The difference between DDR3 and DDR4

by | Aug 4, 2020 | Computing

Nowadays, everyone is looking for the best system that performs better than the others. With the new upcoming PCs featuring lightning speed in the market, people are getting keen to buy a new system which will make their work faster. After using the DDR3 RAM for a long time (seven years), companies have now introduced an upgraded version of the DDR3 RAM, i.e the DDR4. This type of RAM is much more stable and loads more quickly than the DDR3. 

Modern office work requires loads of RAM that can load faster. For example, nowadays office work involves using multiple excel sheets at the same time, or even heavy duty software to conduct their operations. To run these tasks, one definitely needs a faster RAM which is more stable and sturdy. Even games which are released in the market nowadays are far more advanced than the games which were released a decade back. Nowadays, the maximum number of games requires a minimum memory of 8GB. Therefore, it is inevitable that DDR3 needed an upgrade and hence DDR4 got introduced in the market.  As the newer generation has designs with benefits, the replacement is undoubtedly possible.

What is RAM?

If we talk about the physical overview then, both the models have a similar dual in-line memory module (DIMM), but the DDR4 is 9mm taller. It is noteworthy that the physical layout has several pins for connecting modules. There are 240 pins available in DDR3 while DDR4 has 288 pins connectors. Also, the nails of DD3 are in the straight line, while in DDR4, there is a slight curve on the nails.

What are the advantages of DDR4 over DDR3?

There are significant four advantages found in DDR4, as mentioned below: 

  • The voltage required for running the module is lower in DDR4 as compared to that of DDR3.
  • There is an increase in power saving feature, i.e., the reduction in power consumption and the system stays stable with DDR4 RAM. The frequency of the DDR4 eventually exceeds up to the speed of 3200 MHz, which increases the performance. 
  • Also, the density of the chip is doubled in DDR4 which allocates more memory than DDR3.

Does DDR3 and DDR4 RAM work together?

It is observed that if DDR3 RAM is working with the CPU and motherboard, it will not work with DDR4 and vice versa. The processor works according to the type of motherboard and ensures that the wrong kind of memory is not present. There should be compatible parts available in your computer that support different tools for RAM. The voltage of the RAM may differ with the type of system.

Is DDR4 compatible with my system? Can a DDR3 slot run a DDR4 DIMM?

The slot available for DDR3 will not support the connection of DDR4 DIMM as it is not compatible. The chipset should support the motherboard, and if there is AMD then the support chances are less for DDR4. One needs to make sure that sockets like input voltage and pin counts fit in the processor’s RAM module. Key notch has a different location, so that prevention is there between the installation platform.


Initially, the price gap between DDR3 and DDR4 was quite large. However, nowadays, the price difference is quite negligible, and it is most likely to disappear entirely soon. Concerning clock speed versus latency, the DDR3 RAM performs better but is still cheaper than DDR4. While the DDR3 costs around 2000 INR , the DDR4 comes at a price of around INR 2200.

The cost can be a significant factor where the user needs a lot of RAM.






Physical Layout of the pins

240-pin connector

288-pin connector


1.5 volts

1.2 volts





The choice of motherboard dictates the type and capacity of the DIMM. If you want to buy a motherboard supporting the older DDR3 standard, go for the DDR3 memory. DDR4 is the most recent memory standard which is currently available on many new models of motherboards. The frequency and latency of the DIMM also determine its performance.

Generally, the RAM which has a higher frequency has a higher capability of boosting the system performance as compared to a lower rate one.

Will my system accept different data rates of DIMMs?

DDR3 and DDR4 rely on a different layout of pins in the respective modules. They use separate connectors and rules to refresh the stored values, including the different voltages. Hence, they can’t be combined, and there are sporadic cases when a motherboard can support both the connectors.

Standard Voltage Usage

DDR4 can operate at a voltage of 1.2 V as the frequency stays between 800 and 1600 MHz as compared to the rates of 400 MHz and 1067 MHz through DDR3 800 and 2133. The speed of DDR3 is a bit slower than DDR4. There is no explained clock speed for the later.


The overall performance of the DDR4 RAM is more efficient because of its lower voltage and stability. Since DDR4 has an increased chip density and clock speed, it will undoubtedly improve the gaming experience. While DDR4 is more advantageous concerning module density, voltage consumption, and clock speed, DDR3 edges out the newer and better version in terms of latency and price. Along with these factors, choosing the best RAM also depends on personal needs and requirements.

DDR3 is the most competent RAM for the present but if you are looking forward to build a future-ready computer with the latest components and technology, DDR4 is the best option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use DDR3 instead of DDR4?

No, you can’t use either of the two as a replacement of the other. They aren’t compatible, both electrically and electronically. DDR3 runs at a voltage of 1.5 V, whereas for DDR4, the energy is 1.2 V. The significant difference is speed as DDR3 is slower as compared to DDR4.

Is 8GB DDR4 better than 16GB DDR3?

Yes, in most cases, 8GB DDR4 stands out as compared to 16GB DDR3. The specification for DDR3 begins at 800 MHz and continues till 2133 MHz, and the case is exactly opposite for DDR4 as it started with 2133 MHz itself. The better speed upgrades the entire bandwidth.

Is DDR3 RAM good for gaming?

If your motherboard has little RAM, the difference is created in the speed and stability of both the device and game. But, in case the RAM is sufficient, you won’t face any issues. Any DDR3 RAM is suitable, and most people generally go for the 8 GB options.

Is it worth upgrading from DDR3 to DDR4?

It is always the best option to upgrade DDR3 to DDR4 as the latter is usually faster. In case you are planning to build a PC, you should search for a motherboard that is compatible with DDR4.

Can I put DDR3 RAM in the DDR4 slot?

No, you can’t install DDR3 on a slot of DDR4 as it can’t physically fit into that. Both of them aren’t compatible and hence won’t fit in or work. Any motherboard that has the slot of DDR4 can stand the insertion of DDR3.

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