When assembling a new computer, if it is supposed to install a top-end processor, the question inevitably arises, what memory should I put? Most likely, the fastest answer will be. Is it really? Do I need a high-speed memory, will its use justify its high cost?
Uk.hardware.info conducted a fascinating study of the dependence of processor speed on the frequency of memory operation. So let’s try to figure out which DDR4 RAM to choose, what speed you need, and where you can save money through this ddr3 vs ddr4 gaming ram article. I propose to get acquainted with the results.
The Goal Behind Testing
The ultimate goal is to determine the optimum, the price/performance ratio, at which the personal amphibian will be satisfied, and the processor will be able to reach its full potential. Yes, and your own ego will not be in the loser, because it’s not any suckers to put the cheapest memory to the top CPU.
There are two more points. Firstly, how much the software used (application, games, etc.) can use the capabilities of faster memory, and secondly, how much the hardware of the assembled computer is compatible with the selected memory modules.
If the first can only be determined practically by performing tests, then with the possibility of using one or another module, you can decide immediately, because of which some options will disappear.
This, of course, is primarily about AMD. Intel’s “stones” work perfectly with DDR4-4000 memory, but for Ryzen at frequencies above 3000 MHz, difficulties may already arise.
It’s not about overclocking right now. This is a separate topic. In normal mode, both Intel and AMD officially support DDR4-2666, but further options are already possible.
To test how the software scales depending on the speed of RAM, two top mainstream Intel Core i7 8700K and AMD Ryzen 7 2700X processors were selected. The checks were carried out on a 16 GB G.Skill Trident Z memory set, which works without problems at frequencies up to 4000 MHz.
The card is an NVidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, and so even this powerful graphics chip does not become a bottleneck, games that are more dependent on the processor than on the GPU were used.
Given the specifics of the memory of both processors, or rather, mainly AMD, the following RAM frequencies were chosen:
- Intel CPU – 2133 MHz with CL13, 2666 MHz with CL14, 3200 MHz with CL14 and 4000 MHz with CL
- AMD CPU – 2133 MHz with CL13, 2666 MHz with CL14, 2933 MHz with CL14.3200 MHz with CL14 and 3600 MHz with CL
Most of the tests are Assassin’s Creed Origins, Battlefield 1, F1 2017, GTA V, and Rainbow Six Siege.
As mentioned above, the choice was primarily determined by its processor dependence. Testing was conducted at FullHD (1920 × 1080) and WQHD (2560 × 1920) resolutions.
Used medium and ultra graphics settings.
In addition to games, the performance was tested in some benchmarks and applications.
Which Memory is Best For Assassin’s Creed Origins?
The game is known for the fact that it “loads” the processor well. Actually, this can be seen from the results obtained, especially with the Intel processor and, first of all, with FullHD resolution.
The difference between the “base” frequency of 2133 MHz and the maximum 4000 MHz was 10-11%, depending on the graphics settings.
When switching to a higher resolution, the difference in the number of FPS is reduced to 2-4%.
AMD Ryzen was less responsive to changing RAM speeds. The maximum effect of using a faster memory in FullHD resolution was 6%.
Best Memory For Battlefield 1 ?
In this game, when using the Intel processor at medium graphics settings in FullHD resolution, the video card rests at a maximum of 200 FPS and practically does not depend on the speed of RAM. The same picture and in higher resolution. There is no sense in quick memory in this case.
AMD’s situation is different. Dependence on memory speed is obvious and reaches 12-15%, depending on the graphics settings in FullHD resolution.
With ultra settings in WQHD resolution, differences in memory speed are much less pronounced, and the most “slow-moving” RAM kit loses the most.
Starting at 2666 MHz, the differences are in percent.
F1 2017 – Ddr3 vs Ddr4 Gaming
Racing simulators, as a rule, are less dependent on the video card, but on the speed of the processor, memory, etc. pay much more attention. The results confirm this.
For Intel, the difference between the slowest and fastest RAM kit was 21% with average graphics settings in FullHD.
Switching to ultra settings reduced this result by almost half. With WQHD resolution, using the fastest memory can bring an increase in the number of FPS by 9% and 3% for medium and ultra graphics settings, respectively.
