What’s the Difference Between DDR3 and DDR4 RAM?

Enterprise DDR4 RAM


With DDR3 reaching its limits in a world that demands higher performance and increased bandwidth, a new generation of DDR SDRAM has arrived. DDR4 delivers higher performance, higher DIMM capacities, improved data integrity and lower power consumption.

Achieving more than 2Gbps per pin and consuming less power than DDR3L (DDR3 Low Voltage), DDR4 provides up to 50 percent increased performance and bandwidth while decreasing the power consumption of your overall computing environment. This represents a significant improvement over previous memory technologies and power saving up to 40 percent.

In addition to optimized performance and greener, low-cost computing, DDR4 also provides cyclic redundancy checks (CRC) for improved data reliability, on-chip parity detection for integrity verification of ‘command and address’ transfers over a link, enhanced signal integrity and other robust RAS features.

The primary advantages of DDR4 over its predecessor, DDR3, include higher module density and lower voltage requirements, coupled with higher data rate transfer speeds.

The DDR4 standard theoretically allows for DIMMs of up to 512 GiB in capacity, compared to DDR3’s theoretical maximum of 128 GiB per DIMM.

DDR4 operates at a voltage of 1.2 V with a frequency between 800 and 1600 MHz, compared to frequencies between 400 and 1067 MHz and voltage requirements of 1.5 or 1.65 V of DDR3.

Enterprise DDR3 RAM


Double-data rate type 3 (DDR3) digital RAM solutions support larger capacities, higher frequencies, greater bandwidth, lower latency and lower operating voltages than previous-generation DDR2 memory. DDR3 options include:

Standard Voltage (SV) DDR3 operates at 1.5 volts, which is currently required for 1866 million transfers per second (MT/s).

Low Voltage (LV) DDR3 operates at 1.35 volts or 1.5 volts. At 1.35 volts the memory can consume less power and reduce heat, but can still be boosted to 1.5V when the memory channel requires additional voltage to help maintain maximum speed.

DIMMs Choose from three different dual in-line memory modules (DIMM) architectures — UDIMM, RDIMM and LRDIMM.

UDIMM is an unbuffered, low-density, low-latency DIMM that doesn’t include a register or a buffer chip. UDIMMs are generally used in applications requiring the lowest possible latency.

RDIMM is a registered DIMM that provides high signal integrity — performing parity checking to detect improper addresses or commands — and increased performance for heavy workloads. RDIMMs experience slightly increased latency and power consumption over UDIMMs due to the onboard register.

LRDIMM uses a buffer to reduce memory loading to a single load on all DDR signals, allowing for greater density.

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