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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: 9 x 8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #895,297 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

The material is poorly laid out and very difficult to follow.
D. Cooley
Using this book in my Computer Architecture & Organization class at Northeastern University in Boston.
Adam Koblentz
No, I made an A actually, but I sure didn't learn much from this book.
A Student

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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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Erhan Senlik on January 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
If you are a computer scientist or engineer, you must have this book. This book introduces the basic and advanced principles of computing. It gives a good background on computer systems, how it works, how it performs and how to design a system. It teaches the relationship between hardware and low level sofware.
You might need to have a little background in digital design and little assembly knowlegde.

It is well organized and maintains the reader's attention. It starts with simple and advances through out the chapter. Arithmetic, performance, processor design, pipelining, memory and more advanced topics are covered and explained really well. Especially if you are missing some background in any topic, you can look in to the cd that comes with the book and it has more than enough tutorial. (MIPS, Verilog, Risc architectures etc..).

I can say that, its one of the best textbook I have ever had. If you want to advance yourself to next level after reading this book and understanding the concepts, then you should move on to "Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach" book by the same authors. It covers topics much more in depth.
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