Stands for "Double Data Rate 4." DDR4 is the fourth generation of DDR RAM, a type of memory commonly used in desktop and laptop computers. It was introduced in 2014, though it did not gain widespread adoption until 2016.
DDR4 is designed to replace DDR3, the previous DDR standard. Advantages include faster data transfer rates and larger capacities, thanks to greater memory density and more memory banks (16 rather than 8). DDR4 also operates at a lower voltage (1.2V compared to 1.5V), so it is more power-efficient.
Below are some notable DDR4 specifications:
- 64 GB maximum capacity per memory module (common capacities include 16 GB and 32 GB)
- 16 internal memory banks
- 1600 Mbps to 3200 Mbps data transfer rates
- 1.2 volts of electrical power required
- 288 pins in a regular DIMM, 260 pins in a SO-DIMM
DDR4 memory modules come in two primary form factors — DIMMs and SO-DIMMs. DIMMs are commonly generally used for desktop towers, while smaller SO-DIMMs are designed for laptops and all-in-one desktop computers. DDR4 DIMMs are the first to have a curved bottom edge, which makes it easier to insert them into and remove them from RAM slots on a motherboard. This and the unique position of the notch between the pins make it impossible to insert a DDR4 chip into an incompatible slot.
Faster speeds and increased memory bandwidth allow DDR4 SDRAM to keep up with modern processors, including multi-core CPUs. This prevents the memory from being a bottleneck as processing speeds and bus speeds increase.
NOTE: SDRAM must be matched with the specific requirements of a computer. When upgrading your memory, make sure you select the type (DDR2, DDR3, DDR4, etc) and speed (1600, 2400, 3200, etc) that is compatible with your computer.
Updated: April 24, 2018