DDR5 RAM: what it is and how it differs from previous generations of RAM


We’ll explain the features of DDR5 RAM and tell you how it differs from previous generations of RAM. 2020 is the year when DDR5 RAM is expected to make its way into our computers. So it’s worth knowing what makes it different.

We’ll start by explaining exactly what DDR5 RAM is. The idea is that you can understand everything perfectly. Then we’ll explain how DDR5 differs from its predecessors.

What is RAM memory and DDR5 RAM


RAM temporarily stores the data of the programs and applications that your device is currently using. It stands for Random Access Memory and differs from other types of memory by two features. First, it is extremely fast, and second, the data is only stored temporarily. This means that when you restart or shut down your computer, all the data stored on it is usually lost.

Neither your computer nor your smartphone or tablet performs all the actions you want excluded from the hard disk, as this is slower and would take longer. Instead, this type of faster memory is used for tasks that require immediacy. It is also the memory that is responsible for storing the CPU instructions or data that the applications need all the time, so as not to overload the hard disk and have them immediately. These instructions remain there until the computer is turned off or until they are replaced with new ones.

Browsers also store the data of the pages you visit in memory so that they are always there and don’t need to be reloaded. Open applications are also stored there, so you don’t have to bother the hard disk for every action. The more RAM you have, the more applications you can use at the same time and the better the performance, and if you don’t have enough, your computer or phone can be slow.

Depending on the size, there are two types of RAM: DIMM and SO-DIMM RAM. The former are dual inline memory modules found mainly in desktop computers, and the latter are dual inline memory modules found mainly in notebooks.

RAM standards have evolved over time, and to distinguish new models that are usually faster, the number in the DDR nomenclature has been increased. Therefore, DDR5 RAM is the newest standard currently available and has better characteristics than DDR4 and DDR3.

So, if you buy a computer and want to make sure that the RAM is state-of-the-art, you need to make sure that it uses DDR5 and not older standards. Be careful, though, because the motherboard slots are not prepared for newer RAM models than the ones your computer came with when you bought it, and if you have a PC with DDR3, you won’t be able to upgrade to DDR5.

Differences between DDR5, DDR4 and DDR3


There are two types of RAM memory. DDR (Double Data Rate) memory is characterized by the fact that it can perform two operations per clock cycle, in contrast to SDR (Single Data Rate) memory, which performs only one read or write operation. To make this possible, DDR chips are activated twice in each clock cycle, either by level (high or low) or by edges (rising or falling).

This mode of operation is the same for both the DDR3 and DDR4 standards, as well as the latest generation DDR5. The more modern the standard you use, the higher the speed it can operate at. This means that having a DDR4 with a data rate of 3.2 GB/s and a maximum transfer rate of 25.6 GB/s is not the same as having a DDR5 with 6.4 GB/s or 51.2 GB/s.

Here is a summary of the speeds of the three main standards, the new DDR5 compared to the two previous generations:

DDR3: Data rate up to 2133 MB/s, and maximum transfer rate of 17 GB/s.DDR4: Data rate up to 3.2 GB/s, and maximum transfer rate of 25.6 GB/s.DDR5: Data rate up to 6.4 GB/s, and maximum transfer rate of 51.2 GB/s.

As a result, the new generations of RAM offer higher performance than previous generations, as well as better scalability and energy efficiency. So if you want higher performance, it may be worth upgrading. However, there is one problem: the standard of RAM you can use is determined by your machine’s motherboard.

For example, if you have an old computer that came with DDR3 RAM, it’s likely that the RAM slots are for that standard. Each one has a different connector. So if you want to use a more advanced RAM, you will need a different motherboard.

This means that when DDR5 memory hits the market, you can’t just buy DDR3 or DDR5 memory and use it instead of the others if you have DDR3 or DDR5 memory in your computer. You will need a new motherboard that has the necessary connectors to support this new generation.

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