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Computer Organization Hamacher | Best COA Books

Computer Organization By Carl Hamacher


This article reviews the book “Computer Organization” by Carl Hamacher, Zvonko Vranesic and Saftwat Zaky.

The article covers-

  • Special features of book
  • Analysis of Content
  • Analysis of Exercises
  • Necessary Instructions
  • Conclusion


Why Should Be Read?


Special Features of Book-


The special features of this book are-

  • It contains the most recommended text for this subject.
  • It has simple diagrams which are quite clear in their meanings.
  • Its examples very well explains how the concepts are implemented in modern computer systems.
  • The explanation of Memory System topic is the best among all the textbooks on this subject.
  • It has high quality numerical questions in its exercises which are very useful for practice.


Analysis of Content-


The following table analyzes sections of the book that are relevant for GATE-


Chapter No.GATE Relevant SectionsGATE Topics Covered
11.2Functional Units of Computer
1.4Number Representation

(Signed Magnitude, 1’s and 2’s Complement System)

22.1Memory and Addresses
2.5Addressing Modes
2.7Input / Output Operations
4.4Direct Memory Access (DMA)
55.1 to 5.9Memory System

(Organization of RAM Chip, Cache Memory, Virtual Memory etc)

66.1Signed Number Addition Using Adders
6.4Booth’s Algorithm
6.7Floating Point Number Representation

(Listed Under Digital Logic in GATE Syllabus)

77.1 to 7.5Processing and Control Unit

(Hardwired, Microprogrammed)

88.1 to 8.5Pipelining

(Basics, Hazards, Operand Forwarding, Branch Prediction etc)

Covering Only These Sections Is Enough


Analysis of Exercises-


The following table analyzes exercises of the book that are relevant for GATE-


Chapter No.Question No.
11.5, 1.6
22.1, 2.2, 2.5, 2.8, 2.13, 2.17, 2.20
44.3, 4.8, 4.12, 4.20
55.1, 5.4, 5.6, 5.7, 5.8, 5.9, 5.10, 5.11, 5.13, 5.14, 5.16, 5.18, 5.19, 5.21, 5.25, 5.27, 5.29
66.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 6.9, 6.10, 6.11, 6.12, 6.17, 6.22, 6.25, 6.26, 6.27
77.4, 7.5, 7.8, 7.18, 7.21, 7.26, 7.30
88.1, 8.2, 8.13, 8.14, 8.15

Practicing Only These Exercises Is Enough


Necessary Instructions-


Keep the following instructions in mind while reading the book-

  • Many students find this subject comparatively tough for GATE exam.
  • The questions asked in the exam are highly conceptual in nature.
  • Be thorough with the concepts.
  • Read the relevant sections thoroughly.
  • Multiple readings may be needed for some sections.
  • Give utmost importance to the topics of Memory System and Pipelining.
  • It is very essential to solve the exercises to get a good grip over the subject.




  • This textbook caters the need of all the students pretty well.
  • The carefully-curated examples make this book insightful to read.
  • The exercise questions are rich in quality.
  • Some questions are above the level of questions asked in the GATE exam.
  • The chapters of Memory System, Arithmetic and Pipelining are covered in great depth.
  • Overall, this book is a must read while preparing this subject for GATE exam.





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