Smart Access Memory on Zen 2 CPUs - The Power of Resizable Bar!

Smart Access Memory isn't a Zen 3 exclusive feature!

Smart Access Memory on Zen 2 CPUs - The Power of Resizable Bar!

Smart Access Memory on Zen 2 CPUs - The Power of Resizable Bar!

AMD's Smart Access Memory technology is a major innovation, and it is now available to users of Zen 2 processors, assuming that your motherboard supports it.

Our GPU test system, which uses an ASUS X570 Crosshair VIII Formula, now has a BIOS update which adds support for a feature called "Resizable BAR", the cornerstone of AMD's Smart Access Memory (SAM) feature, and it would be rude not to test it out on our Ryzen 9 3950X. 

With a Radeon RX 6000 series graphics card and an motherboard/CPU combo which supports the optional PCIe "Resizable BAR" feature, gamers can see significant uplifts in game performance in some titles, effectively giving PC users a free performance upgrade. In this overview, we will be testing Smart Access Memory using our Ryzen 9 3950X Zen 2 processor across a large selection of games to judge the performance impact of the feature. 
 

Smart Memory Access reveals the All-AMD Advantage on Gaming Desktops

What is Smart Access Memory? 

Before now, CPUs had access to 256MB of GPU memory, an allocation size which made a lot of sense in the early 2000s. Since then, GPU memory sizes have exploded, with AMD's Radeon high-end RX 6000 series of graphics cards featuring a whopping 16GB of GDDR6 memory. 

With AMD's Smart Memory Access technology, AMD is granting their CPUs access to the entirety of the RX 6000 series' frame buffer. Thanks to this access, AMD users can benefit from increased game performance within existing titles, and developers can exploit this access for further performance gains with future game releases. 

This technology will allow CPUs and graphics cards to benefit from the bandwidth offered through PCIe 4.0, as increased GPU memory access will undoubtedly result in increased bandwidth utilisation. That said, it may take a while for PCIe bandwidth to become a limiting factor with some games.   
  

Smart Memory Access reveals the All-AMD Advantage on Gaming Desktops

Enabling Resizable Bar on an ASUS motherboard

In this article, we will be using our standard GPU/Game test system, which uses a Ryzen 9 3950X processor with Precision Boost enabled, a Crosshair VIII Formula motherboard with BIOS 3003, 16GB of Corsair 3600MHz DDR4 memory and a Radeon RX 6800 graphics card. 

Below is a screenshot of the BIOS of our X570 Crosshair VIII Formula motherboard, where we can now enable an option called "ReSize BAR" with compatible processors. This feature allows AMD's RX 6800 series to utilise Smart Access Memory, giving users more system performance in some scenarios. 

More information about our games testing system is available here

Smart Access Memory on Zen 2 CPUs - The Power of Resizable Bar!  

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Most Recent Comments

31-12-2020, 20:30:27

Dicehunter
The results in Assassins Creed and Forza are pretty impressive for something as simple as a bios update.Quote

31-12-2020, 22:12:06

WYP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dicehunter View Post
The results in Assassins Creed and Forza are pretty impressive for something as simple as a bios update.
Yeah, it is crazy how much extra performance the feature brings to some games. It will be interesting how games utilise this feature in the future, especially when Nvidia adopts a form of it.Quote

05-01-2021, 06:26:16

queeg
woo hoo just found the new bios for my asus x470 f can now use the new cpus well pleased can anyone answer would i get the pce x4 or a new 5 series board neededQuote

05-01-2021, 07:38:29

Dicehunter
Quote:
Originally Posted by queeg View Post
woo hoo just found the new bios for my asus x470 f can now use the new cpus well pleased can anyone answer would i get the pce x4 or a new 5 series board needed

Some X470 and B450 boards do, I wouldn't expect the full functionality though as the boards are quite literally missing the hardware needed for full PCI-E 4 support.



https://i.imgur.com/KShVDw8.pngQuote
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