With AMD, the situation is again different. Using faster memory compared to the slowest DDR4-2133 brings about a 12-15% effect on all resolutions and any graphics settings.
Moreover, most of the growth is noted in the transition from DDR4-2133 to DDR4-2933. Further, the results also grow, but already very slowly.
Ddr3 vs Ddr4 Gaming – GTA V
The game is known for its processor dependence and willingness to “consume” all available resources. This was reflected in the results.
In the case of the Core i7 8700K, the increase in FPS depends on the graphics settings, the higher it is, the more justified is the use of RAM with a high frequency.
The maximum effect at FullHD resolution on ultra settings is 16%. This is most evident when switching to a memory with a frequency of 3200 MHz.
Further on, increasing the frequency gives an already less noticeable effect. AMD shows the same stability as in the case of F1 2017. Regardless of the settings, the transition to a higher frequency memory will bring plus 12-14% of the php. You may notice that the effect is noticeable up to a frequency of 3200 MHz. There is almost no sense in a further increase.
Rainbow six siege – Ddr3 vs Ddr4 Gaming
The game is very popular with eSportsmen, and therefore, the number of FPS is a very important parameter.
For Intel CPUs, the greatest effect of high-speed memory is manifested with FullHD resolution and average “picture” settings – 5%. Moreover, with a RAM frequency of 3200 MHz, almost the maximum 333 FPS is achieved, and a further increase in the memory speed does not give an effect.
With ultra settings or when switching to WQHD, the effect of the speed of RAM fits a maximum of a couple of percents.
The AMD CPU is more sensitive to changes in the operating mode of the memory, and most of all, this is noticeable in the average graphics settings. With improved image quality, memory dependency is reduced to 3%.
Ddr3 vs Ddr4 – Non-game test results
It would probably not be entirely right to limit oneself only to games. Therefore, checks were carried out in some test packages and real programs.
Cinebench 15 MT – Ddr3 vs Ddr4
This benchmark almost did not notice the difference between the memory modules when using the Intel CPU, and however, when working with AMD, there is nearly no difference either.
Basically, the slowest version “failed” – DDR4-2133. The rest showed very similar results.
Ddr3 vs Ddr4 – x264
Video encoding is also not particularly dependent on the speed of the memory.
The increase was 4% for Intel and 3% for AMD. Moreover, the greatest difference is between the slowest DDR4-2133 module and all the others that go very close to each other.
Winrar – Ddr3 vs Ddr4
The archiver noticed a change in memory performance. In the case of using the Intel processor, this was reflected in a 13 percent acceleration of work between the slowest and fastest RAM modules. However, this is not entirely true. After DDR4-3200, increasing the frequency no longer has any effect.
With AMD, the difference was also the same 13%.
Ddr3 vs Ddr4 – Google Chrome – Jetstream
In this test, the acceleration when using a faster memory with an Intel processor was within 1%. AMD is 4% faster with higher RAM speeds.
Does it make sense to chase the fastest?
What conclusions can be drawn? Not every game will notice faster “brains.” And application software, at times, remains indifferent to all these mega and gigahertz. A bottleneck may not be at all at the speed of the memory.
And yet this does not mean that there is no point in installing a faster memory. If we talk about the Intel Coffee Lake platform, the greatest effect is achieved when using memory in the range from 2666 MHz to 3200 MHz.
The effect is more noticeable when using AMD Ryzen 2. Saving on RAM can take away about 10% of its capabilities from the processor. In this case, the use of modules below DDR4-2666 is not justified. Apparently not in vain, both manufacturers certified this memory.
The reasonableness limit for increasing the frequency of RAM also lies in the range up to 3200 MHz, because above, firstly, the effect is almost invisible, and secondly, there are compatibility problems.
Well, for sweets – the most bitter thing about prices (as of mid-July 2018).
As already clear, choosing the cheapest DDR4-2133 is justified only with a significant cash deficit. Smart choices start with the DDR4-2666.
Whether it is necessary above depends on which games you prefer, what software you use, and how much the results differ at different frequencies of work.
