Difference between DDR2 and DDR3

DDR stands for Double Data Rate. The DDR RAM is capable of transferring data on both edges, i.e. falling edge and rising edge of the clock pulse. Thus, it doubles the data transfer rate, hence it named so. The DDR RAM also comes in several versions (or generations), such as DDR, DDR2, DDR3, DDR4, etc. Each version/generation of the DDR RAM offers enhanced performance in terms of speed, storage capacity, energy efficiency, etc.

In this article, we will discuss the two generations, i.e., DDR2 and DDR3 of the DDR RAM, and the important differences between them.

What is DDR2?

DDR2, Double Data Rate 2, is a version of DDR RAM. DDR2 is basically an improved version of its predecessor, i.e. DDR. Therefore, DDR2 offers higher data transfer speeds (typically 400 to 800 Mbps) and enhanced performance. DDR2 version of DDR RAM was first introduced in the year of 2003. At that time, this was very commonly used in most desktops and laptops.

DDR2 RAM has a higher storage capacity and it consumes less power. Another improvement made in DDR2 in comparison to DDR RAM is its clock speed, which means DDR2 RAM operates at a relatively faster clock speed than DDR RAM.

These days, DDR2 RAM is not used or rarely used. However, this can be found in older computer systems only.

What is DDR3?

DDR3, Double Data Rate 3, is an enhanced version of the DDR2 RAM. DDR3 RAM offer more enhanced performance in terms of data transfer rates, power consumption, storage capacity, clock speeds, etc.

DDR3 RAM provides a higher data transfer rate than DDR2 RAM, typically 800 to 1600 Mbps, which is almost double of the DDR2 version. Also, it consumes less power than DDR2. Although, in terms performance, it is not better as the DDR2.

Being a new generation DDR RAM, DDR3 RAMs are most widely used in modern desktops and laptops.

Difference between DDR2 and DDR3

The following table highlights all the important differences between DDR2 and DDR3:





DDR2 stands for Double Data Rate Version 2.

DDR3 stands for Double Data Rate Version 3.


DDR2 is cheaper than DDR3.

DDR3 is costlier.

Data Transfer Rate

DDR2 provides 4 knowledge transfer per cycle.

DDR3 provides 8 knowledge transfer per cycle.

Supply Voltage

Supply voltage required is 1.8 volts.

Supply voltage required is 1.5 volts.

Memory Reset

No memory reset option is provided in DDR2.

Memory reset option is available in DDR3 RAM.

Clock Speed

Clock Speed ranges between 400 MHz to 800 MHz.

Clock Speed ranges between 800 MHz to 1600 MHz.

Power Efficiency

DDR2 consumes more power than DDR3. Hence, it is less power efficient.

DDR3 RAM is more power efficient, hence it consumes less power.

Heat Generation

DDR2 RAM generates more heat, hence it requires cooling to increase system stability.

DDR3 RAM generates less heat, reducing the requirement of cooling


DDR2 has narrower bandwidth due to its slower clock speed.

DDR3 RAM has wider bandwidth than DDR2 RAM.

Per Module Storage Capacity

DDR2 has lower per module storage capacity.

DDR3 RAM has per module storage capacity higher than DDR2 RAM.


DDR2 RAM offers better performance as compared to DDR3.

DDR3 RAM offers average performance.


DDR2 RAM can have latencies between 3 and 9 cycles.

DDR3 RAM has a latency of 9 or 10 cycles.

Launching Year

DDR2 RAM was launched in 2003.

DDR3 RAM was launched in 2007.


DDR2 RAM was used in older computer systems.

DDR3 RAM is used in modern computer systems.


Both DDR2 and DDR3 are the versions of DDR RAM used in personal computers and laptops. The most significant difference between DDR2 RAM and DDR3 RAM is in their data transfer speed. DDR2 RAM provides a slower data transfer speed, typically between 400 to 800 Mbps; while DDR3 RAM provides a faster data transfer speed which is about 800 to 1600 Mbps. However, DDR3 is more expensive than DDR2 RAM.

Updated on: 23-Jun-2023

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