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Computer Architecture, Fifth Edition: A Quantitative Approach (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Architecture and Design) 5th Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 140 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0123838728
ISBN-10: 012383872X
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The computing world today is in the middle of a revolution: mobile clients and cloud computing have emerged as the dominant paradigms driving programming and hardware innovation today. The fifth edition of Computer Architecture focuses on this dramatic shift, exploring the ways in which software and technology in the cloud are accessed by cell phones, tablets, laptops, and other mobile computing devices. Each chapter includes two real-world examples, one mobile and one data center, to illustrate this revolutionary change.

  • Updated to cover the mobile computing revolution.
  • Emphasizes the two most important topics in architecture today: memory hierarchy and parallelism in all its forms.
  • Develops common themes throughout each chapter: power, performance, cost, dependability, protection, programming models, and emerging trends ("What's Next").
  • Includes three review appendices in the printed text. Additional reference appendices are available online.
  • Includes updated case studies and completely new exercises.

New this Edition
  • Each chapter includes two new, real-world examples, one mobile and one data center, to illustrate the revolutionary change to personal mobile devices and cloud computing.
  • Expanded and improved coverage of multicore and GPU architectures.
  • Completely new chapters on warehouse-scale (cloud) computers (Chapter 6) and vector processors and GPUs (Chapter 4).
  • New "Putting it All Together" sections exploring real-world applications, including the pipeline organizations and memory hierarchies of the ARM Cortex A8 processor; the Intel core i7 processor; the NVIDIA GTX-280 and GTX-480 GPUs; and warehouse-scale computing at Google.
  • Improvements and updates throughout, including updated performance analysis data featuring the new SPECPower benchmark.

Review

"What has made this book an enduring classic is that each edition is not an update, but an extensive revision that presents the most current information and unparalleled insight into this fascinating and fast changing field. For me, after over twenty years in this profession, it is also another opportunity to experience that student-grade admiration for two remarkable teachers." ― From the Foreword by Luiz André Barroso, Google, Inc.

"This is an academic textbook that is also suitable for a far broader readership. Each chapter is organised in the same structure, with the main content supported by case studies and exercises… Having read this book I now have a far better understanding of why processors from all the different designers and manufacturers are so different. Memory hierarchies, multicore architectures and compiler optimisation are all covered in great detail. I was particularly interested in their discussion of graphical processing units and how they are suitable for far more than just graphical workloads… What is great about this book is that it moves with the times. There is a lot of content on processors for mobile computing, and power usage is a pervasive theme. At the other extreme there is an excellent chapter on warehouse scale computers, which offers tremendous insight into the cloud computing infrastructure provided by Google, Amazon and others. If your job has anything to do with IT infrastructure then I recommend this book as a must-read. As an academic text book it has both depth and breadth. And if you're just interested in the topic you'll gain a huge amount of insight into the fundamentals of computer architecture."--The Chartered Institute for IT

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Product Details

  • Series: The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Architecture and Design
  • Paperback: 856 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 5 edition (September 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 012383872X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0123838728
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
It appears that this book was rushed out by the publisher, *unfinished*.

Core subjects that would normally be chapters in other books, such as "Computer Arithmetic", "Storage Systems", "Large-scale multiprocessors", "Survey of Instructions Set", etc (nine chapters in total ), have been relegated to an "Online Appendices" status, which is a misnomer because as of 2011/10/20 they don't exist at all, even online (a terse "coming soon" appearing on the website).

My suggestions: don't buy the book now, wait until the missing chapters are published and appears in print in the book itself.

If you buy the book now, you will only be able to read a lot of chapters as ".pdf" when they get published, not a pleasant experience in my opinion, and you will also contribute to encourage publishers in this bad practice.

To give you an idea of how bad it is, the number of non-printed chapters (9) is the same as the number of printed chapters (6 + 3 "appendices") and if we can trust the authors themselves: "There are more pages in these appendices (the non-printed ones) than there is in this book" (preface p xvi) !

[Update: 2011/11/01: the appendices are now present on the books web site in pdf. But still no printed paper version of the appendices available or announced]
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Format: Paperback
The first and second editions described how to evaluate and determine what gives systems performance advantages over others. They got down to the real nuts and bolts of a system and described what made one optimal over others. Recent editions seem to be promoting current trends and technologies. I think one of the reasons for more editions in shorter periods of time is because a lot of the technologies they are examining don't have any real substance or staying power. The other reason I have been staying away from using recent releases is the reliance on web content. If I buy or recommend a book I expect it to be a whole book and not half of it dependent on web content that can disappear at a moments notice. If I wanted to recommend a website I will recommend a website and NOT a book. What would be nice is if they got back to the basics of what really makes one system more optimal, faster, than another with a historical perspective. Why computer architecture evolved following one path over another.
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Format: Paperback
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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