RAM Types: The 3 Memory Units You Need to Know (2023)

By Tibor Moes / Updated: June 2023

RAM Types: The 3 Memory Units You Need to Know (2023)<br />

RAM Types

Imagine yourself in a kitchen preparing a feast. You have all the ingredients you need in your refrigerator, but the counter space where you’re actually preparing the food is your only limit. In this scenario, your computer’s RAM is that crucial kitchen counter. But what’s the best counter for your cooking—or rather, computing needs? Let’s dive in and find out!


RAM, or Random Access Memory, is your computer’s short-term memory, temporarily storing data it needs right now. Different types of RAM can impact speed and performance in various ways.

Type 1 – DDR4 (Double Data Rate 4): This type of RAM offers higher module density and lower voltage requirements than its predecessor, DDR3. This means it can store more data and consumes less power, making it both faster and more efficient.

Type 2 – LPDDR4 (Low Power Double Data Rate 4): Designed for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, LPDDR4 is an interesting type because it strikes a balance between performance and power consumption, enabling your devices to run smoothly without draining the battery too quickly.

Type 3 – GDDR6 (Graphics Double Data Rate 6): This is the type of RAM you’ll find in high-end graphics cards and game consoles. With its ultra-high transfer rates, GDDR6 ensures smoother and more detailed graphics, making it a fascinating choice for gamers and graphic designers.

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RAM Types In-depth


Consider our earlier analogy of the kitchen counter space. If your computer was a professional chef, DDR4 RAM would be the expansive granite countertop allowing for speedy and efficient meal prep. But what does that mean, exactly?

DDR4, short for Double Data Rate 4, is a type of RAM that your computer uses as a super-fast workspace. Its primary job is to temporarily hold the data that your computer needs right now, or in the very near future. And boy, is it good at its job!

Let’s break that down a little. The “Double Data Rate” part of DDR4 tells us that this type of RAM can transfer data twice per clock cycle, making it faster than some other types. It’s like having a super-efficient chef that can chop onions and stir the pot at the same time. But what’s so special about the number 4? The 4 signifies that this is the fourth generation of this type of memory, and each new generation typically brings improvements in speed and efficiency.

And DDR4 sure did bring some game-changing improvements! Compared to its predecessor, DDR3, DDR4 can handle more “ingredients” on its countertop at once. This is because it has a higher module density, allowing it to store more data temporarily. Think of it as an upgrade from a small chopping board to that spacious granite countertop we mentioned earlier.

Plus, DDR4 operates at a lower voltage than DDR3. In practical terms, this means it requires less power to do its job, making it kinder on your computer’s energy consumption—almost like switching to energy-efficient appliances in our kitchen analogy.

So, what does this all mean for you? In a nutshell, if your computer uses DDR4, it’s like it’s got a bigger, faster, and more energy-efficient kitchen where it can whip up everything it needs. Whether you’re gaming, streaming, browsing, or multi-tasking, DDR4 keeps things running smoothly.

But remember, just as a chef needs more than just a good countertop to prepare a great meal, your computer needs more than just RAM to perform well. Other components, like the CPU and hard drive, also play a critical role. So, while DDR4 is an essential part of the mix, it’s just one ingredient in the recipe for a fast, efficient computer.


Remember our bustling city analogy? Think of LPDDR4 as an ingenious architectural marvel, a high-rise building specifically designed to house more people while using less energy. It’s a perfect fit for the urban landscape of mobile devices—your smartphones and tablets.

LPDDR4 stands for Low Power Double Data Rate 4. Breaking it down, “Low Power” implies that this kind of RAM doesn’t consume a lot of energy. It’s a power-saver, kind of like a building designed with energy efficiency in mind, equipped with solar panels, LED lighting, and energy-saving appliances.

The “Double Data Rate” bit implies that this RAM type, like its cousin DDR4, can transfer data twice per clock cycle. It’s a bit like an elevator in our building analogy, capable of moving people (or in our case, data) to their desired floor both on the way up and the way down. The ‘4’ indicates that this is the fourth generation of this type of memory, with each new generation usually being faster and more efficient.

But why do we need a ‘low power’ version of RAM, you might ask? Well, just think about how you use your smartphone or tablet. These devices are often working all day long without a break, and the last thing you want is for them to run out of battery halfway through an important task, or while you’re catching up on your favorite show. LPDDR4 uses less power than other types of RAM, meaning it’s kinder on your device’s battery and allows you to use it for longer periods without recharging.

Imagine our high-rise building again. LPDDR4, with its power-saving capabilities, is like a building that’s off the grid, making its own power. Its residents (the data) can go about their business without worrying about blackouts or rationing.

