During the launch of its Radeon RX 6000 series, one particular technology that AMD announced alongside its cards Smart Access Memory (SAM), a feature that will effectively expand the data channels between its Ryzen CPUs and Radeon GPUs, giving the system access to all of the latter’s memory buffer.
Now, in an interesting turn of events, a short statement on GamersNexus’ Twitter account is suggesting that NVIDIA is working on a GPU technology similar to SAM, but designed for its Ampere cards, for obvious reasons.
As per NVIDIA’s statement to GamersNexus, the reported technology already exists as part of the current PCIe specifications and has been the case for several years now. To that end, NVIDIA told the tech site that if and when it does get the technology out, it should technically work with both AMD and Intel CPUs. Further, it also does not require PCIe Gen4 to work.
From NVIDIA, re:SAM: “The capability for resizable BAR is part of the PCI Express spec. NVIDIA hardware supports this functionality and will enable it on Ampere GPUs through future software updates. We have it working internally and are seeing similar performance results."
— GamersNexus (@GamersNexus) November 12, 2020
At the current moment, AMD’s SAM technology will only work between and latest Radeon RX 6000 series GPU, as well as its AM4 motherboards. However, accessing it requires that users flash the motherboard’s BIOS with an AGESA 188.8.131.52 firmware update.
Reviews of the RX 6800 series cards around the world are still ongoing, but one of AMD’s charts clearly shows the RX 6800XT gaining an approximate 6% increase in frames with SAM enabled, and at 4K resolution. As interesting as this sounds, we actually suggest taking AMD’s alleged performance uplifts with a grain of salt, at least until the reviews are out.