Nvidia’s working on its own version of AMD’s Smart Access Memory tech

Nvidia's working on its own version of AMD's Smart Access Memory tech

Nvidia’s working on its own version of AMD’s Smart Access Memory tech

When AMD revealed its “Smart Memory Access” (SAM) technology, there was one question that came to most analysts. That question was “how will Nvidia respond”. 

During discussions with Nvidia, Gamers Nexus has gotten an answer to this question. That answer is simple, “NVIDIA hardware supports this functionality and will enable it on Ampere GPUs through future software updates.” Nvidia’s representative also stated that the “resizable BAR” is part of the PCIe specification, making the technology something which Nvidia and Intel could enable with ease. AMD may have been first with Smart Access Memory, but they won’t be the last to implement such a feature. 

Below is Gamers Nexus’ Twitter thread on their conversations with Nvidia.  

 

Nvidia's working on its own version of AMD's Smart Access Memory tech  
What is Smart Access Memory? 

When discussing the matter, AMD claimed that their Smart Access Memory technology was a unique innovation which would be exclusive to systems with Radeon RX 6000 series graphics cards, AMD 500 series AM4 motherboards (with up to date firmware) and AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series processors. The technology grants users of All-AMD systems increased access to GPU memory, delivering  CPU/GPU performance boost. 

On most Windows PCs, CPUs only have access to around 256MB of GPU memory, a tiny portion of their frame buffer. Smart Access Memory allows the CPUs of All-AMD systems to access the full frame buffer of modern Radeon graphics cards. 

AMD’s internal data has shown that their compatible systems receive performance boosts of around 6% on average when Smart Memory Access is enabled, giving AMD-powered systems a performance edge over their rivals. With Smart Access Memory, AMD plans to convince system integrators to ship systems with Ryzen CPUs and Radeon graphics, and PC builders to invest in All-AMD hardware setups. 

Nvidia’s solution will work with AMD and Intel processors?  

If Gamers Nexus’ statement is correct, Nvidia’s answer to AMD’s SAM technology should work on all systems, regardless of your chosen CPU manufacturer. This makes the fact that AMD has tied their SAM technology to Ryzen 5000 series processors disappointing, though AMD’s implementation may offer functionality which extends beyond BAR resizing. 

Right now, it remains to be seen whether or not Nvidia’s answer to AMD Smart Access Memory will be on par with what AMD will offer. While Nvidia’s statement has said that they “seeing similar performance results”, that doesn’t mean that they are receiving the same performance gains. 

Nvidia's working on its own version of AMD's Smart Access Memory tech  

Let’s wait and see

Does AMD’s Smart Access Memory offer something that Nvidia can’t? Will Nvidia’s solution be on par with what AMD’s offering? Answers to these questions will come in time. 

Nvidia’s response to AMD’s SAM technology feels reactionary. AMD will be shipping products which support Smart Access Memory next week with their Radeon 6000 series, and Nvidia only has the vague promise of “future software updates”. That said, AMD now needs to be clear about why Smart Access Memory is exclusive to Ryzen 5000 series and Radeon 6000 series products. If Nvidia can support a similar feature on all CPU platforms, why can’t AMD? 

You can join the discussion on AMD’s Smart Access Memory and Nvidia’s response on the OC3D Forums. 

Nvidia's working on its own version of AMD's Smart Access Memory tech