NVIDIA to offer a Smart Access Memory equivalent for both Intel and AMD CPUs soon
AMD may have one of its advantages taken away by NVIDIA once again. AMD is getting quite a bit of hype for their Smart Access Memory (SAM) technology, that allows the CPU to “see” the full memory capacity on the graphics card to deliver better performance. NVIDIA is reportedly working on a similar offering for Ampere GPUs, but better.
Currently, AMD is only making Smart Access Memory available to the AMD Ryzen 5000 series and Radeon RX 6000 series cards. This means that if you want to experience it, you will need to get both a new CPU and GPU. NVIDIA’s solution is supposed to be CPU vendor-agnostic, which will allow both AMD and Intel gamers to experience a similar performance boost. Not too surprising, considering that NVIDIA doesn’t make processors for gaming PCs (yet).
Hard to fit in a tweet, but basically, they’re working on enabling the same feature as AMD Smart Access Memory (AMD GPU+CPU=Perf uplift) on both Intel and AMD. No ETA yet. Doesn’t look like it’ll be ready before RX 6000 launch, but we’ll keep an eye on development.
— GamersNexus (@GamersNexus) November 12, 2020
Making it all the more interesting is that it doesn’t require PCIe 4.0, which means that we might see it be available with the 10th Gen Comet Lake processors as well. NVIDIA is expected to add their solution via a future software update, so it would be quite interesting to see how it will all pan out once it arrives.
NVIDIA’s Smart Access Memory-like solution definitely does seem like a more interesting option than AMD’s, simply because you aren’t going to be limited to a specific vendor and a specific generation of CPUs at that. They probably have quite a bit of work ahead of them though as optimizing something to work on both AMD and Intel processors, as well as across multiple generations does sound pretty daunting.
Hopefully AMD will also unlock Smart Access Memory for other AMD processors soon at the very least, as the current artificial limit that doesn’t even allow older AMD processors to enjoy the technology is going to look very bad in the face of NVIDIA’s equivalent solution. As it stands, Smart Access Memory is just a more consumer-friendly name for the Resizable BAR functionality that’s a part of the PCIe specifications, so it isn’t anything proprietary to AMD. However AMD does deserve credit for adding said feature to their GPUs first.
Pokdepinion: Well, competition does indeed drive companies forward.