DDR2 vs DDR3 vs DDR4 vs DDR5 RAMs: Explained in Detail

Friends, you might have a confusion regarding DDR2, DDR3 and DDR4 RAMs that are installed into your PC or Mobile Phones. Otherwise, you wouldn't have ended up to this article here. Just kidding, go on reading the article till the end where I have explained in easy terms the difference among these types.

DDR2 vs DDR3 vs DDR4 vs DDR5 RAMs: Explained in Detail

What is DDR?

DDR stands for Double Data Rate. This is a data transfer strategy of computer bus. The terms DDR2, DDR3 and DDR4 refer to several generations of DDR type of RAMs. Now it goes without saying that the most advanced among them happens to be a DDR4 type RAM. Naturally a DDR4 RAM is better than DDR3,  DDR3 RAM is better than DDR2 and so on.

In today's perspective, you would rarely find any computer with DDR2 RAM. Most of them are installed with a DDR3 RAM and few advanced PCs are installed with a DDR4 RAM.

Similarly, if we talk about today's smartphones, saving the high end flagship devices, other mid-budget and low-budget smartphones come with a LP-DDR3(Low Powered) RAM. Since a mobile phone is powered by a battery, the RAM here needs to be one which consume lesser amount of power.

Back to Content

How are they different?

Compared to single data rate (SDR) SDRAM, the DDR SDRAM interface makes higher transfer rates possible by more strict control of the timing of the electrical data and clock signals.

With advancement of every generation of DDR RAMs there has been noticeable progress made. Like the size of transistors, which are fundamental units for every other electronic items, are being drastically reduced, increase in processing speed and again reduction in power consumption.

Thus the same follow-up occurred in case of DDR Generations of RAM. A DDR3 RAM consumes lesser power than a DDR2 RAM inspite of better performance. A DDR4 RAM follows the same principle when compared to a DDR3 RAM.
Also, you will be surprised to know, the lower limit of performance of DDR4 RAM happens to be the upper limit of a DDR3 RAM. Plus, in accordance with the technology that DDR4 RAMs come up with, a single strip of DDR4 RAM is capable to bear a capacity of 256 GB of memory.
None of its successors are forward or backward compatible with DDR1 SDRAM, meaning DDR2, DDR3, and DDR4 memory modules will not work in DDR1-equipped motherboards, and vice versa.
Back to Content

Are all RAMs in a particular generation having same speed?

Some manufacturers can deliver memory chips capable of achieving other speeds than those listed; for example, specialty memories targeted to overclockers. Clocks ending in 33 and 66 MHz are, in fact, periodic decimal expansions (33.3333 and 66.6666, respectively).

Memory Real Clock Maximum Theoretical Transfer Rate Memory Module
DDR200 100 MHz 1,600 MB/s PC-1600
DDR266 133 MHz 2,133 MB/s PC-2100
DDR333 166 MHz 2,666 MB/s PC-2700
DDR400 200 MHz 3,200 MB/s PC-3200
DDR2-400 200 MHz 3,200 MB/s PC2-3200
DDR2-533 266 MHz 4,266 MB/s PC2-4200
DDR2-667 333 MHz 5,333 MB/s PC2-5300
DDR2-800 400 MHz 6,400 MB/s PC2-6400
DDR2-1066 533 MHz 8,533 MB/s PC2-8500
DDR3-800 400 MHz 6,400 MB/s PC3-6400
DDR3-1066 533 MHz 8,500 MB/s PC3-8500
DDR3-1333 666 MHz 10,666 MB/s PC3-10600
DDR3-1600 800 MHz 12,800 MB/s PC3-12800
DDR4-1600 800MHz 12,800 MB/s PC4-12800
DDR4-4266 2133MHz 25,600 MB/s PC4-25600

Back to Content

Voltage Consumption

Typically, DDR memories are fed with 2.5 V, DDR2 memories are fed with 1.8 V, and DDR3 memories are fed with 1.5 V (although modules requiring 1.6 V or 1.65 V are common, and chips requiring only 1.35 V may become common in the future).

Technology Typical Voltage
DDR 2.5 V
DDR2 1.8 V
DDR3 1.5 V
DDR4 1.3 V
DDR5 1.1 V

Back to Content

Physical Build

Memory modules for each DDR generation are physically different, so for example you won’t be able to install a DDR2 module in a DDR3 socket. Unless your motherboard supports both DDR2 and DDR3 sockets (only a few do), you cannot upgrade from DDR2 to DDR3 without replacing the motherboard and eventually the CPU (if in your system the memory controller is embedded in the CPU, as with all processors from AMD and Core i7 from Intel). The same thing is valid with DDR and DDR2.

Memory Module Number of Pins
DDR 184
DDR2 240
DDR3 240
DDR4 288
DDR5 *

Back to Content

What next?

A 2016 presentation by Intel suggested a JEDEC plan to release a 2016 DDR5 SDRAM specification, with the memory being available for end user purchase in 2020.

On November 15 2018, SK Hynix announced completion of its first DDR5 RAM chip. It runs at 5200 MT/s at 1.1 Volts.

Back to Content

That's all for this one. Hope you've got to know plenty of things. See you around.


Post a Comment

Read Comment Policy before commenting.