DDR3 vs DDR4 RAM: Benchmark & Performance Comparison Leave a comment

Memory requirements for computers have gone up drastically in the last few decades. The first mainframe computer that dealt with heavy calculations had a processor and memory equivalent to around one-tenth of an iPhone. Computer RAM needed today to just read an article on the web is roughly a few gigabytes.

When deciding which computer RAM you need to install for better performance, you would generally decide between DDR3 and DDR4 type memory chips. DDR3 is the slightly older generation that served computers from 2007 onwards. They had built-in ECC memory with an extra data byte lane that corrected major and minor errors for higher reliability and it gave a higher bandwidth as well.

Then came the DDR4 computer RAM in 2014 which is much faster than the DDR3 but everything has a cost to it. This article talks about which computer RAM you should be installing that aligns perfectly with your work requirements.

Basic Differences

The DDR4 RAM comes with 280 pins whereas the DDR3 RAM comes with 240 pins. The extra pins are meant to give higher bandwidth although the difference is not immediately visible because spacing in the pins in the DDR3 is 1.0 mm whereas that in DDR4 is 0.88 mm. This implies that you can’t just plug your DDR3 out and replace it with a DDR4, the difference in the pins rehires for you to make sufficient adjustments.

Moreover, a single DDR3 chip can offer a maximum of 8GB of space, this means that if you have two slots that are compatible with DDR3, you can get a maximum of 16GB in RAM. However, the DDR4 RAM does not have any limit and you can get abnormally large amounts of storage in just one chip.

One of the biggest advantages that a DDR4 has over a DDR3 is that the DDR4 runs on just 1.2V whereas the DDR3 runs on 1.5V. This may not seem like a significant difference but imagine a server station that houses hundreds of servers or maybe more and this supposedly subtle difference can make a huge difference in the electricity consumption of the station.

Performance

The DDR3 RAM gives a transfer rate between 0.8 GT/s and 2 GT/s. On the other hand, the transfer rate of a DDR4 RAM is between 2.3 GT/s and 4 GT/s. However, the significant increase in the transfer rate gives the DDR4 a higher latency, so while the DDR3 takes roughly 13.75 ns to initiate reading, the DDR4 takes 14.25 ns.

This may not seem like a significant difference when you are doing tasks like editing a document but it makes a huge difference when you’re rendering videos or compiling programs.

Compatibility

As said earlier, the number of pins in the DDR3 and the DDR4 RAM is different, therefore the two computer RAMs are not backward compatible. This means that you can’t use a DDR4 RAM on a computer motherboard that has slots for the DDR3. Moreover, you can’t use DDR3 and DDR4 RAMs together on one motherboard, you have to decide between one.

Compatibility is closely related to pricing as well because if you are planning an upgrade from the DDR3 to the DDR4, then you will have to purchase more than just a RAM module.

Pricing

If you are planning to upgrade from the DDR3 to the DDR4, then it wouldn’t pay off as much if you are simply going to replace the RAM unless you are upgrading the rest of the hardware in your computer as well.

However, if you are deciding to create a new server or a computer, then you should definitely go for the DDR4. This is mainly because the price difference between both the chips isn’t extremely drastic, with a difference of a few dollars, you can get a DDR4 counterpart of a DDR3 computer RAM. Moreover, the DDR4 requires less energy and the design is likely to fit future needs as well, it is definitely the option to pick.

What Do We Suggest?

Here at Kahn Servers, we offer DDR3 and DDR4 RAMs under a wide range of memory modules and you can pick one to fit your needs. But if you are just planning on getting a few extra gigs in your computer, then you do not have to replace entire hardware for just the RAM, the DDR3 would work perfectly fine.

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