- Series: The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Architecture and Design
- Paperback: 914 pages
- Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 4 edition (November 9, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0123747503
- ISBN-13: 978-0123747501
- Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.5 x 1.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 167 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Computer Organization and Design, Fourth Edition: The Hardware/Software Interface (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Architecture and Design) 4th Edition
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"The new coverage of multiprocessors and parallelism lives up to the standards of this well-written classic. It provides well-motivated, gentle introductions to the new topics, as well as many details and examples drawn from curent hardware." -- John Greiner, Rice University
"Patterson and Hennessy not only improve the pedagogy of the traditional material on pipelined processors and memory hierarchies, but also greatly expand the multiprocessor coverage to include emerging multicore processors and GPUs. Computer Organization and Design sets a new benchmark against which all other architecture books must be compared." -- David A. Wood, University of Wisconsin-Madison
"Intended for computer science students and programmers of varied experience levels, this textbook on computer design and engineering provides a firm foundation in hardware engineering and computer architecture that will aid readers not only in working with hardware design and assembly language programming, but inform software engineers as to the underlying technologies and principles at work in machines they program for. Topics discussed include computer abstractions and technologies, instructions as to the language of computer hardware, arithmetic for computers, processors, memory hierarchies, storage and I/O, and multicores and multiprocessors. A series of appendices offers detailed information on graphics and GPU processes. Chapters include numerous illustrations and code examples and an accompanying CD-ROM provides additional chapters and other resources. This fourth edition is updated to account for the latest technological improvements."--Reference and Research Book News, Inc.
"This book, now in its fourth edition, is a comprehensive introduction to modern computer architecture and is aimed at a variety of audiences with backgrounds in either hardware or software…While there is a great deal of technical content, concepts are lucidly described and always given meaningful context. I found this book to be an interesting read and certainly a book I'd plan to read again." --BCS.org
From the Back Cover
The Fourth Edition of Computer Organization and Design focuses on the revolutionary change taking place in industry today: the switch from uniprocessor to multicore microprocessors. This emphasis on parallelism is supported by updates reflecting the newest technologies, with examples highlighting the latest processor designs and benchmarking standards. The MIPS processor is the core used to present the fundamentals of hardware technologies, assembly language, computer arithmetic, pipelining, memory hierarchies and I/O. Sections on the ARM and x86 architectures are also included.
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Top customer reviews
The largest issue though is that I cannot read the table of assembly opcodes at the front. You can't zoom on the image as far as I can tell and since it's an image the table text does not adjust with the rest of the text settings from the Kindle.
I'd return it but it's been two weeks already and I just rented it for ~$17 on the Kindle anyways.
Tried the windows app and the windows 8 tablet app kindle.
Just rent the book or buy it. You'll actually be able to use the book. The real version of the book is pretty good in my opinion. Stay away from the kindle version though.
My main complain is that too much of the interesting and unique content was pushed into the accompanying CD-ROM. I'd rather have removed some of the generic architecture stuff or the endless pages of exercises that you can find anywhere else and pushed some of this content onto the print!
As you will note from other reviews, this book has a couple good ratings, a fair amount of mediocre ratings, and a lot of bad ratings. This extreme range is due to the inconsistency in the quality of the material found within the book. Let's start with the worst part of this book...the problems. I have never seen worse problem sets in a text book than this one. Many of the problems are baffling to say the least, require you to make various assumptions you didn't realize you needed to make, or simply reference material that is completely absent in the book (like speedup, which another reviewer talked about). Don't expect to work the end of section problems without a fairly significant amount of frustration.
The explanations of this book are fairly decent, though sometimes the authors explain things in confusing ways. This book is fairly dense, and progress is pretty slow. Most of the explanations are not very intuitive, limited use of analogies is made to aid the student, and a lot is explained using math. This makes it comparable to a physics text book, whereby the authors often use mathematics (and in this case, code) to do a lot of the explaining for them. This makes the book less than ideal for self study, so go to class if you want to pass. Really the only part I liked about this book were the "Misconceptions and Fallacies" segments at the end of the chapters. These were quite good at explaining common misconceptions and giving interesting historical case studies about mistakes made before your time. They were a nice break from the otherwise monotonous, confusing and boring segments that compose the rest of this book.
There are a lot of nice diagrams and pictures but they are not particularly helpful. The diagrams are pretty confusing to read, and there accompanying explanations do little to aid your understanding of them. Again you are forced to rely on the authors' ability to explain, which is not the best.Overall, this book is mediocre at best for learning about the inner workings of computers. It can be very frustrating at times, and there isn't really a whole lot of upside to using it.
Also, from a purely aesthetic note, the book is almost impossible to scan for relevant information. Altogether, this book is dreadful, and terrible for an intro student.
What I do find infuriating is the bad examples. They are often overly simple and do nothing to prepare you for the exercises. If a particular exercise is a little too difficult you're out of luck. The book won't help you with those. But the worst thing about the book is the "Check Yourself" questions. They are questions placed after a topic has been covered that you can attempt to answer to presumably check if you have understood the topic. Only, they don't include any answers or explanations so you can ACTUALLY check to see if you understand!
If you have the option, buy another book.