9 Differences Between DDR3 and DDR4 RAM

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What are differences between DDR3 and DDR4 RAM? Every peripherals of a computer are going through a continuous process of development. To cope with the demand of smart people this developing process must go on.

In a computer, RAM is the component which is directly related to the processing speed of the system. With the increasing demands of processing speed, the developers had introduced a double data rate (DDR) RAMs.

DDR3 RAMs are the version 3 of double data rate RAMs and DDR4 RAMs are of version 4. After serving for a long period the era of DDR3 RAMs comes to a near end.

This is an era of DDR4 RAMs. The DDR3 RAMs were very successful and it was able to serve the users with a stable, quality performance. But, DDR4 RAMs are more powerful and this is a very successful product which is on a very high demand in the current market.

The era of DDR3 RAMs was 2007 to 2017. After the launch of DDR4 RAMs, the DDR3 RAMs were started to be phased off. DDR3 RAMs were compatible with the processors of 6th generation and 7th generation.

But with the introduction of the Skylake CPU, the DDR3 RAMs become obsolete. DDR4 RAMs are very frequently used with the processors of 8th generation and 9th generation.

Intel and AMD processors both are switched from DDR3 to DDR4 RAMs. But in choosing the type of RAM the motherboard plays the most crucial role.

If a motherboard comes with a DDR3 RAM slot, then a user cannot use DDR4 RAM on it. On the other hand, if the motherboard of a CPU is equipped with the DDR4 RAM slot then the user cannot mount DDR3 RAM on it.

So, the type of RAM which is going to be used on a PC is completely dependent upon the RAM slot of the motherboard of the system. Check out differences between desktop and laptop RAM.

What is DDR3 RAM?


The abbreviation DDR3 stands for Double Data Rate 3. It is a type of SDRAM, which is used as a primary memory of a system. This RAM is also available in SODIMM and DIMM form factors.

The working procedure of DDR3 RAM is almost similar to DDR2. But, there is a huge difference in the consumption of energy between them.

A DDR3 RAM can be operated on 30% less power than that of DDR2. There is also a huge difference in the data transferring rate, between these two.

The DDR3 RAMs are able to transfer data twice as fast as DDR2. A DDR2 RAM is able to transfer data at a rate of 3200 Mbps, but a DDR3 RAM can transfer data at a speed of 6400 Mbps.

For this faster data transferring rate the DDR3 RAMs can easily handle and transfer huge amounts of data.

If the other specifications remain same and the type of RAM gets changed in two PCs, then the system which is equipped with DDR3 RAM can perform better than the other one, which has got DDR2 RAM.

The memory module of DDR3 RAM is almost similar to DDR and DDR2 chips, but there is a difference in the gap between the two sets of pins.

For this difference, DDR3 RAM cannot be supported in a slot which is not made for this type of RAM.

What is DDR4 RAM?

What is DDR4 RAM

‘DDR4’ this abbreviation stands for Double Data Rate 4. This type of RAM is the fourth generation of DDR RAM.

The DDR4 RAMs are very frequently used in desktops and laptops. After 2017, this RAM gets a worldwide appreciation.

Most of the 8th and 9th generation processors of AMD and Intel support only DDR4 RAM.

These RAMs are more advanced than DDR3. It can transfer huge amounts of data very quickly and with a great data transferring speed.

DDR4 RAMs can be operated on a comparatively lower voltage. It can be operated at 1.2 volts whereas the DDR3 RAM requires 1.5 volts.

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A DDR4 RAM is commonly available in three models which include 16GB, 32GB and 64GB.

The data transferring rate of the DDR4 RAM lies between 1600 Mbps to 3200 Mbps.

A regular DIMM DDR4 RAM comes with 288 pins and a SO-DIMM RAM comes with 260 pins. DIMM and SO-DIMM are the two most common primary form factors of it.

Tower desktops most commonly use the DIMM type RAM. SO-DIMM is used in compact devices such as the laptop and All-in-One PCs.

The DDR4 DIMM was the first model of RAM offering the curved bottom edge. For this feature, the users can easily insert or remove the RAMs from the slots of motherboard very easily.

For this feature and for the positions of the notch between the pins, the users cannot insert a DDR4 RAM in other types of slots.

With the modern updated multi-core processors, the DDR4 RAMs provide faster processing speed.

Differences Between DDR3 and DDR4 RAM

Differences between DDR3 and DDR4 RAM

1. Refreshing ability

The refreshing ability between DDR3 and DDR4 RAMs are quite different. DDR3 RAM offers both auto refresh and self refresh. Whereas the updated modern DDR4 RAMs comes with the only self refresh facility.

2. Processing Speed

The processing speed of DDR3 RAM is slightly slower than that of DDR4. Being an updated version, the DDR4 RAM’s processing speed is faster than DDR3 RAM. DDR4 RAMs are very commonly used with advanced configuration.

3. Clock Speed

The clock speed of DDR3 RAMs ranges between 800 MHz to 2133 MHz. The minimum clock speed of DDR4 RAM is about 2133 MHz and the maximum speed of DDR4 RAM has no definite limitations.

4. Compatibility

DDR3 RAMs are compatible with older PCs with low configuration. On the other hand, DDR4 RAMs are used with updated, advanced systems.

5. Price

The purchasing price of DDR3 RAMs is comparatively less than DDR4. Being a more advanced and updated product the price of DDR4 RAMs are higher than DDR3 RAMs.

Read Also:  4 Differences Between ECC and Non ECC RAM

6. Consumption of Energy

DDR3 RAMs consume less energy than DDR2 RAMs. On the other hand, the DDR4 RAM consumes less energy than DDR3 RAMs. A DDR4 RAM runs on 1.2 volts and it is 1.5 volt for DDR3 RAMs.

7. Capacity

One can find DDR3 RAM of maximum 16 GB of memory. The DDR4 RAMs had no bound in its maximum capacity.

8. Latency

One can easily find the difference in latency between DDR3 and DDR4 RAM. The latency of DDR4 RAM is slightly higher than that of DDR3.

9. Number of pins

From its appearance, the users can easily find a great difference in the number of pins between DDR3 RAM and DDR4 RAM. The traditional DDR3 RAMs come with 240 pins. The numerical value is 288 for the DDR4 RAMs.

Who is Better – DDR3 or DDR4!

If we go through the overview of the performance and ability of both types of RAMs, we can conclude that DDR4 RAMs are the best choice.

But, DDR4 RAMs can only be used with highly configured systems. One can’t choose to mount DDR4 RAM in the slot of DDR3 RAM.

So, to get the benefits of DDR4 RAM, one has to configure the PC very highly. One can use a DDR4 RAM with 8th generation or 9th generation processors.

If one is making a high end PC, then DDR4 RAMs are the only option, and for mid range PC, DDR3 RAMs are preferred.

About Dominic Cooper

Dominic CooperDominic Cooper, a TTU graduate is a computer hardware expert. His only passion is to find out the nitty gritty of all computers. He loves to cook when he is not busy with writing, computer testing and research. He is not very fond of social media. Follow Him at Linkedin