can you use ddr3 with ryzen

Can You Use DDR3 With Ryzen? [With Suggested Alternatives]

You have recently updated to a Ryzen processor. And you have a trusty DDR3 which, for reasons, you don’t want to replace. 

Now, you are confused about the compatibility of DDR3 with a Ryzen processor. Don’t feel bad though, it is hard to understand RAM and Processor compatibility.

So, can you use ddr3 with ryzen?

No, you can’t use DDR3 with Ryzen. To elaborate, Ryzen processors use AM4 sockets that only support DDR4. And, DDR3 only fits in a specific RAM slot. Motherboards don’t come with AM4 socket and DDR3 slots together since 2017. Thus, both components are technologically incompatible. 

But you don’t need to worry! I’ve explained the reasons and alternatives for using DDR3 with Ryzen. Let’s check it out then! 

Can You Use DDR3 with Ryzen?

Unfortunately, It’s not possible to use DDR3 with Ryzen. To elaborate why, by the time Ryzen processors were released in 2017, DDR3 rams were already considered as outdated technology. AMD made the Ryzen processors support DDR4 only. 

But wait. Should you consider RAM and Processor compatibility? Or There’s more? 

The actual determining factor to use DDR3 with the Ryzen processor is the motherboard. 

Motherboards have specified sockets and slots to install the RAM and Processor. And the RAM slots are differently designed for DDR3 and DDR4. Also the RAMs are designed differently to fit these sockets as well.

DDR3 ram vs DDR4 ram
The groove is slightly sideways in the DDR3 Ram

And For Processors, there are specific sockets for each type of processor. Ryzen requires an AM4 socket. 

Sadly, the AM4 socket and DDR3 slots do not come together in a motherboard anymore. 

Does Ryzen 3 Support DDR3? 

Unfortunately, regardless of what generation the Ryzen processor is, Ryzen only supports DDR4. 

There is no motherboard available in the market that has both an AM4 socket and slots for DDR3.

Is Ryzen 5 Compatible with DDR3?

DDR3 runs at a high voltage of 1.35 to 1.50. And the Ryzen 5 processor performs optimally at 1.25V. So even if you manage to use DDR3 with Ryzen, your process will be damaged. 

And most importantly, no motherboard is available that both supports Ryzen 5 and DDR3. 

So, no. Ryzen 5 is not compatible with DDR3. 

For Ryzen 5, DDR4 is compatible because it prefers fast RAMs. Remember to check Ryzen 5 compatibility with Quad Channel RAM before getting a DDR4 RAM.

To make life easier for you I’ve compiled some of the best DDR4 RAMs there is in the market.

G.Skill RipJaws V Series

2*8 Gigs = 16 Gigs
Form Factor: DIMMRAM Memory Technology: DDR4Memory Speed     3200 MHzCheck Price
TEAMGROUP T-Force Xtreem ARGBForm Factor: DIMMRAM Memory Technology: DDR4Memory Speed     3600 MHzCheck Price
PNY XLR8 GamingForm Factor: DIMMRAM Memory Technology: DDR4Memory Speed     3600 MHzCheck Price

These are the 8 gigs of RAMs however, if you want to go for more memory no worries! I’ve got that covered too.

Here’s a list of the 32 gigs dual stick memory. 

G.Skill Trident Z RGB Series2*16 Gigs = 32 GigsForm Factor: DIMMRAM Memory Technology: DDR4Memory Speed     3200 MHzCheck Price
Corsair Vengeance LPXForm Factor: DIMMRAM Memory Technology: DDR4Memory Speed     3600 MHzCheck Price

However, remember if you’re using dual channeling then make sure to use the same speed RAMs. If your one RAM is 2400 Mhz and other one is 3200 Mhz then your 3200 Mhz will run at 2400 Mhz only.

Why You Can’t Use DDR3 with Ryzen Processor?

There are a few reasons why you can’t use DDR3 with Ryzen. The reason is technical compatibility. Fear not because I made it easier to understand.

  1. Each CPU can only handle one type of memory. AMD developed Ryzen processors to only support DDR4. And DDR4 is more available and faster than DDR3. 
  2. Ryzen is compatible with the fast ram. And DDR4 is faster than DDR3 at a max of 3200 MT/s. Whereas DDR3 can reach a max of 2600 MT/s.
  3. The motherboard you will install DDR3 and ryzen in has to support both. Which, it doesn’t. As the AM4 motherboards have slots for only DDR4 and Ryzen only uses AM4 sockets.
  4. DDR3 was released in 2007. So, the Ryzen processors that came out in 2017, it was an outdated RAM model. Leading AMD to make Ryzen operate with only DDR4.

What Happens When You Use DDR3 with Ryzen Processors?

In the previous section, I provided all the reasons why you can’t use DDR3 with Ryzen. But you still want to use DDR3 with Ryzen. Okay!

So let me walk you through the event when you use DDR3 with Ryzen. To install a Ryzen processor, you need a motherboard with an AM4 socket. Suppose you have it.

