Can DDR3 RAM work in DDR4 slot? The choice of RAM available to you is pretty exhaustive nowadays. There are plenty of companies that specialize in manufacturing gaming peripherals that have introduced a range of new lines, and you can also buy from several low-end manufacturers.
However, one of the problems that many people face when it comes to buying a new RAM stick is determining what generation to choose. DDR stands for Double Data Rate, and if you take a look at the box, you will see whether your RAM is DDR3 or DDR4. DDR5 is also on the verge of release, so that can lead to some major changes as well.
The double data rate is the advanced version of the standard SDRAM. That’s because it has the capability of transferring data at double the rate of the standard SDRAM, making it much more powerful and also considerably faster. However, most people don’t know the difference between the slots and the numbers that follow, and are often confused about which one they should choose.
First of all, let’s talk about the basics. DDR3 memory was released back in 2007, and was used on almost all the processors and compatible with motherboards, ranging from Intel’s LGA1366 all the way to the LGA1151. It was also compatible with a myriad of AMD CPUs, and received quite a bit of success in its time. In fact, many high-end computers even today feature DDR3 memory, especially those that were assembled in 2017.
If you want power and performance, the DDR3 memory is still a pretty reliable bet, but like all things, it is old now. In 2017, the DDR4 memory was released, which offers better transfer speeds, improved performance, and considerably more power. Moreover, the DDR3 is ideally compatible with sixth and seventh generation computers. If you are interested in buying a computer or a processor that is eighth or ninth generation, you should consider going for DDR4 memory.
Keep in mind that almost all modern platforms have shifted away from DDR3 since the sixth generation Intel Skylake CPUs. Now, the question that most people are wondering about is whether there is a considerable difference between DDR3 and DDR4, and whether you can use them interchangeably or not.
Can DDR3 RAM Work In DDR4 Slot? (Can DDR3 Fit In DDR4?)
The short answer is NO, since there is a massive difference between the two. On top of that, you need to understand that a motherboard with DDR3 slots is going to be incompatible with a computer that supports DDR4 memory. To explain this better, you need to take a look at the functionality underneath. First of all, you need to know that DDR4 operates at a considerably lower voltage when compared with DDR3. It’s designed to be faster and more efficient.
To put things into perspective, DDR3 runs at around 1.5 volts, whereas DDR4 memory runs at 1.2 volts. While it may not sound like much, you need to understand that the difference in modules could play a major role. There are certain low voltage DDR3L modules available as well, and the voltage might overlap with the DDR4 memory, but that still does not make them compatible with each other.
Now, let’s talk about speed. Arguably the biggest difference between a DDR3 memory stick and a DDR4 memory stick is the speed. According to specifications, DDR starts at around 800 MT/s and can go no higher than 2,133 MT/s. There are certain overclocking variants available in the market that begin at 1,600 MHz and provide support all the way up to 4,800 MT/s, but those are relatively expensive. Simply put, the increase in speed also increases bandwidth.
Unfortunately, this increases your latency too. On the other hand, DDR4 is capable of providing excellent speeds while maintaining very competitive latency, especially when you compare it to the previous iterations. For instance, DDR3-1600 CL10 comes with a latency of 12.5 nanoseconds. On the other hand, a DDR4-2666 CL17 has a latency of 12.75 seconds, which is basically the same amount. However, when you compare the bandwidth, you realize the vast difference between the two. The DDR4 memory provides 21.3 GB/s of bandwidth, whereas the DDR3 gives only 12.8 GB/s.
Which One Is Better?
So, how does this relate to the performance in real time? What difference does it make in real time? Which one is the clear winner? The answer, as you might think, is not as clear. For starters, according to stats, there is relatively a very small increase in terms of application performance, and in most cases, only a few percentage points separate the two.
However, the difference becomes visible when you look for computer programs that are focused on performance. For instance, if you are going to focus on video editing, you are going to need every ounce of juice that your computer is able to muster. For that to happen, you need it to perform at very high levels. That won’t be possible if performance is limited by DDR3 memory.
You will want to upgrade your computer and install a more powerful processor first and foremost, and along with a more powerful processor, you will also want to upgrade to more powerful memory. DDR4 memory is a step up when you use it in specialized applications.
There are a number of high-end video games nowadays that require you to make use of DDR4 memory. That’s because these video games have so many different elements being rendered on screen that a standard DDR3 memory is just not sufficient. As mentioned before, the difference in bandwidth plays a key role, which is why you will probably want to upgrade.
On top of that, you should also think about the upgrades in performance and future-proofing your computer. In 2020, the world will probably see the release of DDR5 memory, so you will want to make an upgrade to not be left far behind. These are just a few things that you should know about using DDR3 or DDR4 memory in your computer.