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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) 3rd Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 107 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1558606043
ISBN-10: 1558606041
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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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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: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,064,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback
I have the Second Edition of this text and think rather highly of it, despite some missteps here and there. When I first reviewed the Fourth Edition, I was a bit concerned about the reorganization of the topics because it didn't feel like a natural progression to me, but I was willing to concede that there are a number of ways to come at this material and allowed that what felt "natural" to me was almost certainly influenced by the Second Edition, so I was willing to go with the flow of the new text and see how it played out.

Half way through a semester trying to teach from this edition I still feel that there is no coherent flow, but again I'm willing to chalk that up to personal subjective preference.

The rest of my objections, however, are much more objective.

First, there are TWO versions of The Revised Printing of the 4th Edition! They appear to be the same, including identical copyright pages right down to the printing history. Yet they are not the same. As an example, on page 182 problem 2.4.3 the code in row b is significantly different. As near as I can tell, the errata sheet that is on the publisher's website is the difference -- it's as if part way through the printing run they decided to stop the presses, apply the errata, and then restart the presses and complete the run. This, on top of the fact that the exercises in the Revised Printing do not match those in the basic 4th Edition, makes it very difficult to assign problem sets to students since they are literally not reading from the same page.

Second, the authors have taken significant amounts of material out of the text yet have kept many exercises that rely on the removed material.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First, be aware that this is NOT the revised fourth edition, even though it says that it is.
The professor assigned problems, which the entire class got wrong because it was not the same version. It took 20 minutes to realize the exercise problems were just slightly different.
The formatting of the book is terrible. Critical paragraphs are split across pages. Exercise problems are also run-ons.
I love Kindle books for literature, but it is a bad way to present a textbook.
I called Amazon help, described the problem and they refunded the money. I purchased the print copy instead.
The takeaway: Get the print version.
Second takeaway: Amazon customer service is exceptional. That's why I buy from them.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I rented the third edition from the library. The kindle version of this book is very bad. It's incredibly difficult to make sense of the page numbers since they're like 13,420 and it doesn't translate to a standard book version. Additionally, it just hard to navigate. I need to flip around my books to look at the diagrams and it's too hard to do in the Kindle version.

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.
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