and contrast the MIPS RISC architecture used throughout the book with Intel's Pentium.

These latter chapters have a certain story-telling quality, with gems of engineering wisdom. It's clear the authors have deep and practical knowledge of their subject. They often revisit the themes of simplicity, measurement and trade-offs as they introduce systems of growing complexity.
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