Difference between DDR3 and DDR4

DDR stands for Double Data Rate. It is a version of RAM (Random Access Memory). 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. DDR3 and DDR4 of the DDR RAM, and the important differences between them.

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, typically ranging from 800 MT/s to 1600 MT/s, 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 new generation DDR RAM, DDR3 RAMs are most widely used in modern desktops and laptops.

What is DDR4?

DDR4, Double Data Rate 4, is a latest and advanced version of DDR3 RAM. DDR4 RAM has a higher data transfer rates as compared to DDR3 RAM. It requires a reduced voltage to operate, hence this version of DDR RAM is more power efficient.

DDR4 version was first released in 2014. It has the transfer rate between 1600 MT/s and 3200 MT/s. The minimum clock speed of DDR4 RAM is 2133 MHz, and its maximum clock speed is not defined.

Overall, DDR4 is in improved version of DDR3 RAM. It provides wider bandwidth, higher data transfer rates, higher clock speed, larger memory capacity, and many other advanced features.

Now, let us discuss the important differences between DDR3 and DDR4 RAM.

Difference between DDR3 and DDR4

The following table highlights all the major differences between DDR3 and DDR4 RAM −




Full Form

DDR3 stands for Double Data Rate 3.

DDR4 stands for Double Data Rate 4.

Release Year

DDR3 version was released in 2007.

DDR4 version was released in 2014.

Clock Speed

DDR3 has a clock speed ranging between 800 MHz and 2133 MHz.

DDR4 has the minimum clock speed of 2133 MHz, but it does not have any defined maximum clock speed.

Operating Voltage

DDR3 operates at a higher voltage. It requires 1.5 volts to work.

DDR4 requires a lower operating voltage (1.2 V only).


DDR3 has a maximum bandwidth of 17 GB/s.

DDR4 has a larger bandwidth. Its maximum bandwidth is 25.6 GB/s.

Per Module Memory Capacity

DDR3 can have up to 8 GB per module capacity.

DDR4 can have up to 16 GB per module capacity.


DDR3 is less expensive than DDR4.

DDR4 is comparatively more expensive due to improves performance.

Number of Pins

DDR3 has 240 pins.

DDR4 has 288 pins.

Power consumption

DDR3 consumes comparatively more power than DDR4.

DDR4 is more energy efficient, hence it consumes less power.

Error Correction Capabilities

DDR3 has average error correction capabilities.

DDR4 has more enhanced error correction capabilities than DDR3.

Transfer Rate

DDR3 has transfer rates ranging from 800 MT/s to 1600 MT/s.

DDR4 has higher transfer rates, typically ranging from 1600 MT/s to 3200 MT/s.

Refresh Method

DDR3 supports both auto-refresh and self-refresh.

DDR4 supports self-refresh only.


DDR3 was used in older-generation computer systems.

DDR4 is used in newer-generation computers.


The most significant difference between DDR3 and DDR4 RAM is in their data transfer rates, i.e. DDR3 has data transfer rates ranging from 800 MT/s to 1600 MT/s, whereas DDR4 has data transfer rates ranging from 1600 MT/s to 3200 MT/s. Also, DDR4 version is more power efficient than DDR3.

Updated on: 25-Apr-2023


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