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Difference between DDR3 and DDR4 RAM

Updated Jan 10, 2020

In case you have been scouring the marketplace to get yourself a new system, you may have come across the words DDR3 and DDR4 RAM. The DDR3 RAM has been around for a decade now. However, with the memory requirements of games and applications increasing with each passing day, more powerful processors and larger memory devices are being put into use.

These days, DDR4 modules are becoming popular, with more customers opting for upgrades. In the given scenario, and with comparable performance metrics and expensive newer technology taking center stage, it has become essential to understand the critical differences between ddr3 and ddr4 ram.

DDR4 vs. DDR3

Basis of Differentiation DDR3 RAM DDR4 RAM
Origin and Nature DDR3 RAM was introduced in 2007. It is a synchronous dynamic random-access memory (SDRAM). Featuring high bandwidth interface, DDR3 RAM is available in the form of multiple variants. Released in 2014, DDR4 RAM possesses several benefits over and above those on offer by DDR3 RAM. It supports next-generation devices with its cutting-edge technology. DDR4 allows for the addition of powerful processors to user hardware.
Usability DDR3 RAM includes ECC memory comprising of extra data byte lanes that can be used for the correction and detection of the smallest of errors. DDR4 RAM provides computing capabilities on differing consumer platforms - smartphone, tablet, desktop computer, etc.
Demand With the increasing demand of DDR4 RAM, the decade-old reign of DDR3 RAM is waning. The demand for DDR4 RAM is on a persistent rise because of its implementation of emerging technologies.
Voltage DDR3 RAM works on 1.50 V voltage DDR3 RAM operates on 1.20 V voltage. This difference in voltage allows for15 saved watts in a typical system.
Bus Clock 400-1066 MHz 1066-2133 MHz
Internal rate 100-266 MHz 100-266 MHz
Transfer Rate The transfer rate of DDR3 RAM begins at 0.80 GT/s and optimizes at 2 GT/s. The range of transfer rate is 0.80-2.13 GT/s. The range of transfer rate in the case of DDR4 modules is 2.13-4.26 GT/s.
Channel Bandwidth 6.40-17.0 GBps 12.80-25.60 GBps
Pins/ Pin-to pin distance DDR3 RAM possesses a 240-pin interface. However, as the pin-to-pin distance is decreased from 1.00 mm in DDR3 RAM to 0.85 mm in DDR4 RAM, it is difficult to understand that 44 extra pins have been included in the new version of the RAM. DDR4 RAM depicts a 288-pin interface. These additional pins are useful for increasing the overall bandwidth capacity of the DDR4 RAM.
Backward compatibility DDR3 RAM is backward compatible with the older generations of RAM. Because of its changed physical design, DDR4 RAM is not backward compatible with older RAM generations.
Height of bare RAM modules Bare DDR3 RAM modules possess a height of 30.35 mm. Bare DDR4 RAM modules showcase a height of 31.25 mm. The high-performance DDR4 memory modules possess a heatsink for greater efficiency.
Memory module size Single DDR3 memory modules can have the maximum capacity of 8 GB only. There is no limitation to the size of DDR4 memory modules. This feature makes DDR4 RAM modules perfect for memory-intensive applications, video editing, etc.
Latency DDR3 RAM modules operate at a latency rate of CL11. They take approximately 13.75 nanoseconds for initiating a read. Most DDR4 RAM modules are known to operate at a latency rate of CL15 or CL16. Therefore, they are known to take about 2 percent more time for initiating a read.
Verdict DDR3 RAM is still being used in many systems. However, users looking for an upgrade are now opting for DDR4. DDR4 provides users with a higher transfer rate. It operates at a lower voltage, shows more stability, and depicts minor/measurable performance gains when used with memory-intensive applications.

What is DDR3 RAM?

The full form of DDR3 RAM is "Double Data Rate Type 3 RAM." It is an essential type of SDRAM utilized for system memory. Available in SO-DIMM as well as DIMM form factors, DD3R RAM has been dominating the systems hardware market place for over a decade in a row. In comparison to systems running on DDR2 RAM, computers with DDR3 memory are capable of transferring data from one location to another at a much faster speed.

What is DDR4 RAM?

DDR4 SDRAM is the abbreviated form for "Double data rate fourth-generation synchronous dynamic random-access memory." DDR4 RAM brings forth the latest variants of memory when it comes to the next generation of computing. Courtesy the decreased voltage and increased transfer rates of DDR4, it is capable of providing users with optimum efficiency and higher speed at all times.

Key Difference between DDR4 and DDR3

  1. Among the most significant improvements made by DDR4 over DDR3 are its available clock speeds, timings, decreased power consumption, reduced latency, etc.
  2. Users of DDR3 had four different choices in terms of clock speed - 1333Mhz, 1600Mhz, 2133Mhz, and 1866Mhz. 800Mhz, as well as 1066Mhz configurations, are still existent in ddr3 ram, but they are slowing, giving way to faster products. The 28GB DDR4 configuration, along with multiple variants of 32GB sticks clocked to 3000Mhz, are making waves in the ddr4 market space.
  3. The maximum possible limit of memory stored on one motherboard in DDR3 configuration systems is 128GB. On the other hand, DDR4 can story memory of up to four times over that amount, with the optimum range reaching 512GB.


Now that you have a fair understanding of the primary differences between ddr3 and ddr4 RAM, you will find it easy to freeze your choice on the best one. It is essential to understand your system configuration before making the purchase. In case you have any further queries regarding ddr4 vs. ddr3, then do write to us in the Comments section below. We will be happy to assist you with our views at the earliest.