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How does Graphics DRAM differ from regular DRAM?

Graphics DRAM is a category of DDR SDRAM chips made to specifically handle the enormous demands of graphics processing. Unlike standard DRAM, graphics DRAM is a fixed and dedicated memory, generally combined with the graphics processing unit (GPU) – either on the graphics card or on the system board (for systems with onboard graphics). Graphics DRAM also helps shift the display and graphics-related load away from the computer’s main memory, as well as improve the performance of the GPU and the system’s display.

What features and functions does GDDR5 have versus previous generations of Graphics DRAM?
  • GDDR5 provides more than twice the memory bandwidth compared to its predecessor, GDDR3.
  • Higher densities
  • Lower external voltage
  • The specialty of GDDR5 is the 4X relationship between data rate and the CK clock, compared to the 2X relationship in DDR3 and GDDR3.
Does GDDR5 replace GDDR3?

GDDR5 is not a direct replacement to GDDR3 due to package size differences:

  • GDDR3: BGA-136
  • GDDR5: BGA-170