What is DDR4 RAM for Dedicated Servers?
DDR4 RAM stands for double data fourth generation random-access memory. It was first introduced in 2014. The new generation spent 9 years in development, with development starting in 2005.
If you’re thinking, wow 9 years for a new version of RAM, it must be good you wouldn’t be wrong. The new and improved RAM has significant bandwidth improvements.
Dedicated Server Performance Increases when Using DDR4 RAM
The biggest improvement between DDR4 RAM and DDR3 RAM is the increased data transfer rate. If you’re leasing a dedicated server with DDR4 RAM, you won’t notice the decrease in power consumption (only the host notices that), but will notice the increased transfer rate.
The performance increases come in four important categories:
- Internal Rate
- Prefetch Rate
- Transfer Rate
- and Channel Bandwidth
Let’s take a look at the numbers to see how much DDR4 has improved upon older RAM specifications:
Original DDR RAM had an internal rate of 100-200 MHz, a prefetch of 100-200MHz, a transfer rate of 2n, and channel bandwidth off 0.20-0.40 GT/s. No server should be running on DDR RAM at this point.
Before we continue, let’s define GT/s for those not familiar. GT/s stands for giga transfers per second. It refers to the raw data transfer rate. This differs from Gbps because it doesn’t factor in the encoding process which lowers useable data transfer speeds.
Encoding typically results in 80% of a transfer rate being usable. In other words, 4GB of RAM is actually 5GB, with 1GB used to encode and decode. Here’s a more detailed explanation.
DDR2 RAM had an internal rate of 200-533 MHz, a prefetch of 100-266 MHz, a transfer rate of 4n, and a channel bandwidth of .40-1.06 GT/s. This represented a more than 2x performance increase over DDR RAM. Lower end servers may still be equipped with DDR2 RAM, but you should avoid it when you can.
DDR3 RAM came with an internal rate of 400-1066 MHz, a prefetch of 100-266 MHz, a transfer rate of 8n, and a channel bandwidth of 0.80-2.13 GT/s. This again roughly doubles performance when compared to DDR2 RAM. This is the go-to RAM for hosts at the moment.
Now, we have DDR4. DDR4 RAM has an internal rate of 1066 – 2133 MHz, prefetch of 100-266 MHz, a transfer rate of 8n, and a channel bandwidth of 2.13-4.26 GT/s. Again, capabilities were roughly doubled.
Should You Purchase a Dedicated Server that Supports DDR4?
So, is DDR4 worth the extra cost? Simply put, yes. A dedicated server with DDR4 RAM will deliver significant performance improvements. This is especially true when performing tasks which need greater RAM bandwidth.
The only downside is that a dedicated server with DDR4 RAM may have increased latency due to higher clock speed, but the difference is negligible.
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