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What’s the Difference Between DDR3 and DDR4?

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It’s impossible to imagine a computer function without RAM (Random Access Memory). However, its memory can be read and changed at any time. Though it sounds quite fascinating, the sluggishness of the RAM that comes along impacts the performance of the computer to a great extent. 

With the growth of technology, now, we even have a solution to get rid of sluggishness. Incidentally, there are many types of RAMs available in the market. Every type of RAM has its advantages and disadvantages over the other.

DDR3 and DDR4 – the two types of RAMs are good upgrades of RAMs compared to their earlier versions. Though the functionality of these two remains the same, there are differences that can be easily cited between the two. If you have no idea about what’s the difference between DDR3 and DDR4 – then read on to find out. 

What is DDR3?

DDR3, or Double Data rate 3, is a Dynamic Random Access Memory with high bandwidth. It was launched in the year 2007 and is functionally more advanced than its two previous versions – DDR 1 and DDR2.

What is DDR4?

DDR4, or Double Data rate 4, is a Dynamic Random Access Memory with higher bandwidth than DDR3. It came into existence in the year 2014. DDR4 is not compatible with any earlier versions due to different signaling voltages.


Key Differences Between DDR3 and DDR4


If you’re wondering how much better is ddr4 than ddr3, here are some of the key points of difference to give you a better idea. 

  • DDR3 consumes more power than DDR4.
  • The latency issues with DDR3 persist, where DDR3 has lower latency while DDR4 has more latency.
  • DDR3 is comparatively slower than DDR4.
  • The clock speed of DDR3 is between 800MT/s to 2133MT/s while the clock speed of DDR3 begins with 2133MT/s.
  • DDR3 has a maximum memory space of 16GB while DDR4 does not have any maximum limit of memory capacity.

How Does DDR4 differ from DDR3 in appearance?

Talking of physical differences, 

  • DDR4 has 288 pins compared with DDR3’s 240 pins.
  • DDR4 SO-DIMMS has 260 pins instead of 204 in DDR3.
  • The DDR4 key notch is in a different place, and the edge connector looks like a slightly curved “V” to facilitate insertion, unlike DDR3.

What’s the difference between DDR3 and DDR4?


  • Voltage Variations

While DDR3 operates at a normal voltage rate, the DDR4 works at a regular 1.2V voltage, 1.3V high voltage, and 1.05 low voltage.

Though the effect would not always be seen on your power bill, the difference is not that much. However, if you operate a large-scale business, and require many servers, then you may see the effect. 

  • Clock Velocity

Nobody would have imagined that clock velocity could make such a difference. The rate at which the machine RAM reads and writes data in comparison to the RAM is the clock speed.

The DDR3 RAM has a top speed of 2133 MHz while the minimum speed of the DDR4 is 2133 MHz, and it can still go up to 4800 MHz, which indicates that the processing rate of the DDR4 is much higher.

  • Refresh Rate

The refresh algorithm, in simple words, means how many times a machine RAM refreshes itself to stop lagging due to constant inactivity.

DDR4 has a larger advantage as it only uses the self-refresh function to update its content. This is also another explanation why DDR3 uses both auto-refresh and self-refresh to refresh its content as it requires less power. 

The use of DDR3 for two kinds of RAM refresh makes it absorb more resources. This is another major reason why DDR4 RAM is a better alternative.

  • Cost

Previously, the ddr3 vs ddr4 price gap between the two was pretty large when the DDR4 was first published. However, these days, you will get about $115 for the DDR3 and around $130 for the DDR4.

Even though DDR4 costs a bit more, it will be good to invest in it than DDR3, as you might get robbed of the essential features and lightning-fast speed. 

  • Latency

DDR4 handles a higher number of exchanges than DDR3, but its latency is much greater. The DDR3 optimum points at around 2GHz regularly, although its latency is around 13 nanoseconds, the DDR4-2133 starting stage has 2.1GHz with a latency of around 15ns.

Why opt for DDR4 over DDR3?

  • DDR4 modules are more energy-efficient.
  • DDR4 requires minimal cooling requirements.
  • DDR4 densities start at 2 GB, reaching up to 128 GB.
  • DDR4 applications deliver high-speed data transfers.

Shall I upgrade?

Upgrading from a DDR3 to DDR4 RAM is recommended. Especially for those of us that are more game inclined. It’s actually to our advantage, although not every time. In the end, it all comes down to device properties and what may be required by the game software or program.

Which RAM should you choose?

  • DDR3 has an advanced version called the DDR3l, which directly fits in all DDR3 RAMs slots.
  • If you run a large-scale business, it would be preferable to get the DDR4 as you wouldn’t have to worry about the extra bill that would have built up if you were using DDR3 RAM.

However, looking at the DDR3 vs. DDR4 RAM comparisons, it would most likely require your motherboard to be wholly or partly revamped, not just the DDR.

Baishaly is an experienced content creator and she writes articles in different niches. She has been enjoying her writing journey ever since she started putting her thoughts onto the paper and web.

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