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DDR3 vs DDR4 vs DDR5 – 2021 Comparison Guide

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Remember when the DDR3 memory modules were king? Well, not all that much has changed in the world of video cards and RAM since then, and the fact is that the DDR5 memory modules released in 2018 actually outperformed the upcoming DDR4 modules in some tests. But if you take a closer look at the results, you will see that the DDR4 memory modules currently seem to be performing better than the older DDR3 modules. So, which one should you buy?

In the last years, the DDR3 memory standard has been replaced by the DDR4 standard. This means that when DDR5 finally makes its appearance, there will be a whole new set of memory standards to keep track of. In this article, we will compare the differences between DDR3, DDR4 and DDR5 in terms of performance, cost, latency and capabilities in the year 2021.

When comparing the three memory types, it’s important to remember that you want to compare apples to apples. That is, what is the exact same product as the other two? A DDR4 chip and a DDR5 chip.. Read more about ddr3 vs ddr4 performance and let us know what you think.

Before you put together your most desired computer configuration, you should ask a lot of questions. Whether you’re a professional or a gamer, you can’t overlook the significance of RAM in your computer. When purchasing RAM, you may have a lot of queries. It may be due to the different versions of RAM. Is the most recent generation more convenient or not? What is RAM and why is it necessary for a computer? We’ll address all of the typical concerns that you may have.

RAM stands for Random Access Memory.

You may have heard of RAM while learning about computers. But we’ll give you the gist of it here.

Random-Access Memory is abbreviated as RAM. On your computer, it is utilized to store machine code and working data. RAM enables data to be read and written in the same amount of time independent of its physical location. Simply stated, RAM refers to the computer’s temporary memory. It denotes that the data is only kept for a limited period of time. If you are working on your computer, for example, the data will be temporarily kept in RAM, but if you switch off your computer before saving your work, the data will be lost. Whether you’re loading or working on apps, RAM allows you to do so quickly.

RAM is found in all computer devices, including your PC, smartphone, tablet, and laptop.

What exactly is DDR?

You may be familiar with the term DDR when it comes to RAM. The DDR stands for Double Data Rate. It features an accurate clock and electrical signal timings, allowing it to transmit data more quickly.

Previously, there was SDR (Single Data Rate), which was upgraded to DDR1 (Double Data Rate). With time, better functions were added to the DDRs. With the passage of time, additional generations such as DDR2, DDR3, and DDR4 were released. They were more efficient and faster than the previous ones since they were newer.  

The latest generation RAMs are compatible with current computer equipment. It implies that some motherboards are incompatible with earlier RAM types such as DDR3 or DDR2. If you purchased an earlier generation of RAM, you will need to replace your whole motherboard.

We’ve put up a breakdown of RAM features in numbers to help you comprehend them better.

RAM Prefetch Voltage Bandwidth
DDR1 2n 2.5/2.6V 3.2 GB/s
DDR2 4n 1.8V 8.5 GB/s
DDR3 8n 1.3/1.5V 17 GB/s
DDR4 8n 1.2V 25.6 GB/s
DDR5 8/16n 1.1V 32 GB/s

DDR3, DDR4, and DDR5 are the memory types that we shall discuss. In addition, we shall discuss their performance and capabilities.

All of them are available on the market, but DDR4 is the most popular since it is compatible with the most devices. However, DDR3 is used in many PCs for everyday tasks.

What is the difference between DDR3, DDR4, and DDR5 memory?

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The table above summarizes the differences between DDR3, DDR4, and DDR5 memory. By looking back over the years, you can observe how RAM generations have improved in performance. The more recent something is, the more efficient it is. In the computer, each feature has a distinct purpose. In this post, we’ll go through these features in more detail.

Bandwidth

The pace at which your data may be stored or read by your CPU is referred to as bandwidth. Bytes per second is the unit of measurement. Your computer’s bandwidth is affected by a number of factors. The quicker your RAM, the simpler it will be to store data and operate several programs simultaneously. However, the primary function of your RAM is to store data.

The more RAM your computer has, the more data it can hold at one time. The amount of RAM you need is determined by the kind of work you perform on your computer. The amount of RAM you need depends on how many apps you use and how tetchy you are, whether you’re playing or working on a computer.

The speed of your computer is directly related to the amount of storage you have. You can store more data regardless of the speed of your RAM if you have additional storage. DDR4 RAM offers a much higher bandwidth than DDR3 RAM. As a result, although DDR5 RAM has the greatest storage, it is not accessible to everyone.

