What Is DDR3 Memory?

By Matt Koble

DDR3 RAM, first released in 2007, is a type of memory often used in computers and other electronic devices. DDR3 offers many advantages over its predecessor, DDR2, though the two are not compatible. DDR3 offers high-speed RAM that will help keep your computer running quickly and smoothly and can be upgraded when the time comes.

What is RAM?

RAM, or random access memory, is what your computer uses to open and run programs. While not in use, things are stored on your hard drive. When you open a program, it moves from the hard drive to your RAM so that you can access and use it quicker. Every program you currently have open is using some of your RAM, and, if you don't have a lot of RAM, opening too many programs can hinder the performance of your computer.

DDR3

DDR3, which stands for Double Data Rate 3, is a high-speed random access memory technology that is used in more than just computers. Smart phones, PDAs, Netbooks and other small electronic devices often take advantage of DDR3 memory, according to MemoryX.net.

VS. DDR2

DDR3 will allow for chips up to 8GB, while DDR2 only allows for 4GB per chip, according to SimmTester.com. That means they have the ability to run more programs at one time without showing any sign of slowdown. MemoryX.net claims DDR3 to be superior in bandwidth as well, with up to 1600 Mbps when it comes to data transfer rates. They also state that DDR3 memory is the same size as DDR2, though the two are not compatible.

Speed & Performance

With DDR3, the components are twice as fast as the fastest DDR2 memory sticks available, according to MemoryX.net. With their added speed and increased storage capacity, DDR3 is clearly superior to DDR2 when it comes to both speed and performance. MemoryX.net also claims that DDR3 has a longer battery life, meaning the product will last longer. It is also designed with heat in mind, as DDR3 will overheat less than DDR2, even when pushed to their limits.

Other Benefits

DDR3 memory operates on 1.5 volts of electricity instead of the previous 1.8 used by DDR2. While it may not seem like much, this small amount means the unit consumes less power than its predecessor. DDR3 RAM also features an asynchronous reset pin to reset the card if the need ever arises, something neither DDR2 or DDR memory featured, according to MemoryX.net.