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Difference Between GDDR3 and GDDR2

ddr-memory-pdGDDR3 vs GDDR2

GDDR memory is just like the DDR memory that we use in our computer, except that these are specialized to be used in graphics cards like those produced by ATI and Nvidia. Graphics cards are equipped with their own memory modules so that it would not need to access the system memory, which is electrically further and therefore slower. As an improved version of GDDR2, GDDR3 is able to accommodate a higher bandwidth by transmitting more information with every clock cycle.

GDDR3 is able to handle the same amount data as GDDR2 can, while lowering the power that is consumed. This helps the video card meet the standard power draw requirements and improving the overall performance of the GPU. A side effect of the lower power draw is the lower amount of heat that the memory modules generate. The power consumed by a device is dissipated in one form or another, often as heat. Excessive heat can degrade performance and even damage components. Manufacturers try to prevent this by using fans and heatsinks that add extra bulk and weight to the graphics card. Using GDDR3 mitigates this problem a little bit.

Another cool feature that was added into the GDDR3 specification is the ability to reset or flush the entire contents of the memory module. This allows the graphics card to start fresh and could be quite useful in certain situations. A possible scenario is when the graphics card encounters an error that needs the graphics card to start from scratch. GDDR2 lacks this ability and the only way to flush the contents of the memory would be to restart the computer.

Although GDDR3 is a marked improvement over GDDR2, it is not the only basis when choosing the right graphics card for your computer. There are other important aspects to consider, including the chipset of the graphics card, the software it supports, and the amount of memory it has. The amount of memory is very important as too little means that some of the data is cached on the much slower system memory/ Of course, with all things kept equal, choosing a card with GDDR3 memory over one with GDDR2 is always the logical choice, given that the price difference is acceptable.


1. GDDR3 is able to handle more bandwidth compared to GDDR2

2. GDDR3 consumes less power compared to GDDR2

3. GDDR3 generates less heat compared to GDDR2

4. GDDR3 is equipped with a hardware reset functionality that is not found on GDDR2

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