Difference Between DDR3 and DDR4 RAM

Random Access Memory (RAM) is considered a computer’s short-term memory. It has specific data stored in it, which is frequently accessed by the user and brings it to use at a remarkable speed.


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RAM is a computer’s memory that can be read and changed at any time. It is fascinating to note that the contents can be read and changed at the same speed.

The performance of RAM impacts the computer’s performance primarily. The complaints of the system being slow or sluggish are all because of RAM.

The computer systems have upgraded with new RAMs these days. Keeping performance and reliability in mind, these upgrades have happened.

Incidentally, there are many types of RAMs available in the market. Every RAM has its advantages and disadvantages over the others.

The two types of RAMs, DDR3 and DDR4, 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.

Key Takeaways

  1. DDR4 is an updated version of DDR3, offering higher data transfer rates, lower voltage requirements, and improved power efficiency.
  2. DDR4 memory modules have a greater capacity, allowing for more significant amounts of RAM in a system, while DDR3 modules have lower maximum capabilities.
  3. DDR3 and DDR4 memory modules are not interchangeable, as they have different physical designs, pin configurations, and key notches.


DDR3 is an older type of RAM with a maximum transfer rate of 2133 MT/s and a voltage of 1.5V. It is commonly used in older computers and laptops. DDR4 is a newer type of RAM that has a maximum transfer rate of 3200 MT/s and operates at a voltage of 1.2V. It is faster, more power-efficient, and has higher memory capacities.


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Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonDDR3DDR4
Clock SpeedDDR3 is comparatively slower than DDR4. Clock speed is between 800MT/s to 2133MT/sDDR4 is faster than DDR3. Clock speed is between 2133MT/s to 4266MT/s
Power consumptionDDR3 consumes more power for its operations.DDR4 consumes less power for its operations.
Memory SpaceDDR3 has a maximum memory capacity of 16GBDDR4 has no limit to maximum memory capacity.
LatencyDDR3 has lower latencyDDR4 has more latency than DDR4
Content RefreshIN DDR3, auto-refresh and self-refresh are performed to refresh its content.In DDR4, self-refresh is performed to refresh its content.


What is DDR3 RAM?

DDR3, abbreviated as Double Data rate 3, is a Dynamic Random Access Memory with high bandwidth. It came into existence in the year 2007. Before DDR3, DDR and DDR2 were available in the market.

DDR3 is more functionally advanced than the previous 2.DDR3 is not forward compatible as well as backwards compatible because of signalling voltages and timings.

The benefit of DDR3 over its predecessors is that it transfers data twice the speed of DDR and DDR2.

When DDR2 transfers data at the speed of 3200MBps, DDR3 transfers data at the rate of 6400MBps; It indeed enables higher bandwidth or peak data rates.

The company Samsung played a significant role in developing and standardizing DDR3. After launch, DDR3 did not see any remarkable sales as well until 2010.

DDR3, when compared to DDR2, uses less power consumption. Latency is also more than DDR2.

DDR3 memory modules are different from DDR and DDR2, the gap between the pin slots is wider. It was suggested by experts to check the memory on the computer before installing DDR3.

The prefetch buffer of DDR3 is also twice of DDR2. DDR3 is 8-burst deep, while DDR2 is 4-burst deep.

ddr3 ram

What is DDR4 RAM?

DDR4 is abbreviated as Double Data rate 4, is a Dynamic Random Access Memory with high bandwidth than DDR3. It came into existence in the year 2014.

DDR4 is not compatible with any earlier RAM due to different signalling voltage. The reason can be attributed to the physical interface as well.

The primary advantage of DDR4 is that it has higher module density and consumes significantly less power. The data rate transfer is also faster when compared to its earlier versions.

The power consumption increases with speed; this is physics.

DDR4 can transfer at higher speeds at low voltage without unnecessary cooling requirements. DDR4 operates at a voltage of 1.2V maximum. It operates at a frequency between 800 MHz and 1600 MHz.

The latency of DDR4 is far more than any of its DDR family. DDR4 memory is slightly different physically, too; it was introduced as a 288-pin dual memory module.

DDR4 refreshes its content only by self-refresh, and this also consumes less power. DDR4 is flexible; it allows for expansion with multiple processors that can be added to the existing ones to improve computational performance. DDR4 is well-suited for high-speed games.

DDR4 offers more excellent DIMM capabilities. They have much higher chip density than any of their counterparts.

ddr4 ram

Main Differences Between DDR3 and DDR4 RAM

  1. Though they belong to the same family, DDR3 and DDR4 have their differences. The main difference between DDR3 and DDR4 is 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 at 2133MT/s.
  2. It is indeed understood from the functionality that DDR3 consumes more power than DDR4.
  3. Memory space is also a difference; DDR3 has a maximum memory space of 16GB, while DDR4 does not have any maximum limit of memory capacity.
  4. In DDR3, the auto-refresh and self-refresh are performed for a content refresh, while in DDR4, self-refresh alone is performed for a content refresh.
  5. The latency issues with DDR3 persist, where DDR3 has lower latency while DDR4 has more latency.
Difference Between DDR3 and DDR4 RAM
  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8862792/
  2. https://www.jedec.org/sites/default/files/files/H_Vuong_Mobile_Forum_May_2013.pdf
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