GDDR3 vs GDDR2: Difference and Comparison

In computer data processing, speed is the most important factor. The faster the device can process data stored in the system, the more effective and time-saving it is for the individual. The device must be able to handle the memory stored in the storage in the shortest amount of time possible. 

Key Takeaways

  1. GDDR3 offers higher data transfer rates compared to GDDR2.
  2. GDDR3 has a higher memory bandwidth, making it more suitable for gaming and high-performance applications.
  3. GDDR3 consumes more power than GDDR2 due to its higher clock speeds and voltage requirements.


GDDR3 (Graphics Double Data Rate 3) is a type of memory that was introduced in 2004 as an improvement over GDDR2. It offered higher clock speeds, improved performance, and better power efficiency. GDDR2 (Graphics Double Data Rate 2) is an earlier version of graphics memory that was used in GPUs from 2002 to 2004. It offered lower clock speeds and lower bandwidth than GDDR3.


GDDR3 is a video card that is specifically developed for dealing with high graphic data, that is, data that requires processing graphic content at high speed.

This family of video cards was aimed at providing more power and greater speeds in processing graphic content, and thus it is widely used by a lot of people for operating high graphic content, like gaming and video editing.


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GDDR2 is a writable computer memory card designed specifically for graphic accelerators and for providing more speed when handling graphic data, compared to traditional DDR memory.

It is mostly used for building PCs for handling graphic and video data, such as for making gaming PCs and workstations for handling video editing.

Comparison Table

Bandwidth handlingGDDR3 is an improved version of GDDR2 and hence it can handle higher Bandwidth than GDDR2GDDR2 can handle up to 2 Gbytes of Bandwidth.
Power consumptionGDDR3 can process the same amount of data as GDDR2 at much lower levels of power consumptionThe power consumption of GDDR2 is higher than GDDR3
HeatingGDDR3 produces a comparatively lower amount of heat.GDDR2 produces a significant amount of heat because of the high amount of data processing
System reset capabilityGDDR3 can completely rest the graphic content in the memory, which is highly helpful when working with huge dataThis feature is not present in GDDR2 as it was developed later
Clock speedGDDR3 has a clock speed that varies from 800MHz to 1600 MHzThe clock speed of GDDR2 is between 400 MHz to 800MHz

What is GDDR3?

GDDR3 is a video card or a graphics card that is specifically designed for graphic or video data processing in a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). It is a type of DDR ram that can process high graphic content much faster than regular DDR SDRAMs.

It was designed to provide less latency while accessing graphic content and be able to compute higher bandwidth of data. Hence it is widely used in the gaming and video creation market, where high graphic content is to be handled.

GDDR3 is based on the same architecture and technology as DDR2, but it has been enhanced to consume less power and also produce a lesser amount of heat.

The performance has also been greatly improved as it can now use high-performance memory modules.

The cooling systems introduced in GDDR3 greatly increase the efficiency of the module as it is now able to operate over higher bandwidth while producing a significantly lesser amount of heat.

GDDR3 can operate in the range of 800MHz to 1600MHz frequency. This increases the speed of the operation as there is a higher clock speed while performing a certain amount of data. GDDR3 is used in gaming and video creation operations specifically because of this reason.


What is GDDR2?

GDDR2 is computer RAM used for working with graphic or video content. It is a writable memory card that was designed as an improvement over the performance of the traditional DDR RAM which was used at the time.

GDDR2 is essentially a DDR2 with more emphasis on the graphic part. This differentiates GDDR2 as it can perform graphic content-related operations much faster than regular DDR2 ram.

The RAM card was designed to work at higher frequencies and hence deliver much greater performance. It can thus work in between 400MHz and 800MHz frequency, which is a big step up from regular RAM and memory cards.

It is based on DDR technology, but the performance upgrades allow it to perform operations over higher amounts of data at much faster rates. The technology was first introduced in the market by NVIDIA in the GeForce FX 5800 graphics cards.

This card was designed specifically to be used in high-data situations, gaming, and video creation. Because of its power and speed, it was widely used in the gaming industry. Later upgrades were commercialized as separate products, one of which is the GDDR3.   

The main issue with the video card was its heating, which was solved later in the subsequent products.


Main Differences Between GDDR3 and GDDR2

  1. GDDR2 is an SD DDR ram designed specifically to work with graphic or video content. GDDR3 is an upgrade over GDDR2. It provides higher working capability over GDDR2.
  2. GDDR3 can work at higher clock frequencies, from 800MHz to 1600Mhz. This is much higher when compared to GDDR2, which can only work at 400MHz to 800MHx.
  3. GDDR3 has improved cooling systems built into the unit, which is a big leap over GDDR2. Hence GDDR3 produces lesser heat as compared to GDDR2.
  4. GDDR3 has a system reset function which is not present in GDDR2. This allows the system to flush off the current amount of data completely and start anew when working with new data.
  5. GDDR3 can operate over higher amounts of data as compared to GDDR2. This increases the speed of the operation and greatly influences the efficiency.

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