Difference between DDR3 and DDR5

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, and DDR5. 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 DDR5 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 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 new generation DDR RAM, DDR3 RAMs are most widely used in modern desktops and laptops.

What is DDR5?

DDR5, Double Data Rate 5, is a newer version of DDR RAM. DDR5 is the most advanced version available in the market. It offers most enhanced performance in terms of data transfer rate, clock speed, power consumption, etc. than its predecessors like DDR4, DDR3, etc.

DDR5 RAM typically has a data transfer rate of up to 6400 Mbps. This version of DDR RAM also supports advanced features like ECC (Error Correction Code), ODT (On-Die Termination), DFE (Decision Feedback Equalization), etc.

DDR5 RAM is best suited in applications, such as data centers, gamming computers, AI and ML based systems, etc. However, DDR5 RAM is more expensive and it requires a specific hardware support to use.

After getting insights into the basics of DDR3 and DDR5, let us now discuss the differences between them.

Difference between DDR3 and DDR5

The following table highlights all the major differences between DDR3 and DDR5 RAM −




Full Form

DDR3 stands for Double Data Rate 3.

DDR5 stands for Double Data Rate 5.

Data Transfer Rate

DDR 3 has comparatively slower data transfer rate than DDR5. Its typical data transfer speed is ranging between 800 Mega-transfer per second (MT/s) to 1600 MT/s.

DDR 5 RAM has much faster data transfer rates than DDR3, it ranges between 3200 MT/s to 6400 MT/s.

Release Year

DDR 3 RAM was released in 2007.

DDR 5 RAM was released in 2020.

Supply Voltage

DDR3 requires 1.5 V supply to operate.

DDR 5 requires only 1.1 V supply to work.

Prefetch Buffer Size

DDR3 has the prefetch buffer size of 8 bits.

DDR5 has the prefetch buffer size of 16 bits.

Bank Groups

DDR 3 has no bank groups.

DDR 5 has 8 bank groups.

Power Consumption

DDR3 consumes more power.

DDR5 consumes less power than DDR3.


DDR3 is comparatively slower than DDR5.

DDR5 is faster.

Refresh Interval

DDR3 has a shorter refresh interval than DDR5.

For DDR5, the refresh interval is comparatively longer that makes it more energy efficient.

Decision Feedback Equalization (DFE)

DDR 3 does not use DFE (Decision Feedback Equalization).

DDR 5 uses DFE to reduce signal noise and enhance signal quality.

On-Die Termination (ODT)

DDR 3 does not support ODT feature.

DDR 5 supports ODT. Hence, it enhances the signal integrity.

Maximum Storage Capacity

DDR 3 has a lower maximum storage capacity.

DDR 5 has a higher storage capacity than DDR3

Error Correction Code (ECC)

The error correction feature of DDR3 is poor than that of DDR5.

DDR5 offers an enhanced error correction feature that increases the system stability and prevent the data loss.

Channel Density

DDR3 supports lower channel density.

DDR5 supports greater channel density.


DDR3 is comparatively less expensive.

DDR5 is more expensive than DDR3.


DDR3 is average in terms of performance.

DDR5 offer improved performance than DDR3.


DDR3 is used as the standard memory technology in modern personal computers and laptops.

DDR5 is used in latest high-speed systems like data centers, gamming computers, AI systems, machine learning system, and many other fast and memory intensive systems.


The most significant difference between DDR3 and DDR5 is that DDR3 RAM has a slower data rate, ranging between 800 MT/s to 1600 MT/p, while DDR5 RAM has a faster data rate, ranging between 3200 MT/s to 6400 MT/s. Also, DDR5 requires lower operating voltage than DDR3 RAM, making it more energy efficient.

Updated on: 25-Apr-2023


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