Voltage

In general, the higher the voltage, the better your RAM’s performance will be. Your computer’s performance and speed will improve as the voltage rises. However, this does not imply that you should prioritize RAM with a high voltage. The higher voltage has certain drawbacks as well.

The higher the voltage of RAM, the more energy it consumes and the system heats up. With its voltage-compatible and high-quality motherboards, the high-voltage RAM may be utilized. The maximum voltage limit is printed on the motherboards. The motherboards may be damaged if the temperature rises too high. For a more accurate and better voltage, DDR4 is a good option. Because it has an average voltage rate, it will offer greater performance while using less energy and producing less heat.

Also, the voltage difference between earlier versions was greater than the current ones. In comparison to DDR1, DDR2, and DDR3, DDR3 and DDR4 have a little difference.

Prefetch

This phrase may be unfamiliar to you. Prefetching is the reading of data in a single pass. The phrase “Prefetch Architecture” is a computer term that relates to the “Prefetch Architecture.” A RAM with a larger n size will read more data in a single pass than a RAM with a smaller n size. It all relies on your RAM’s prefetch buffer.

Previous generation RAMs had a significantly smaller perfect buffer. The prefetch buffer size was raised from 2n to 16n with greater benefits in subsequent generations. It implies that DDR4 will be much quicker than DDR1. DDR5 also reads data sixteen times quicker than DDR4. DDR3 and DDR4 both use the identical prefetch algorithm, however DDR5 is twice as fast.

Size

We don’t speak to the RAM’s storage capacity when we talk about its size. Originally, it was the RAM size. Because RAM is a computer component, you must evaluate the size of RAM in relation to your motherboard. Motherboards come in a variety of sizes depending on the generation. DDR4 compatible RAM is not compatible with DDR3 motherboards.

The RAMs are created in a variety of sizes and shapes. This is done to avoid RAM being installed incorrectly with a particular motherboard. If you already have a motherboard, you’ll need to double-check the RAM compatibility. Furthermore, DDR4 is supported by newer motherboards. So, in terms of compatibility, DDR4 is the way to go.

Latency

Another characteristic of RAM is latency. It is used to calculate the RAM chip’s computation bandwidth. Between DDR3 and DDR4, there is a little variation in latency. Furthermore, the majority of DDR4 chips have somewhat greater latencies. It implies that DDR4 chips with a low latency are preferable.

What Should I Do?

It would be beneficial if you kept a few factors in mind before choosing between DDR3, DDR4, and DDR5. This is due to the fact that your computer’s RAM cannot be changed on a regular basis. It takes up a lot of space on your computer. Before you purchase RAM, the first thing you need think about is your motherboard. You’ll almost certainly receive DDR3 if you have an older motherboard. You’ll need to verify your motherboard’s specs. Because motherboards are built differently depending on the RAM, this is the case.

In addition, you should verify the quantity of RAM your computer’s operating system supports. The quantity of storage varies depending on the operating system. You should also think about the kind of job you perform on your computer. You can get away with 8GB if you’re using it for graphic and video editing or basic computer tasks. However, you’ll need a 16GB deal for professional usage, since you’ll be utilizing a variety of diverse and demanding apps. Also, don’t go for the quickest option. You should choose the one with a good mix of storage and speed. As a result, you may enjoy both functions.

Last Thoughts

You do not have complete control over RAM selection. Certain restrictions, compatibility, and criteria must be adhered to. You can’t make a complete decision based on your preferences. Different speeds and performance are provided by each RAM. You must strike a balance and choose one that is compatible with your motherboard and will offer you with efficient and long-term service.

Also see this related article:

The best RAM for a Ryzen 3000 processor The best RAM for a Ryzen 5 3600 processor In 2021, the best RAM for Ryzen 7 3700x will be RAM for Ryzen 1700. The best RAM for the Ryzen 7 2700X processor

We have been seeing a lot of new age news on the next generation of RAM memory, on the whole called “DDR5” or sometimes “DDR5.2” or “DDR5.5” or whatever the new marketing name is. This article is a comparison of the RAM speeds, timings, and compatibility of the 4 memory types, and a comparison of their prices.. Read more about ddr5 vs ddr4 latency and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which RAM is best DDR3 or DDR4 or DDR5?

DDR3 is the most common and cheapest RAM. It is also slower than DDR4 and DDR5, but it has a lower power consumption.

Is DDR3 still good in 2021?

DDR3 is still a viable option for computers, but it has been replaced by DDR4 in most cases.

Is there a big difference between DDR3 and DDR4?

DDR3 is a type of RAM that was designed to be more energy-efficient than DDR4.