Cost of DDR3 vs DDR4 Gaming Ram
Now we turn to specific figures in dollars. For simplicity, we take the “popular” Kingston brand and the HyperX line as a guide. What does it cost? Two modules of 8 GB DDR4-2133 are estimated at approximately 180 dollars and higher. As already agreed, this option is only for the most extreme case.
For a more interesting DDR4-2666, you will have to pay at least 195 dollars, which, in my opinion, is more than justified, if only for 12-15 dollars. We get a little more from the processor than using slower modules.
The Diminishing Return
Actual RAM for AMD DDR4-2933 costs no less than 210 dollars. And I think, is the best choice. A similar version of the DDR4-3000 for Intel costs about the same.
If you look at the modules with a frequency of 3200 MHz, you will have to cook at least 220 dollars, and we must take into account that the effect is already, in most cases, lower than when switching from 2133 to 2666 or 3000 MHz.
Furthermore. The DDR4-3600 will already cost no less than 250 dollars in any way, and the justification of the purchase is already in question. The differences between this memory and, say, DDR4-3200 are minimal, and one should not forget such a thing as long delays, which can also affect the overall performance.
I don’t see much point in considering faster RAM, because there’s practically no sense in it, but the cost of DDR4-4000 already exceeds 300 dollars and tends even higher.
The G.SKILL modules are participating in the testing in American retail cost more than 490 dollars. Such a purchase is justified if you know for sure that such speeds are needed, or for overclocking.
Is the high cost worth you?
For “regular” use, these expenses are unnecessary.
In the end, you should not get too “hung up” on the speed of memory.
If you are going to a gaming computer, then the problem may be in the performance of the CPU or video card, and it is better to spend money on eliminating these potential bottlenecks, and not on ramping up the RAM performance. The configuration should be balanced, and extremes should be avoided when choosing.
Both the slowest and fastest memory is an unjustified choice, naturally, with regular use or with minimal overclocking.
The Difference Between DDR3 and DDR4
With the advent of Intel’s latest generation of processors, Skylake, notebook makers have begun updating their range by releasing models that rely on this platform.
The Chinese company Lenovo, for example, has released new ThinkPad E560 laptops, which, however, differ in one unusual solution.
Contrary to the fact that they are equipped with Intel processors of the last, sixth generation, E560 laptops have an older memory type DDR3 rather than DDR4, which we are used to seeing in most Skylake-based computers.
The fact is that the mass introduction of the new DDR4 standard began precisely with the announcement of this generation of processors, which can most effectively take advantage of the modern type of RAM.
But what are they? What exactly is DDR4 superior to DDR3, and is the difference really so great? We will try to answer these questions below.
The Industry Trend
Those who closely monitor the high-tech industry know that, unlike microprocessors, computer memory is developing at a much more modest pace. For this reason, the good old DDR3 memory “stuck” in the market for eight years – a whole era for the world of high technology.
However, with the advent of Intel’s new Skylake chips for DDR3, it’s time to take a well-deserved rest, giving way to a more promising DDR4 memory. This memory class offers two main advantages: a significantly wider range of supported frequencies and lower power consumption.
In the case of DDR3, users have a choice between four fixed clock frequencies: 1333 MHz, 1600 MHz, 1866 MHz and 2133 MHz.
Yes, there are still older versions with frequencies of 800 MHz and 1066 MHz, but the only place where you can meet them is with a somewhat “aged” computer system.
Types of RAM DDR3 vs DDR4
Greetings, dear readers! British scientists, as well as American, Chinese, Taiwanese, and everyone else, are constantly inventing something: either a cure for all diseases, then the car with a pedal drive, then methods of landing astronauts in the sun.
Computer technology is no exception. The fact that some five years ago were only theoretical calculations, today is embodied in microcircuits. The use of high-speed components enhances computer performance.
From this section of this post, you will learn how ddr3 RAM differs from ddr4 in broader depth, and also whether it is possible to install DDR4 instead of DDR3 and whether such an assembly will work.
A Bit of History
DDR3 is the third generation of SDRAM with double speed. Compared to its predecessors, the supply voltage is reduced to 1.5 V. There is (and is still used) a modification of the DDR3L, in which the operating voltage is even less – 1.35 V, that is, 10%.
