General Question

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

A question for the technical geeks of Fluther, what's the difference between DDR2 and DDR3 memory?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (33030points) December 7th, 2010

And I know the answer is more than just 1.

Is it about speed or something else?

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4 Answers

the100thmonkey's avatar

DDR3 is faster in that it has higher bandwidth – it’s more modern technology.

It’s also possible to run DDR3 in tri-channel interleaved mode rather than the dual-channel mode available to DDR2. This raises effective bandwidth (as oposed to actual bandwidth).

Odysseus's avatar

The answer is not as simple as most people think. Yes DDR3 boasts higher frequency ratings with 1066Mhz compared to DDR2s 800Mhz but this higher frequency is often at the expense of a memory timing called Latency. Most of the time DDR2 ram has the superior latency (delay time)
Which means that although it is only slightly slower, DDR2 ram may be the best bet as it is around half the price of standard DDR3.
That being said Top shelf DDR3 is now available at speeds of 1600 mHZ and above and runs at lower voltages than older DDR3 this improves cas latency and is superior to DDR2.

It is expensive and you are likely to see more of a speed increase for your $$ by buying A sata3 HDD , with data transfer speeds up to 600 MB/s it offers a significant speed increase over the standard sata hdd @ 150 MB/s.

the100thmonkey's avatar

@Odysseus – true, but I understood that HDD throughput was actually limited by the drive mechanism itself rather than the bus bandwidth.

A solid state drive makes more sense if you go for SATA 3, no?

Odysseus's avatar

@the100thmonkey , Yes it makes more sense if money and data capacity are not an issue.

You are correct, there is a bottleneck with sata3. (Manufactures are not so honest) upgraded cables and a suitable motherboard will alleviate this somewhat.

Regarding SSD’s (solid state) they are the Future but you will only get a 200GB SSD for the same price as a 1TB SATA3. Not so cost effective at the moment.

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