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What is GDDR7? The next-gen graphics memory explained

There’s plenty to consider when building a new gaming PC or, even, just buying a new graphics card or gaming laptop then you’ve likely thought about how much graphical memory you need. The next generation is closing in, and that’s GDDR7.

When it comes to the basics of a PC, you’ll may have heard of the terms CPU, GPU, RAM and SSD but there’s another term that relates to the second and third entries on that like. The GPU features its own kind of memory/RAM, and it’s the latest format of that which we’re here to discuss. Let’s dive into the basics.

What is GDDR7?

The GDDR7 standard is the next generation format for graphical memory and it’s set to succeed the current popular versions, GDDR6 and GDDR6X. The advancement is set to signficantly boost bandwidth and memory capacity.

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Samsung is one of the first chip manufacturers to tout the GDDR7 standard will be coming to its chips, it claims it will offer “a leap forward in computer graphics that can be leveraged in graphics cards, game consoles, automotive, HPC, and AI/ML”. It says the format is set to offer a 30 percent improvement in speed and 20 percent improvement in efficiency. Reliability is set to be boosted too, with a 70 percent decrease in thermal resistance.

GDDR7 is also the first graphical memory standard to feature something called PAM3 (Pulse Amplitude Modulation 3) signalling, which enables that large speed improvement.

But, what does it all mean for the you, the user? GDDR7 VRAM bringing improved speed, bandwidth and effiency is set to bring boosted performance to graphical workloads across the board. That’s whether it is more VRAM needed for more detailed and demanding gaming experiences or enhanced efficiency to make graphical tasks less demanding on battery life.

While GDDR7 will offer improved efficiency across the board, Samsung has also touted that a “low-operating-voltage option for hardware like laptops” will be available (via The Verge).

Samsung may be the company who looks set to be first out the gate with GDDR7 but other brands have shown their hands too, like Jedec, Cadence (via AnandTech) and Micron (via AnandTech). Of course, GPU maker Nvidia is set to feature some of this technology too, with rumours pointing towards its debut on the RTX 50-series (via PCGamer) where it could provide a 50% increase in memory bandwidth.

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