The DIMM has 240 pins. They are located symmetrically on the board. However, they work asynchronously. The shutter key is not located where the other types of memory are, so compatibility is not possible either theoretically or practically – you simply do not insert such a bar into the wrong slot.
According to the specification, there are several modifications of DDR3, whose performance characteristics differ.
Advantages and disadvantages
The difference in the technical characteristics of DDR4 is not only noticeable: something is found out experimentally. For example, a lower working voltage for this type of memory leads to less heat, and therefore, theoretically, it will last longer.
Also, reducing power consumption increases the battery life of the laptop. After reading about the right choice of RAM for your PC, you can learn more about timings. Why is it important to know when comparing different types of RAM? The fact is that each subsequent generation has more timings.
And if we take the DDR3 and DDR4 memory strips for comparison with all the equal parameters, then it is thanks to the lower timings that the third-generation bracket will work faster. So that! Yeah, yeah, that’s the way it is, but there’s one thing: the DDR3 RAM bars with parameters like the Quartet’s are among the TOP ones, and therefore they stand accordingly.
I do not recommend opting for this option: firstly, you can get the same bar, but DDR4, for a smaller amount, and secondly, processor manufacturers when developing new components are already oriented towards DDR4.
Assembling a computer on this base will not be a problem while searching for a motherboard on DDR3, and suitable slats for the motherboard can turn into an exciting quest bypassing all the nearby computer stores with a known result.
Basic questions on DDR3 vs DDR4 Gaming
Perhaps this is the first place to start. DDR3 and DDR4 memory dies are the most popular today (however, DDR2 is also on sale).
Immediately, I note that DDR4 can not be installed instead of DDR3 (as well as vice versa)! I’ll even say more, because
DDR3 can be of several types (depending on the voltage) – then they can not be confused with each other (but more on that below)!
There are several ways you can find out what kind of memory your laptop supports. I recommend phasing them all to know for sure!
1) View visually
Most laptops have a small protective cover that allows you to access the RAM strips, disk, etc. quickly. This is the most informative way to see how many memory slots there are already installed (and have found out which one is already working, buy another similar strap).
As an example, how the bar looks, and what is the designation on it – see the photo below.
What the 4GB DDR3L 1600 SODIMM memory bar looks like
I will decrypt the key parameters:
- 4GB – the amount of memory (in principle, the more, the better). However, do not forget that your laptop supports a certain maximum amount of memory! For example, the maximum capacity may be limited to 16 GB!
- DDR3L is a type of memory. I draw your attention to the fact that the letter “L” at the end is not accidental! It determines the memory voltage (1.35V). In general, DDR3 is now the most popular and you can find the following types: DDR3 (classic, 1.5V), DDR3L (1.35V), DDR3U (1.25V), LPDDR3 (1.2V. Most popular on tablets and smartphones, in small laptops, at rest it consumes only a tenth of the energy from the state of activity).
- 1600 – memory frequency. Please note that mat. The board and processor can only support trims of a specific frequency!
- SODIMM – the size of the memory module (this designation shows that the memory is small, just for laptops).
By the way, there is an inevitable confusion with the memory frequency. On some slats indicate its name, say “PC3-12800”, on some 800 MHz bus frequencies, on others, they simply write DDR3 1600 (as in my example above DDR3 memory frequency).
2) In the utilities AIDA64, Spec, etc.
The AIDA64 utility is good in that it helps to quickly get the maximum information about your hardware (whether it’s a laptop or PC). As for what kind of memory a laptop supports, you should open the section “System Board / Chipset / North Bridge.” You need to look at two lines:
- supported memory type (it is advisable to choose the most productive option, in my example, this is DDR4-2133);
- the maximum memory capacity is below 32 GB in the example.
3) On the manufacturer’s website
Knowing the model of your laptop (as well as the processor and the motherboard) – on the manufacturer’s website, you can see what kind of memory the device supports. I draw your attention to the fact that you need to look at the manufacturer’s website (information on websites selling equipment may not be completely accurate).
Marziano is a seasoned tech expert with over 15 years of experience in the industry. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and multiple certifications, including CompTIA A+, Network+, and Cisco’s CCNA, he has a well-rounded and robust understanding of various aspects of technology.