What Is DDR4? What Is DDR3? DDR4 vs DDR3 RAM Explained
Overview: What Is DDR4?
Full form of DDR4 is double data rate fourth-generation synchronous dynamic random-access memory. Moreover, let’s start with what memory or RAM is actually for in your system. Let’s imagine for a moment that a builder is like a CPU doing work and tools are like data. So, a processors cache is a very small amount of incredibly fast storage directly on board. This is a kind of like the hands of our builder. He cannot keep much there but it’s really fast to access. Next up is RAM or working memory.
This is whatever our builder can store on his belt or nearby as he works. It’s slower to get to the cache and you cannot keep everything you could need there. But, it should be enough to complete whatever is the current task. Next, we will talk about the mass storage which would be your SSD or hard drive. This is much lower than the RAM. To access the kind of like going down the ladder to grab something from his truck and then if we wanted to keep the analogy going even after it’s worn out, it’s welcome.
We could say that off-site storage like over the internet is kind of like driving to the store to buy a new tool outright. It’s that much slower again. So, there you have it. RAM is the tools or data bringing it back to computers that your CPU needs to complete its current tasks.
Or tasks, so the more of it you have the less often you, the builder will need to go down the ladder to retrieve things. And, the faster it is, the less downtime you will need to deal with every time. You realize you are holding your drill when you need a circular. It’s the next evolutionary step forward and memory technology from DDR3.
And, this is not a small upgrade compared to DDR3 it offers over 20 new features. So, I think it goes without saying, that it’s not backwards compatible and you will need a new motherboard and CPU to use it. Sounds expensive? Why would you even want that? First up, it’s going to improve performance aside from allowing much higher clock speeds.
We are talking 30 to 100 Megahertz. Stock DDR4 is a bigger change, might at first appear to be with some clever architectural wizardry designed to improve performance particularly in multi-core systems. Next up, we have got a capacity right off the bat – DDR4 will be capable of double the density per dice.
But, perhaps equally important is that it can support upto eight dies per package instead of four which contained translates into an effective patrolling of DDR3. Theoretical maximum capacity of 128 gigabytes per module i.e. 512 gigabytes memory sticks. For now, that benefit along with some of the others won’t be very applicable to home users.
A couple more such improvements are the 40% or so reduction in power consumption due to DDR4 is better power management and lower operating voltage as well as its support for a much more advanced error detection prevention and correction. This last one is going to be the key as capacities grow the point where errors become inevitable.
DDR4 vs DDR3? Which One Is Better & Why?
DDR4 is having fast memory, it is power efficient as well. It’s a requirement if you want to pick up a fancy new CPU that needs it and you can learn all about it here, so with DDR4 available, why would you want DDR3 anymore on top of all the other stuff that we just unveiled, said DDR4 has four in it? That’s like one more than DDR3. The answer is cost at the time of writing this guide. DDR4 is more expensive for a given capacity than DDR3, so for that reason, many potential customers will want to see it. Justify its higher cost. Comparison of DDR3 and DDR4. There are no CPUs on the market that support both DDR3 and DDR4, at least consumer ones.
So we have to be pretty careful to reduce variables and make this comparison as fair as possible. It starts with the processor, so we chose two CPUs based on the same Haswell Microarchitecture. From Intel, the Core i7 4790k and the core i7 5820k, Then we proceeded to disable two of the cores on the 5820k and clock them both at straight 4.4 Gigahertz with no turbo boost. So, neither of them would have any raw clock speed advantage. One thing we could not do anything about is the difference in cache size, but this is as close as we could get to a level of playing field for the CPU. Next up let’s discuss the Motherboards.
We have to two-gigabyte Gaming 5 motherboards the Z97X – Gaming 5 and the X99 Gaming 5. We were looking for feature equivalent boards to use for both chips and both of these have a very similar loadout with SATA Express, 10 Gigabit M.2 drive support, amplified onboard audio Qualcomm killer networking, similar CPU power designs with gigabyte’s all-digital implementation and of course a matte black and red colour scheme that you will yourself find caring about probably far too much. The X99 version does have some extras to go along with its higher price: a more advanced sound processor, 3 and 4 way SLI support and some LED lighting accents including on the heatsink and the i/o shield to make it easier to plug things in the dark mode. But enough about that, you guys want to know about the memory we are using right now?
