Can AM4 Use DDR3 RAM? (CPU & Memory Compatibility Report)

Picture this, your old and trusty system is finally starting to show its age. You’re thinking about upgrading to a Ryzen CPU that uses the AM4 socket, and you want to know what parts you might still be able to reuse for your new system. Maybe you’re coming from a platform that uses older DDR3 RAM.

So can AM4 use DDR3 RAM? The answer is: No, AM4 cannot use DDR3 RAM. The AM4 platform exclusively uses DDR4 memory.

DDR3 RAM slots

Below, we’ll talk a little bit about memory compatibility and what memory you should choose.

AM4 Memory Compatibility

AM4 exclusively uses DDR4 RAM for all of its CPUs and motherboards. DDR4 provides faster speeds, higher capacities, higher bandwidth, lower overall latency, and more power efficiency compared to DDR3.

AM4 offers no backward compatibility to DDR3 RAM, as DDR3 uses a different pin layout, needs higher voltages to run, has been phased out of mainstream production in favor of faster DDR4, and is no longer readily available.

Suggested Memory for AM4

DDR4 RAM is cheaper than it has ever been per GB, with 2x8GB 3200 MHz kits regularly dipping below $60. Unless you’re on a tight budget, it doesn’t make sense to get less than 16GB of DDR4 with current prices. 32GB may also make sense for you if you do heavy video editing, rendering, CAD, or other memory-intensive tasks.

Ryzen CPUs, and APUs especially, benefit from faster memory and offer decent performance increases due to how the memory is tied into the CPU/APU.

For Ryzen 1000 and 2000 series CPUs and 2x00G and 3x00G series APUs, 3000 MHz or 3200 MHz CL16 RAM is generally what we’d recommend for optimal performance as lower CL memory kits don’t offer a justifiable performance increase for their added price.

For Ryzen 3000 and 5000 series CPUs, and Ryzen 4000 series APUs, 3600 MHz CL16 RAM is the sweet spot and gives good bang for buck.

But 3200 MHz CL16 will also give good performance if you don’t want to pay a premium for faster memory. Again, there are faster kits, but price-to-performance ratio suffers.

Now that you know what memory I recommend, here are reviews of the 11 best AM4 motherboards in the market right now.

Conclusion

While the answer to the question of “Can AM4 use DDR3?” is a resounding “no”, DDR4 RAM prices won’t break the bank if you are upgrading from an older platform.

You also get the added benefit of faster speeds, larger capacities, and greater performance from updating to the newer standard of memory.

We’ve carefully selected our suggestions to offer you the best bang for buck possible, and we hope that this will help you make a more informed decision.

So now that we have cleared the answer to this question up, you can read whether all AM4 sockets vary or not here.

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