Tech Tip: What is DDR4 SDRAM Memory?

DDR4 SDRAM is short for Double Data Rate Fourth Generation Synchronous Dynamic Random-Access Memory. It’s been dominating the memory module market ever since its release in 2014.

DDR4 Physical Differences

DDR4 modules have more pins than their predecessor. The previous generation, DDR3, had 240 pins while DDR4 modules have 288 pins. Since they are not backwards compatible with previous generations of memory, the notch has been moved so that we do not accidentally install the memory where it shouldn’t go. In addition, the shape of the printed circuit board is now slightly curved to improve the strength and electric contact.

DDR4 Performance Differences

1. Increased speed

While DDR3 clock speeds range between 800 MHz to 1600 MHz, DDR4 modules have stepped it up from 1600 MHz to 3200 MHz.

2. Increased Capacity

While DDR3 modules would max out at 16GB memory, DDR4 has no known maximum limit or capacity. This is due to higher density chips and stacking technologies used on the modules. Even though you can find 1TB DDR4 memory modules on the market, the most cost effective ones these days are 16GB and 32GB.

3. Lower Power Consumption

Not only does it have increased performance and bandwidth, it has also lowered the cost for computing. DDR4 Modules have decreased the amount of voltage they consume. The predecessor DDR3 SDRAM consumed 1.5V while DDR4 runs on 1.2V. This reduction in voltage usage is what has caused the decrease in power consumption. This results in consuming up to 40% less power. This benefit is noticeable on devices that run on batteries.

4. Increased Reliability

DDR4’s greatest improvement is that it is the most reliable module from all of the DDR generations. DDR4 modules improve data reliability through the following features

  • Cyclic Redundancy Checks (CRC)
  • On-Chip Parity Detection of “Command & Address”
  • Enhanced Signal Integrity and other RAS features

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