This is a comprehensive textbook on ISA architecture design, with very recent examples i7, cortex a8 , and explains the problems you can see with the current hardware and how some of those get solved There s a good chapter on GPUs, and not that good chapter on warehouse sized computers e.
g a google datacenter.
It s good to do at least a cursory read, just to have an idea what happens below the compiler compiled code assembly.
A bit wordy, like any good american book, but what really gets me about the book is the quote on the back, which will stay with me forever Do you ever have the feeling that computer architectures come and go, but CA AQA is forever Awesome.
I think I m probably now in the wrong position to be reading this book, as I ve already had the undergrad courses on it This is a clear and detailed look at the whole spectrum of Computer Architecture It even includes a chapter on disk storage, although event I find it very difficult to get excited about RAID and disk drives This is a classic textbook on the subject There s not much to say.
Hennessy and Patterson have a lot of great numbers and facts in the book, which help ground the theory of Computer Architecture in reality There s an excellent mix of content driven chapters and helpful appendices The only thing holding this book back from a perfect review is the heavy and obvious bias towards their own MIPS architecture, when in the modern world greater attention to x86 would probably have been helpful.
Arguably one of the most in depth and thoughtful books on Computer Architecture I have ever had the pleasure to read A book I keep coming back too Chapter 2 Memory Hierarchy and 6 Warehouse Scale Computers are must reads Highly, highly recommended.
An outstanding follow up to Computer Organization and Design, Computer Architecture A Quantitative Approach is exactly what it says on the tin A Quantitative Approach to Computer Architecture Shocking, I know.
I found Chapter One to be fairly uninteresting, the description of memory models in Chapter 2 and advanced pipelining concepts in Chapter 3 particularly the discussion of Tomasulo s Algorithm enlightening, but Chapter 4 is where the book really heats up It starts light with vector and SIMD approaches before discussing GPU Architecture If you ve ever been mystified by how the graphics card does its job and whether your problem maps to a GPU Compute approach, read Chapter Four of this book.
Chapter 5 s discussion of Thread Level Parallelism was interesting, but not as riveting as Chapter 4, but Chapter 6 picks up again with a discussion of Warehouse Scale Computers I didn t know that I d care about how WSCs work, the concerns associated with them, and, well, the sheer technological wonders that they actually are, akin to a power plant or water treatment facility Even if you read nothing else in the book, Chapter 6 is worth a read all on its own.
In addition to Appendices A, B, and C, which are included in the hardcopy, there are also online appendices D through L As of this writing, I m still working through Appendix F Interconnection Networks, because the online appendices somehow don t count as part of the book in my mind, probably because they comprise pages among them than the whole hardcopy textbook, including the references and indices.
All in all, Computer Architecture A Quantitative Approach is a five star book, appropriate for anyone who wants the gritty details of how hardware does its job, provided that the prospective reader started with this book s younger sibling, Computer Organization and Design, by the same authors.
adventures in computer architecture