Tuesday, December 1, 2020
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Nvidia is working on competing technology to AMD's Smart Access Memory for RTX 30 series GPUs


Briefly: AMD touted a brand new Smart Access Memory function for its RDNA 2 graphics playing cards (Radeon RX 6000 series) as one thing unique to an all-AMD configuration, however Nvidia says it would quickly allow comparable performance for RTX 30 series Ampere GPUs that work will work when paired with both an AMD or Intel CPU.

When AMD launched its Radeon RX 6000 series graphics playing cards earlier this month, it was proven that includes double the efficiency of the earlier era (AMD’s numbers, not ours, but). The RDNA 2 structure afforded these features relying on three nifty methods to obtain among the purported efficiency claims: a 128 MB Infinity Cache, RAGE Mode, and Smart Access Memory.

Of these three, solely Infinity Cache is a real AMD unique. RAGE Mode is primarily an overclocking profile within the Radeon Software program, and its outcomes could range relying on the silicon lottery.

Smart Access Memory (SAM) as a performance-boosting technology is an fascinating function that AMD says will solely work when pairing a Ryzen 5000 series CPU with a Radeon 6000 series graphics card on a 500 Series motherboard. Primarily, it permits dynamic growth of the info channel between the CPU and the graphics reminiscence (VRAM) to enhance total efficiency — up to 11 % in accordance to AMD.

In a typical PC configuration right this moment, solely a small portion of the body buffer (usually 256 MB) utilized by the GPU is uncovered over the PCIe bus. Smart Access Memory is advertising converse for one thing known as ‘resizable base entry register (BAR),’ which is really a part of the PCIe 3.zero and later spec, and supported by the Home windows Show Driver Mannequin (WDDM) v2.

Thus far, AMD has created the notion that this technology was unique to its RDNA 2 graphics playing cards, however just lately Nvidia advised GamersNexus that its Ampere playing cards also support resizable BAR and obtain comparable efficiency features after they have it enabled. Nevertheless, that may come by a future software program replace, with no indication as to when. AMD’s RX 6000 series playing cards are set for launch subsequent week (opinions!!), which is a good window for Nvidia if it desires to have the drivers prepared by then.

Apparently, Nvidia intends to make this work with each AMD and Intel CPUs and on both PCIe 4.zero or PCIe 3.zero motherboards, throwing the ball in AMD’s courtroom to do the identical. This implies AMD will probably be the primary to assist resizable BAR, however Nvidia could finally have it working on many extra configurations. And if it brings the identical efficiency features because it does for RDNA 2 playing cards to Ampere, it would change the image we have seen in AMD’s shiny benchmarks.

A technique or one other, it stays to be seen if it is possible for you to to get ahold of a Ryzen 5000 CPU, RTX 3000 or Radeon RX 6000 graphics card earlier than the 12 months is over.