GDDR5, GDDR3, GDDR4 and DDR3 are all types of DDR (Double Data Rate) RAM (Random Access Memory). Each one has their own application in the computer and technology field. In the next topic I will explain in detail about the difference and similarity between all these types of RAM’s.
What does ‘G’ stands in GDDR5 or GDDR3 or GDDR4 RAM?
The G stands for Graphics and it called as Graphics Double Data Rate 5 Random Access Memory or Double Data Rate type five synchronous graphics random access memory for GDDR5. The notation ‘G’ or term graphics is used to imply that this type of memory is only used in high performance graphics cards and gaming consoles. The type i.e. 5 in case of GDDR5 denotes the generation of the RAM, the higher the number the newer its generation will be. Graphics DDR Memory have higher clock frequencies and relatively larger bandwidth than the normal DDR memories. It is also known as Video RAM or VRAM.
It is a standard type of RAM that is used in your computers and laptops. It is much faster than the older DDR2 RAM that was used for a long time in older motherboards. They are also much cheaper as compared to GDDR RAM. DDR3 also runs on lower voltages as compared to DDR2, which results in some power savings for you.
Must Read: DDR3 vs DDR4 Memory Comparison
It is faster than DDR3 memory and is used in budget / low to mid-range Graphics Cards and Gaming Consoles, which includes Xbox 360 and PS3.
It is not very popular and has been used on very fewer graphics cards. It is not being produced or manufactured today and is replaced by more efficient and faster GDDR5 memory.
It is the fastest memory as of now and is used in present day mid to high range graphics cards and top gaming consoles like PlayStation 4. It can reach speeds up to 5 GHz and more. It is very expensive memory but delivers blazingly fast performance. Theoretically GDDR5 RAM is 2.5 to 3 times faster than GDDR3 memory.
Memory order in terms of Speed and Bandwidth
GDDR5 > GDDR4 > GDDR3 > DDR3
Here is the bus width or interface available for these DDR memories.
GDDR3 –> 128-bit, 256-bit, 384-bit
GDDR4 –> up to 512-bit
GDDR5 –> 128-bit, 192-bit, 256-bit, 512-bit
Formula for Calculating Memory Bandwidth
Here is the basic formula to calculate bandwidth of memory for graphics card and pc.
Bandwidth = (Effective Memory Clock x Bus Width) / 8
Effective memory clock for GDDR3 = 2 * Base Memory Clock
Effective memory clock for GDDR5 = 4 * Base Memory Clock
For e.g. consider Zotac Geforce GTS 450 Graphic Card having the following specs
Effective Memory Clock – 3608 MHz (here base memory clock frequency is 902 MHz)
Memory Bus Width – 128 bit
Then the Bandwidth will be calculated as
Bandwidth = (3608 * 128)/8 = 57728 MB/s or 57.7 GB/s
GTS 450 Specs
Applications and Usage
Like I said earlier also GDDR memories are used in graphics card, gaming consoles or high computation devices and the plain DDR memories are used in your desktop computers, laptops and netbooks.
Graphics Card RAM compatibility with Motherboards
Graphics card memory type i.e. GDDR5, GDDR3 etc. has nothing to do with the compatibility of graphics card with the motherboard. This means that your motherboard only needs PCI Express x16 graphics slot to use any graphics card irrespective of the type of memory it have.
List of Graphics Card with types of RAM
Here are some current graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD /ATI that uses different memory types.
Graphics Cards using GDDR5 Memory
GTX 450, GTX 550 Ti, GTX 560, GTX 660, GTX 650 Ti, GTX 670, GTX 680, GTX 750, GTX 750 Ti, GTX 760, GTX 780, GTX 780 Ti, GTX Titan, R7-260X, R7-265X, R9-270, R9-270X, R9-280X, R9-290, HD 7850, HD 7750, H785QN2G2M, H795Q3G2M
Graphics Cards using GDDR3 Memory
GT 210, GT 610, GT 620, GT 630, GT 640, HD-5450, HD-6450, HD-6670, R-7 240, R-7 250