Furthermore, LPDDR4 is not only a power-saver but also a speedster. It’s designed to quickly shuttle data around when you’re switching between apps, playing a game, or streaming a video. It’s the reason why you can flip between writing an email, posting on social media, and watching a video without any annoying lag.

In essence, LPDDR4 is the hero that keeps the city of your mobile device humming along nicely. It does its job quietly in the background, ensuring you can go about your digital life smoothly and seamlessly. However, much like a city needs more than just efficient buildings, your device relies on more than just RAM—it needs a whole ecosystem of components working in harmony. But within that ecosystem, LPDDR4 is one of the essential players, making sure your handheld city stays powered up and running smoothly.


Recall our post office analogy. If our computer was this post office, GDDR6 would be the ultra-efficient mail sorting system that can handle a huge number of parcels, delivering them at lightning speed, just in time for the holidays. But what makes it so special?

GDDR6, which stands for Graphics Double Data Rate 6, is a type of RAM that’s often found in the world’s most powerful graphics cards and game consoles. It’s like the secret sauce that makes your computer’s visuals incredibly smooth and detailed. It’s all about getting the data (or “packages”) where they need to go, and quickly!

The “Double Data Rate” indicates that GDDR6, like DDR4 and LPDDR4, can transfer data twice per clock cycle, up and down. It’s like having a mail sorter that can handle two packages at the same time—one in each hand. The ‘6’ shows that this is the sixth generation of this type of memory, with each new generation generally being quicker and more effective.

Now, you might be asking, why does graphics memory need to be so fast? Well, imagine trying to watch a movie or play a video game with the image constantly stuttering or freezing—it would be pretty frustrating, right? High-quality graphics require a lot of data to be moved around quickly, and that’s where GDDR6 comes in.

Think of GDDR6 as the mail sorter who’s incredibly good at their job, sorting packages quickly and accurately so they can be delivered on time. In the same way, GDDR6 is capable of handling large amounts of data at high speeds, ensuring that your game or video runs smoothly.

Furthermore, GDDR6 offers a higher bandwidth than its predecessor, GDDR5. This means it can handle more data at once—like our mail sorter being able to handle larger or more numerous packages. This feature is particularly important for applications like virtual reality or 3D rendering, where enormous amounts of data need to be processed.

In conclusion, GDDR6 is like the heart of the graphics powerhouse. It’s the secret ingredient that allows gamers and graphic designers to enjoy detailed, smooth, and immersive visuals. But, like the efficient post office that relies on more than just the mail sorter, a computer needs more than just RAM—it needs a balanced combination of components. Yet, within this ensemble, GDDR6 is the star that brings high-definition graphics to life.


In the bustling, digital metropolis that is your computer, RAM is like the hidden infrastructure that keeps everything running smoothly. Whether it’s the expansive kitchen countertop of DDR4, the energy-efficient high-rise of LPDDR4, or the speedy post office of GDDR6, each type of RAM has its unique role and significance. They are the silent heroes in our computers and mobile devices, powering our digital experiences and making our virtual world faster, smoother, and more vibrant. So, the next time you fire up a game, switch between apps on your phone, or open multiple tabs in your browser, spare a thought for the marvelous world of RAM working tirelessly behind the scenes.

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Happy surfing!

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the most frequently asked questions.

Can I mix different types of RAM in my computer?

It’s generally not a good idea to mix different types of RAM in your computer. Even if it technically works, it could lead to lower performance or system instability. It’s usually best to stick with one type and one speed of RAM to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Does having more RAM always make my computer faster?

A: Not necessarily. While more RAM can help if you’re running lots of programs at once, there is a point of diminishing returns. Once you have enough RAM to handle your typical workload, adding more won’t make a significant difference. Other factors, like your processor speed and hard drive performance, also play a huge role in your computer’s overall speed

Can I upgrade the RAM in my smartphone or tablet?

Most smartphones and tablets have their RAM soldered directly onto the device’s motherboard, so it’s not possible to upgrade it in the same way you can with many laptops and desktop computers. If you find that you’re frequently running out of RAM on your mobile device, it might be time to consider an upgrade to a new device with more RAM.

Author: Tibor Moes

Author: Tibor Moes

Founder & Chief Editor at SoftwareLab

Tibor is a Dutch engineer and entrepreneur. He has tested security software since 2014.

Over the years, he has tested most of the best antivirus software for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, as well as many VPN providers.

He uses Norton to protect his devices, CyberGhost for his privacy, and Dashlane for his passwords.

This website is hosted on a Digital Ocean server via Cloudways and is built with DIVI on WordPress.

You can find him on LinkedIn or contact him here.

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