You successfully install the Ryzen processor. Now to install the DDR3.

Find the ram slot and you will see it won’t fit your DDR3. The slot for DDR3 and DDR4 is different as the cutout position is different. 

If you forcefully push the DDR3 ram into the slot, it will break. And the slot will be completely damaged. 

And if you choose a motherboard with a DDR3 slot, the Ryzen processor just simply will not sit on the socket. 

In a nutshell, it is not possible to use ddr3 with Ryzen on the same motherboard. So if you are upgrading to a Ryzen CPU then you’ll have to jump up to the DDR4 Ram and proper motherboard like this dude.

What Can You Do with the DDR3 RAM?

So far, no luck with using DDR3. You might ask, is ddr3 ram outdated? It is outdated as certain motherboards does not support it. However, the performance difference between DDR3 and DDR4 isn’t that much.

But, don’t worry, the DDR3 you have is still usable with some motherboards. 

So, What are Some Ryzen Motherboards compatible with DDR3?

AMD owns the processor line named Ryzen. And they also sell motherboards. Look for AMD motherboards if you want to purchase motherboards from the same company that makes Ryzen. 

Now to answer your question, here are 5 AMD motherboards with DDR3 slots. 

ImageProduct NamesPrice
1.ASUS TUF SABERTOOTH SATA 6Gb/s AMD 990FX ATX MotherboardCheck Price
2.Gigabyte AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s ATX AM3+ Socket DDR3 1600 MotherboardsCheck Price
3.Gigabyte AMD 760G AM3+ Micro ATX MotherboardCheck Price
4.MSI AM1I Mini-ITX AMD MotherboardCheck Price
5.ASUS Micro ATX AMD – AM3+ MotherboardCheck Price

However, keep in mind that these motherboards will not accommodate Ryzen processors. Because they don’t come with an am4 socket. So, let’s find out the processors that you might need to go with the DDR3 RAM.

Which Processors Support a DDR3 1600mhz?

Suppose you have a DDR3 1600MHz Ram and you want to use it. For that, you need a processor that is compatible with DDR3 Ram. 

There are still some ddr3 1600mhz supporting processors. What are those?

Take a look at the list of processors that I recommend. These processors work as well as Ryzen processors with DDR3 1600MHz.

Intel Xeon E5-2678 V3 SR20Z 12-Core 2.5GHz 30MB LGA 2011-3 ProcessorCheck Latest Price
Intel Core i7-4790K Processor (8M Cache, up to 4.40 GHz) BX80646I74790KCheck Latest Price
Intel Xeon E5-2697 v2 Twelve-Core Processor 2.7GHz 8.0GT/s 30 MB LGA 2011 CPU BX80635E52697V2Check Latest Price
Intel Core i5-4690K Processor 3.5 LGA 1150 BX80646I54690KCheck Latest Price

Nonetheless, allow me to clarify that these processors are either used or refurbished.  

What Rams Are Compatible with Ryzen Processors?

Now you know that DDR3 is not compatible with Ryzen. So which RAMs are compatible with Ryzen supporting motherboards?

What Rams Are Compatible with Ryzen Processors

Simply put, all the Ryzen processors only work with DDR4 and DDR5 (As of 2020). DDR4 rams are faster and motherboards with an am4 socket only have DDR4 slots.

Make sure of your Ryzen processor generation. Because Ryzen 7000 processor will require DDR5. 

I’ve personally used the TEAMGROUP T-Force Vulcan 2*16 gigs sticks with my Ryzen 7900X. However, Kingston Technology Fury Beast Black is also another great DDR5 RAM, that if you need 2*8 sticks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you use DDR3 with an AM4 socket?

No, you cannot use DDR3 with AM4. From 2017 and later, no motherboard with an AM4 socket has slots for DDR3. Most motherboards that have DDR3 slots have AM3 or AM3+ sockets. Also, DDR3 does not provide sufficient speed to operate AM4. As a result, DDR3 is now outdated.

Can a Ryzen 5 run DDR3?

Unfortunately, Ryzen processor 5 can not run with DDR3 RAM. DDR3 is an older version of RAM. DDR3 requires a RAM slot with a specific cutout. The motherboard that supports Ryzen 5 will not have a slot for DDR3 slot. Moreover, DDR3 supports 1.5V which damages Ryzen 5 processors.

What RAM is Compatible with Ryzen?

DDR4 RAM is compatible with Ryzen processors. As of 2020, DDR5 RAM is also compatible with Ryzen 5th and later generations of processors. Corsair, Crucial, and Gigabyte brands have some great quality DDR4 RAMs that are compatible with Ryzen processors. 


This concludes the answer to the question can you use ddr3 with Ryzen.

There are alternatives to using DDR3 and Ryzen separately. And it is best if you sell the DDR3 and buy a new DDR4. There are hardly any cons of a DDR4.

Of the alternatives, which one do you like the best? Let me know in the comments.

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