We all have heard about RAM (Random Access Memory) and the type of RAMs. When we go to buy a computer, we always ask for RAM, whether it is DDR3 or DDR4 RAM installed on the computer. Have you ever thought the difference between DDR3 and DDR4 RAM? We just know that DDR4 RAM is the latest RAM technology and it is fast.
But there is more to know about DDR3 and DDR4 RAM. Here we will discuss What is the Difference Between DDR3 and DDR4 RAM? Before that, we need to understand What is RAM and DDR Technology?
What is RAM?
Random Access Memory (RAM) refers to memory that can be selected and used randomly as the name suggest. The Random Access Memory is an interim memory of a computer that helps it not just for booting but also store temporary data for instant utilisation. Whenever we run any program the data first get stored on the RAM for faster access. But we can not store the data permanently, to store the data permanently we need ROM(Read Only Memory).
The data stored in the RAM disappear the very moment the machine is turned off.
It is a general notion that the higher the capacity of a RAM, the better performance to get from a computer. However, that notion is not the only factor that makes a computer run faster.
What is DDR Technology?
Before we dive into the difference between DDR3 or DDR4, we should understand what DDR technology is. DDR stands for Double Data Rate. A Double Data Rate RAM, as the name indicates is capable of transferring two data per clock cycle. It is a successor of the Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory(SD-RAM).
SD-RAM waits for clock signals before responding to control inputs. DDR uses both the falling and rising edges of the clock signal (transferring two data per clock cycle). The difference between SD-RAM and DDR is not the speed, but rather how many times data is transmitted with each cycle. DDR transfers data twice per clock cycle, whereas SD-RAM sends signals once per clock cycle. Bottom line, the DDR technology is two times better than the SD-RAM.
DDR and DDR2 are the outdated versions of DDR Technology. Nowadays DDR 3 and DDR 4 are the latest versions of DDR Technology.
Note:- DDR5 is estimated to released in 2019.
Differences between DDR3 and DDR4 RAM
Now when we understand What is RAM and the DDR technology, we can dive into explaining the differences between DDR3 and DDR4 RAM. We will focus on some factors that will give us a clear idea about the RAM technology:
Increase in Efficiency
Even though both DDR3 and DDR4 run between 133 – 200 MHz for Internal rate, the Bus Clock frequency is significantly higher on DDR4. The Bus Clock frequency for DDR3 ranges between 533 – 800 MHz, whereas it ranges between 1066 – 1600 MHz, that means the data transfer rate will be significantly higher in DDR4.
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While we are analysing the physical state of both DDR3 and DDR4 RAMs, we figure out both technologies have the same number of pins. However, the notches of the respective RAMs are in not in the same location. Therefore, if you are thinking of upgrading your RAM, you must choose a different motherboard as well that supports DDR4 technology.
With every technological advancement, experts always prioritised the power consumption factor. Here too, while DDR3 consumes a range between 1.35 – 1.50 V, DDR4 consumes 1.2 V. This slightly better consumption of voltage generates lesser heat compared to DDR3 that gives an edge in overall performance.
Faster Transfer Rate
The rate at which data will transfer ranges between 8.5 – 14.9 GB/s when equipt with DDR3 RAM. This transfer rate goes high significantly when powered by DDR4 RAM. The transfer rate ranges from 17 – 21.3 GB/s. The result is faster data transfers especially when you try to copy any data from one drive to another or copy data from a flash or pen drive.
It is quite a simple theory that a DDR4 RAM is more advanced than a DDR3 RAM. It has better clock speed and better transfer rate. Therefore, we can expect better performance from DDR4 than DDR3. However, the user must understand the pin slot difference and if possible, confirm it from the retailer before purchasing.