This book is an excellent introduction to what makes up a modern PC and how it came to be designed that way. It's difficult to write a book like this as you can never tell just how much your students already know and how much depth you need to give them. For instance in the history of computers they talk a little about the vacuum tubes used in the early machines. Should that be there are not? I frankly don't know. Then there's a discussion on RISC vs. CISC machines. In the real world these seem to be merging so that it's really hard to tell which machines are what. Does the student need to know, or care about this? All in all, I think the authors have done a very good job of introducing the student to the structure of a PC.
Their discussion on benchmarking computers is excellent, just the right mixture of what a benchmark is supposed to do and how people have cheated on benchmarking. I was reminded of the old saying: "there are liars, damn liars, and benchmarks." And in their discussion on MIPS (Millions of Instructions Per Second). They quote that many people really believe that MIPS stands for "Meaningless Indicators of Performance for Salesmen." Yep! I agree.
Updated and revised with the latest data in the field, The Essentials of Computer Organization and Architecture, Third Edition is a comprehensive resource that addresses all of the necessary organization and architecture topics, yet is appropriate for the one-term course. This best-selling text correlates to the 2008 ACM-IEEE Computer Science Curriculum update and exposes readers to the inner workings of a modern digital computer through an integrated presentation of fundamental concepts and principles. The authors present real-world examples and focus on practical applications, thus encouraging students to develop a "big picture" understanding of how essential organization and architecture concepts are applied in the world of computing.