Can you put DDR3 in a DDR4 Motherboard? Motherboard Compatibility

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text woodmart_inline=”no” text_larger=”no”]We have heard about RAM and its importance right from when computers took the world by storm. Even though we probably didn’t understand it much, we knew it was something important. 

Now, we have all evolved and thankfully, RAM has too! With growing needs, RAM has become faster and more reliable with more capacity. This is why we have various types in it. The most popular ones today are DDR3 and DDR4. Our article today revolves around them.

What is RAM?

RAM or Random Access Memory is the computer’s cache. It is like short-term memory more than anything else. When the computer needs information, it turns to the RAM for it. If the RAM is unable to provide the information, it will search the hard drive.

What is DDR?

DDR is Double Data Rate. A DDR RAM can accomplish two data transfers every clock cycle. Today, there are 4 versions – the original DDR, which came out in 2000. This is almost obsolete now. In 2003, we saw DDR2, which is also quite old. DDR3 came out in 2007 while DDR4 hit the markets in 2014. Both DDR3 and DDR4 are used today with DDR4 being the more popular one. 

It is important to learn the difference between the two because compatibility is a huge factor. Some motherboards do not accept DDR3 and some others are not compatible with DDR4. 

Difference between DDR3 and DDR4

To say it simply, DDR4 is the more attractive and newest kid on the block. It is faster and consumes less power. Also, its peak data transfer rate is much higher than DDR3. The most significant difference, however, which is very relevant to this article is the number of DIMM pins on each. DDR3 has 240 pins while DDR4 has 288.




DIMM pins 240 288
Power consumption 1.35-1.5 V 1.2 V
Data transfer rate (peak) 14928 MB/s 25600 MB/s
Bus clock 400-933 MHz 933-1600 MHz
SO-DIMM pins 204 260

Can you put DDR3 in a DDR4 Motherboard?

Now comes the topic that you have been waiting for. If you have a DDR4 motherboard, can you use DDR3? We are sorry, the answer’s negative.

You cannot use DDR3 in a DDR4 motherboard. The reason behind this is simple – they have a different number of pins. And like pieces of a puzzle, they need to fit properly to work. A DDR4 motherboard will have a slot for 288 pins but DDR3 only has 240. So, if you try to fit it in, it simply won’t work. 

While we are at it, we would like to inform you that a DDR4 RAM will not work in a DDR3 motherboard either. It’s a two-way street!

People Also Ask (FAQs)

In this section, we shall answer a few FAQs about RAM.

What Happens if you put DDR4 in a DDR3 Slot?

It won’t fit and it won’t work. They are simply not compatible.

Is DDR3 Still Good in 2021?

Yes, it is still good and popular. It has the capability to handle most games.

Is DDR4 Faster Than DDR3?

Yes, it is.

Is It Worth Upgrading From DDR3 to DDR4?

This depends on your requirements. Upgrading will require a new RAM as well as a new motherboard. That’s expensive. If you really see the need, thus, you can. Otherwise, DDR3 is still very good.

Can I use DDR3 in DDR2 Slot?

No, this won’t be possible. Each generation of DDR has a specific number of pins and slots. They cannot be interchanged.

Which is Better for Gaming DDR3 or DDR4?

The difference is negligible in most games. Unless you are a pro gamer and require only the best, you can stay with DDR3. However, if you are anyway going to buy a new PC, we suggest that you choose DDR4.

Does my PC use DDR3 or DDR4?

You can easily check the RAM type to find out. 

Task Manager > Performance > Memory


Even though they are just different generations, DDR3 and DDR4 cannot be interchanged. RAM and motherboard compatibility are a must for smooth operation and interchanging beats this purpose completely. We hope this article clarified your doubts. If you have any more, please leave a comment.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Azad Shaikh

Azad Shaikh

Azad Shaikh is an internet geek at heart. From reviews about computer components to playing X-box one games, Azad takes pleasure in writing about anything and everything about computers. He is a computer engineering graduate and certified ethical hacker. In his leisure time, he reads and explores the internet.

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