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DDR3 vs DDR4 RAM: Is It Worth The Upgrade?


DDR3 vs DDR4 RAM: Is It Worth The Upgrade?

This post will help you which is the best RAM for you. DDR RAM stands for Double Data Rate RAM so it transfers data at twice the rate as SDRAM (synchronous data random access memory).

Introduced in the early 21st century, it has the capability to execute I/O data transfers for both the clock pulses (HIGH border and LOW edge).

The first question is What is RAM?

RAM, or Random Access Memory, is your computer’s short term memory.

If your computer needs information and does not find the RAM, it then needs to journey to the hard drive to try and retrieve the data, which is far more time-consuming.

Many older computers that feel sluggish can be given new life if upgraded with additional RAM.

However, capacity is only one specification. RAM is also available in a variety of versions and speeds.

A 2GB stick of DDR2 800 RAM is not the same thing as a 2GB stick of DDR3 1333 RAM.

Understanding the difference is important because computers will generally accept only certain types of RAM.

What is DDR?

The term “DDR” stands for Double Data Rate RAM. This term came into use at the turn of the century when the first Double Data Rate RAM modules arrived.

Double Data Rate RAM was capable of two data transfers per clock cycle, giving it twice the theoretical peak bandwidth of the previous SDRAM while running at the same clock speed.

DDR Memory Characteristics

DDR memory’s primary advantage is the ability to fetch data on both the rising and falling edge of a clock cycle, doubling the data rate for a given clock frequency.

For example, in a DDR200 device, the data transfer frequency is 200 MHz, but the bus speed is 100 MHz.

DDR1, DDR2, and DDR3 memories are powered up with 2.5, 1.8, and 1.5V supply voltages respectively, thus producing less heat and providing more efficiency in power management than normal SDRAM chipsets, which use 3.3V.

A comparison for the RAM memory chipsets that can be found in today’s computers, including SDR, DDR, DDR2, and future DDR3 modules:

  1. DDR4 is more power-efficient than DDR3.
  2. DDR4 has a minimum input voltage of 1.05v whereas DDR3 RAM has a minimum input voltage of 1.5v.
  3. Friends, DDR4 RAM has good clock speeds than DDR3
  4. DDR4 has much higher memory capacities than DDR3. DDR3 memory capacity starts from 1GB to 16GB whereas DDR3 memory capacity starts from 2GB to no max limit
  5. DDR4 is costs higher than DDR3 with negligible improvement in performance
  6. DDR3 slot in the motherboards won’t support DDR4 RAM. Even some processors now only support DDR3 whereas some processors only support DDR4 RAM
DDR3 vs DDR4

DDR3 vs DDR4 RAM: Is It Worth The Upgrade in 2020?

DDR4 RAM was released in 2014, and all mainstream processors have adopted the standard. Moreover, since DDR4 is not backward compatible with the legacy DDR3 standard, you should always buy DDR4, unless you have a chipset released before 2014.

The main advantage of DDR4 is the significantly faster random-access timings.

DR4 is the next evolution in DRAM, bringing even higher performance and more robust control features while improving the energy economy for enterprise, micro-server, tablet, and ultrathin client applications.

The following table compares some of the key feature differences between DDR3 and DDR4.

  1. DDR4 operates at a lower voltage than DDR3.
  2. Speed/Performance Difference: DDR3 speed is 800 MT/s to 2100 MT/s. DDR4 starts at 2133 MHz.

Note: DDR3 perform better in some applications and games.

Is 8GB of DDR4 actually better than 16GB of DDR3?

16 GB DDR3 is the most sensible choice for most people. The detailed answer to which is faster is “it depends on which program you are running.”

But there’s more to take away at a high level. If we look at the performance of a computer with equal quantities of DDR3 or DDR4, across a range of programs, DDR4 and DDR3 are very close, maybe with DDR4 a few percents faster on average.

DDR3 is faster in some cases. In a very small number of real programs, DDR4 gets you as much as 10%.

On the other hand, compare the performance of a program running on 16 GB of RAM versus 8 GB of RAM. If you need more than 8 GB, then the program will start paging, and execution could slow down by 4–100X.

So the 16 GB machine could literally be 10,000% faster. In fact, the difference is so great you would have to quit the program because you could not bear to wait for it to finish.

The 8 GB machine can effectively run fewer programs than the 16 GB machine! Another case is where you are using a lot of data (e.g. scrolling through pictures), in which case your extra DRAM will be used as a cache and can also speed things up by many multiples.

So if you have characterized your programs and the data they operate on very carefully, then 8 GB DDR4 might be the right solution, giving you up to 10% more performance.

But if you don’t know exactly what you are running, more DDR3 means that you are less likely to encounter serious performance problems with your machine, at a small average cost in daily performance.


If you’ve been there hunting for a new system to buy or build by yourself, you must have come across the term DDR4 RAM. As far as the market is concerned, the DDR3 is still, by far, the go-to RAM.

We’ve all been using the DDR3 RAM for almost a decade now, but the market has started witnessing the introduction of DDR4 modules.

With new devices coming out each day, is DDR4 really worth the upgrade, or is it just an expensive newer technology at a comparable performance?

How different is the DDR4 from its predecessor exactly? If you’ve been wondering about the same questions, well don’t worry, as we bring to you our detailed comparison of DDR4 vs DDR3 RAM, and whether the newer technology really is better or not.

Let’s start Now:

The speed of DDR3 is slightly slow in comparison to DDR4.While it’s speed is faster than DDR3.
DDR3 stands for Double Data Rate version 3.Whereas DDR4 stands for Double Data Rate version 4.
The cost of DDR3 is less than DDR4.While it’s the cost is higher or more than DDR3.
In DDR3, auto-refresh and self-refresh are performed to refresh its content.While in DDR4, only self-refresh is performed to refresh its content.
DDR3 has a maximum of 16 GB memory.While DDR4 has no maximum limit or capability.
DDR3 consumes less power than DDR2 but more than DDR4.Whereas DDR4 consumes less power than DDR3.
DDR3 was used earlier in computer systems.While DDR4 is used nowadays in computer systems.
The clock speed of DDR3 varies from 800 MHz to 2133 MHz.While the minimum clock speed of DDR4 is 2133 MHz and it has no defined maximum clock speed.

DDR3 vs DDR4 RAM: Is It Worth The Upgrade?

We have seen that DDR3 beats RAM in terms of numbers as well as real-world performance. That being said, it is also noteworthy that the difference between the two is not so much.

If you are on a tight budget, investing in DDR3 RAM of higher memory modules with faster processors and better GPUs is likely to result in improved all-around performance.

Or if you have extra cash on hand to spend more on DDR4 RAM. There is no wrong way, considering the fact that this is indeed the future. Anyhow, the switch to DDR4 is unavoidable, one that you are making sooner or later.

Okay, that’s what we think, but we like to know your thoughts on DDR3 vs DDR4? So, let us know in the comment section below.

DDR3 vs DDR4 RAM: Is It Worth The Upgrade?

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