DDR3 vs GDDR5: Pros, Cons, and Performance Comparison

Graphics cards or GPU in computers are constantly evolving, and their evolution goes by leaps and bounds. It would seem that even 10-15 years ago, even 128 megabytes of video memory and 560 megahertz clock frequency of a video processor was a top solution, unattainable for most “mere mortals”. And now – won RTX, 1.6 GHz video processor, 4352 CUDA cores, 12 GB of memory …

However, “new” top-end video cards have something in common with “old” ones – they are also inaccessible to “mere mortals”. Therefore, people who want to buy a gaming computer, but do not want to sell a kidney and a car, have to choose some kind of compromise solution. And finding the right model is not as easy as we would like.

Indeed, in the middle and lower price segments, the battle of technical characteristics begins. A lot of information is dumped on the user – about cores, about frequency, about displays, about video memory … What to pay attention to and what to ignore?

One of the most important characteristics that determine the speed of a video card is the type of video memory. And in this article, we will analyze DDR3 vs GDDR5, differences, specifications, and also decide which graphics accelerator to choose.

DDR3 Vs GDDR5: Differences with Pros and Cons

DDR3 video memory

DDR3 video memory (also called GDDR3, Graphics DDR3) is an outdated option at the moment. The graphics accelerators equipped with it were produced from 2004 to 2015-2016. Then lost only advantage over the next generation the price.  GDDR5 video cards have become cheaper.

DDR3 characteristics

In general, DDR3 video memory is characterized as follows:

  1. Maximum clock frequency – 2.5 GHz;
  2. Power consumption – 2 V;
  3. 2 transmitted bits per clock cycle.

Thus, only low-performance video cards are equipped with DDR3 memory. Of course, in 2010 they were the height of power and perfection, but outside the window this date is a bit different. You won’t be able to run modern games on a computer equipped with a DDR3 video card.

The only plus of DDR3 is its relatively low price. To buy a configuration with 4 GB of video memory in 2021 for 30 dollars is more than realistic. For a device with the same volume and a similar graphics accelerator, but on DDR5, you will have to pay twice as much at best.

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DDR3 Pros and Cons


  • Relatively low price.


  • Relatively low productivity;
  • High power consumption.

Video cards with DDR3 video memory are a budget solution for office and home computers. They are plugs used exclusively for video output. It will be possible to play on computers with such video cards only in old “titles” projects released approximately before 2011-2015.

In addition, the so-called professional video cards are equipped with DDR3 memory. These graphics accelerators are used primarily for creating 3D models, computing artificial intelligence and performing multi-threaded mathematical calculations. And they are also cheaper than GDDR5 models, so DDR3 configurations can be used in budget organizations and home servers that are powered by artificial intelligence or something like that.

DDR3 Vs GDDR5: Differences with Pros and Cons

GDDR5 video memory

Video memory of the GDDR5 standard is a new and relevant generation of media at the time of this material (June 2019). It is she who is installed in the vast majority of graphics accelerators – from budget to top-end, from mobile to desktop. It is designed from the ground up specifically for use in graphics cards, resulting in high performance.

AMD has been releasing its video cards on GDDR5 since 2008. NVIDIA delayed a little – the release of the first device based on this GDDR5 memory took place in 2010.

GDDR5 Characteristics

In general, GDDR5 is characterized as follows:

  1. The maximum clock frequency is 7 GHz (but in practice it practically does not occur, unlike 4-5 GHz);
  2. Power Consumption – 1.5 V;
  3. 4 transmitted bits per clock cycle.

All this makes the GDDR5 standard a very productive video memory. The speed of its work is also indicated by the fact that in some game consoles (in particular PS4) and server configurations, where maximum performance is required in combination with fault tolerance, the GDDR5 module is used as “RAM”.

GDDR5 Pros and Cons


  • High performance that meets the demands of modern games;
  • Low power consumption.


  • Relatively high price.

Video cards with GDDR5 video memory are a modern solution that meets current performance requirements. Doubled the speed of DDR3, providing fast access to any shaders, libraries and objects stored in GDDR5 drives.

GDDR5 in 2019 is equipped with graphics accelerators of all classes – budget, medium, and top-end. The only question is the size and performance of the kernel. In addition, it is worth considering that the specific speed depends on the model of the video card, its manufacturer and some other parameters.

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DDR3 Vs GDDR5 Comparison

So DRR3 is cheaper and GDDR5 is more efficient. But the difference between them is not limited to this.

Let’s compare two standards:


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In general, the “budget” DDR3 does not justify the savings at all. Now it is better to take options for GDDR5.

Hi, fellow tech enthusiasts! I’m Syed Kashif Shah, and I’m proud to be your go-to expert for all things like problems, suggestions, recommendations related to graphics cards. As a seasoned Technology Consultant and Hardware Enthusiast, I’ve spent years in the graphics card troubleshooting and repair field.