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Advancements in computing power develop at breakneck speed. What’s cutting edge today can often be banished as yesterday’s news in a matter of months. One of the latest areas to see a significant move forward is computer memory. Consumer release of DDR4, the successor to DDR3 memory, is finding its way into ever more CPUs and GPUs.

But what is DDR4, and what are the major improvements from DDR3?


What is DDR4?

DDR4 is an abbreviated term for double data rate fourth generation, the latest variation of dynamic random access memory (DRAM).

DDR4 has been slowly making its way into the consumer market over the past 12 months, with a number of desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones now pondering the inclusion of DDR4, the best category of RAM currently available on the market.

In short, RAM is the component in a computer used for short-term data access, quickly storing and accessing data for active programmes.



Increased speed

Essentially, DDR4 brings two major upgrades over previous variants of RAM. Firstly, power. DDR4 generates around 2133 MT/s (million transfers per second), doubling its output over DDR3 (1066 MT/s) and multiplying its power more than five times over that of DDR2 (400 MT/s). What does this mean to us and our power-reliant programmes? Well, any device kitted out with DDR4 memory will be more capable of handling data-intensive tasks, a problem of increased pertinence as software development progresses. Similarly, application loading times will be greatly reduced and the system housing DDR4 memory will be more responsive.


Increased efficency

Significant improvement number two is efficiency. Whilst DDR3 operated on 1.5 volts, a 20% reduction in the power usage leaves DDR4 free to run on just 1.2 volts. Applying these numbers to real world effects, reduced power outage equals a number of things. A longer battery life is the most obvious advantage, particularly in mobile devices such as smartphones and laptops. On a larger scale, savings can be made by data centres and businesses who’s PCs and servers require less power to operate. Reduced power outage also equates to less heat generated by internal components. With less cooling required, the reliability of your laptop or mobile device will increase.



Increased capacity

One final advancement of note in DDR4 is capacity. DDR4 squeezes considerably more performance out of each individual component, with no increase in actual size. Smaller dies on the circuitry allow more gigabits to be crammed onto each component. A higher density circuit in turn allows for increased amount of RAM capacity in PCs, further aiding performance.


Where will I find DDR4?

DDR4 is approaching its 1 year anniversary as a consumer product. As can be expected from an emerging technological breakthrough, it remains a costly investment. Broadly speaking, DDR4 is yet to make it into pre-built desktop PCs, laptops and mobile devices, largely consigning itself for purchase by bespoke PC builders. As the need for greater levels of computing performance increase however, we can expect DDR4 to fill the void and find itself in PCs, laptops, smartphones and tablets throughout 2015 and beyond. That is, until DDR5 comes along.

If you fancy some a piece of today’s cutting edge computing tech, head to Ebuyer.com for a great range of components.





  1. Simple explanation of DDR4 RAM, but to the point. I wonder when DDR5 will hit the market, GPU’s have been using this for some time and I can only hope this safely hits the market by the end of the year (2015) or early part of 2016.

    Now all I’m thinking is how much can I overclock my DDR3 until prices drop as I’ll need to purchase an entirely new machine.

  2. Actually, there is no substantial difference between the two types of RAM, with the exception that GDDR uses more bandwidth with a higher BUS and with less power demands than DDR etc. The architecture is pretty much exactly the same respectively between versions. It’s pretty standard stuff if your familiar with microchip architecture….

  3. Stop Bit, if you dont know what your talking about stop confusing other users, yes GDDR and DDR are simliar however GDDR5 != DDR5 infact GDDR5 is quite comaprable to DDR3 as the video linked earlier explains.


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