DDR4 vs DDR3 RAM Comparison – Know the Difference

DDR3 is currently the most popular memory type used in almost all of the modern day computers today. Buy now with launch DDR4 RAM I think it will be slowly replaced by the faster and latest DDR4 RAM. What happened to the DDR2 and DDR RAM will now eventually happen to the DDR3 RAM. Having said that, DDR3 still rules as of now and can be fast as DDR4 RAM. Here in this post I will tell you about the latest DDR4 RAM, Its advantages over DDR3 RAM and compare both these memory types on different aspects.

Must Read: How to find the best RAM for your computer

What is DDR4 RAM?

DDR4 RAM or Double Data Rate Fourth Generation RAM is the latest DDR RAM type for computers and is the successor of DDR3 RAM. DDR4 RAM is a double data rate memory just like DDR3, DDR2 and DDR RAM but is relatively faster than its older cousins. DDR4 RAM is available for both desktop PCs and Laptops.

Know more: GDDR5 vs GDDR4 vs GDDR3 vs DDR3 RAM Comparison

The length of DDR4 DIMM is standard at 133.35mm but its height is slightly increased to 31.25mm and it is slightly thicker at 1.2mm.

ddr4-vs-ddr3

DDR4 is supported by latest Intel 6th generation core series processors codenamed as Skylake while DDR3 runs with Haswell (fourth generation) and older generation core series and dual core processors. DDR4 is faster and has more bandwidth as compared to DDR3 RAM. DDR4 RAM operates at lower voltage of 1.2V while DDR3 operates at 1.5V. There is also a lower voltage version of DDR3 RAM known as DDR3L RAM which operates at 1.35V. The lower voltage of DDR4 RAM makes it more energy efficient which in turns produces lesser heat. The only downside of DDR4 RAM is that it does have slightly higher latencies as compared to DDR3 RAM.

Note: It must be noted that DDR3 RAM is incompatible with DDR4 Motherboard and the inverse is also true.

DDR4 is the latest standard for DDR RAM and it will eventually replace DDR3 memory in future. The cost of DDR4 will eventually come down to that of DDR3 RAM as DDR3 gets older with time. Let us now find out the advantages of DDR4 over DDR3 memory.

DDR4 RAM Advantages over DDR3 RAM

Here are the various advantages of DDR4 RAM over DDR3 and DDR2 RAM types.

Available in Larger Capacities – DDR4 RAM has higher module density which means you can pack larger capacity memory chips on a single stick of RAM. You can find a single DDR4 RAM module with capacity of 16GB RAM but in case of DDR3 the highest RAM module you can find is of 8GB only.

Requires Lower Voltage (Energy Efficient) – DDR4 operates at much lower voltage of 1.2V as compared to 1.5V of DDR3. The lower voltage helps to save power and it also increases the battery life in laptops and netbooks. There is a low voltage edition of both DDR3 and DDR4 RAM that operates at further reduced voltages. Here from DDR3 we have DDR3L that operates at 1.35V and the lower voltage edition of DDR4 (DDR4L) operates at 1.05V.

Lesser Heat Generation – Because of lower voltage DDR4 generates lesser heat as compared to DDR3 RAM. This eliminates the need for heavier and costlier heat sinks on RAM and it also increases the overall efficiency of the memory.

Relatively Faster – DDR4 is faster and has greater bandwidth as compared to DDR3 RAM. DDR4 RAM can reach speeds to up to 3200MHz and faster while the maximum speed of DDR3 RAM is up to 2133MHz. Well here I would like to say that there are some DDR3 memories that can be as fast as DDR4 RAM but they are very rare. The one that comes to my mind is the G.Skill TridentX memory that operates at 3200MHz.

Future Proof – DDR4 is the newest memory standard for computers and it will be future proof for a long time because all the new motherboards will come only for the support for DDR4 RAM. So if you want a computer that will remain future proof then buy a one that supports DDR4 RAM.

Better Value for Money – DDR4 now cost almost the same as DDR3 RAM for the same capacity. The advantage here is that you can get a faster DDR4 RAM at the price of same capacity DDR3 Memory. For example you can get 8GB DDR4 (2400MHz) RAM at the price of 8GB DDR3 (1866MHz) RAM. This means you will get more value for your money when getting a DDR4 memory.

Real World Performance of DDR4 RAM

Well DDR4 is certainly faster than DDR3 RAM but you won’t notice any difference in performance in normal everyday applications and office work. The area where DDR4 shines is the high-end gaming and heavy memory intensive applications where you will certainly notice the performance gain due to DDR4 RAM. DDR3 vs DDR4 benchmarks also shows that you will certainly gain performance benefits with DDR4 RAM in heavy memory intensive applications and high-end games that needs tons of RAM to run.

DDR4 vs DDR3 Comparison

Here is the neck to neck comparison of DDR3 and DDR4 memory type. I am keeping all the things simple so that it can be understand by a person who is not so tech savvy.

  DDR3 RAM
DDR4 RAM
Pins 240 DIMM, 204-SODIMM 288 DIMM, 260 SO-DIMM
Speed (MHz) 800, 1066, 1333, 1600, 1866, 2133 1600, 1866, 2133, 2400, 2666, 3200
Size (for single stick) 512MB to 8GB 2GB to 16GB
Latency Lower (around 13CL) Lower and in some cases may be slightly higher than DDR3 RAM
Voltage 1.5V (Standard), 1.35 (DDR3L RAM – lower voltage DDR3 RAM) 1.2V (Standard), 1.05V (Lower voltage DDR4 RAM)

Final Words

It is no denying fact that DDR4 is the future of the RAM and it will completely replace DDR3 after some time. The rule in this technology world is that older technology is always replaced by newer and better technology. So if you are getting a new computer then my advice to you is that buy a processor and motherboard that is compatible with DDR4 RAM as to remain safe from further future upgrades in a short span of time.

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