What is the difference between DDR3 and DDR4 RAM?

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What is the difference between DDR3 and DDR4 RAM? 

First, what is RAM ?

RAM, or Random Access Memory, is your computer’s short term memory or cache. When the computer needs information and does not find it in the RAM, it then tries the hard drive to retrieve the data, which is a much slower process. Many older PCs that feel sluggish can increase performance by adding more RAM or switching to higher capacity RAM. Yet, capacity is only one specification based on the computer. RAM is also available in 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. Its important to understand the difference because computers only accept certain types of RAM based on Motherboard.

What does DDR stand for?

The term “DDR” stands for Double Data Rate. This term came into use when the first Double Data Rate Ram modules arrived. DDR RAM is capable of two data transfers per clock cycle, which gives the theoretical peak bandwidth of previous SDRAM while running at the same clock speed.

DDR4 Ram

DDR3 Ram

How can you tell the difference between speeds, DDR3, and DDR4?

The DRAM modules have different shapes, and the pin-out will only fit on the mother board based on the recommend memory that the manufacturer. As DDR4 will only work in DDR4 compatible motherboards and DDR3 will only fit in DDR3 compatible motherboards. The speed is backward compatible but will need the motherboard to be compatible. In other words, if you buy a 2666 MHz memory module, and the motherboard can only support 2133 MHz, the memory will go down to 2133 MHz.

A comparison for the RAM memory chipsets can be found in today’s computer which includes SDR, DDR, DDR2 and future DDR3 modules:

In the future when memory speeds increase to DDR5, there will be an increase in "clock speed" which means a faster data transfer rate and improved system performance.

DRAM Speed Comparison

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