Since the introduction of RAM, many types have been developed and put into use. However, in the 21st century, DDR RAM has proven more popular than the other types. There are four types of DDR RAM: DDR1, DDR2, DDR3, and DDR4. In this blog, we will look at the technical, physical, and performance differences between the four types.
DDR stands for Double Data Rate and means that it is capable of two reads and two writes per clock cycle. Each generation of DDR RAM has this in common, but each generation has implemented improvements that make them very different from the others. DDR1 was introduced in 2002 and is no longer used. It operated at 2.5V and 2.6V, had a maximum density of 128 Mb, and a speed of 266 MT/s (MegaTransfers per second). DDR2, also no longer in use, was released in 2004. It ran at 1.8 volts (28% less than DDR1), but had a maximum density of 256 Mb and a maximum speed of 533 MHz.
DDR3 was released in 2007 and was the first DDR RAM to feature XMP (extreme memory profiles). Memory modules of this type operate at 1.5V and 1.65V with base speeds of 1066 MHz. However, this speed can increase much further, and the density can be as high as 8 GB per module. DDR4 RAM was released in 2014 and is the most widely-used DDR RAM. Voltage is reduced to 1.05 and 1.2V, although many modules operate at 1.35V. Its base speed is 2133 MHz and density is 32 GB, but both of these are increasing as new versions are developed.
Though all types of DDR RAM are designed to look similar in appearance, there are fundamental differences. All modules have an opening in the area of the contacts that will prevent them from being connected to the sockets of another generation. For example, you can not plug a DDR1 RAM module into a DDR2 socket. Additionally, DDR4 modules have a contact area with a ridge in the center. The ridge is not completely flat, though nonetheless the incision would not allow users to connect a DDR4 to a socket of another generation. Thirdly, each version has a different amount of contact pins. DDR1 has 184 pins, DDR2 and DDR3 have 240 pins, and DDR4 has 288 pins.
The most obvious differences between the various types of DDR RAM are in their performance. As technology has advanced, so too has the performance of each new generation of DDR RAM. Therefore, there are obvious differences in the performance of, for example, DDR3 and DDR4. These differences are not only in practical terms but also in the user experience when using one type of memory or another. However, it should be noted that these improvements are also a result of the rest of the computer’s components, as the change from one generation of DDR RAM to another is typically part of a complete platform overhaul.
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