Representing DDR3 at upto the highest JEDEC speed 2133 megahertz with enhanced timings, we have got a 16 gig dual channel kit of XPG V1 memory resplendent in an anodized red finish and representing DDR4 at upto the highest JEDEC DDR4 speed, 2400 Megahertz, although higher speeds will be coming, a 16 gig quad-channel kit and a new DDR4 XPG Z1 series with an updated aggressive-looking heat spreader also featuring an anodized red finish. Even the brand new DDR4 modules operated flawlessly throughout the benchmarking process and for that matter, so did the motherboards. You will be impressed with the X99 Gaming 5. This one has made a lot of progress, Gigabyte’s drop-in Bios updates like that and the stability of it is much improved over X99 at launch. Everything just kind of went smoothly for a change.
Anyway speaking of the benchmarking process, I guess that’s what’s next, So I am going to mention three different scenarios here. First is the DDR3 dual channel. Next is DDR4 Dual Channel. So we have a very direct comparison between the two memory technologies at a variety of speeds and timings and finally to show a very best case scenario for Modern DDR4. Our team threw in a set of results with the RAM overclocked to 3 Gigahertz in quad-channel mode, the configuration that most folks running, DDR4 capable processors will be running until Broadwell comes to the mainstream desktop in the dual-channel only sometime next year. Now synthetic benchmarks are where DDR4 should be able to flex its muscles.
These AIDA64 benches are designed to show us the uppermost limits of the theoretical performance of the memory subsystem of a PC in the test. DDR4 delivers better performance in the readings than DDR3, but worse write latency results making this a bit of a wash. But, in its full quad-channel configuration, our high-speed DDR4 is untouchable here. Next up is real-world non-gaming results. Multi-threaded rendering and our 7-Zip compression and decompression benchmarks are a good way to show off the performance of the modern CPUs with lots of processing cores and high-speed memory is needed to keep all of those cores fed, so something to note here is that while the performance scaling with a better memory might not look very impressive.
The LGA 2011-3 socket is likely to be with us for a few years and has CPUs available for it already with upto 18 cores, so while the extra bandwidth, even in the quad-channel, is not needed for this artificial quad-core that we have created here. There are ways to kit out a board like this so that it’s much more likely that extra memory bandwidth would be used. Which leads to our final rate and I only ended up running a couple of games. The canned benchmark in Tomb Raider at these settings and my custom run at the end of BioShock infinite at these settings because the results are don’t leave much for me to interpret.
Even going all the way down to DDR3 100 Megahertz, so nearly the launch speed of DDR3 in the dual-channel; We could not create a situation where game performance was limited in any meaning way by the Memory subsystem on it a Haswell Based CPU with only 4 cores. So, in conclusion, while it might be worthwhile from a platform point of view to invest in DDR4 for your six-core or eight-core processor.
Since you don’t have a choice if you want the latest CPUs. If you are a normal consumer who doesn’t need the extra cores, it looks like LGA 1150 with its ancient DDR3 memory still has a lot of life left in it and given how unconstrained our Haswell CPUs are even by every low-speed DDR3. We believe it’s safe to say that the performance we can expect to see from Intel’s upcoming Broadwell desktop processors will be thanks to architectural improvements not the use of DDR4.
Memory is stored on the motherboard in modules that are called Dims? DIM stands for Dual Inline Memory Module. a. DIM is a dual inline module because it has two independent rows of these pins, one on each side. The DIM memory module has either 168 or 184 or 240 or 288 pins. And, then the DIM is installed on the motherboard in the memory storage. The motherboard can have a various number of memory slots, the average Motherboard will have between 2 and 4 of them.
For data or program to run on a computer. It needs to be loaded into RAM first. So, the data or program is first stored on the hard drive then from the hard drive, it’s loaded into RAM. And once it’s loaded into RAM, the CPU can not access the data or run the program now.
A lot of time, if the memory is too low, it might not be able to hold all the data that the CPU needs and when this happens, then some other data has to be kept on the slower hard drive to compensate for the low memory. So, instead of the data going from RAM to the CPU, it has to do extra work by going back to the hard drive and when this happens, it slows down the computer.
So, to solve this problem, all you need to do is increase the amount of RAM on a computer and by increasing the memory more data can be loaded into the faster RAM. Without the need of constantly accessing the slower hard drive and the result is faster performing computer. So, this is why a computer with more ram performs faster than a computer with less RAM.
RAM requires constantly electrical power to store data and if the power is turned off, then the data is erased. RAM also comes in different types, such as dynamic RAM or DRAM. The DRAM is a memory that contains capacitors or a Capacitor is like a small bucket that stores electricity, and it’s in these capacitors that hold the bit of information. Such as 1 or 0.