Smart Access Memory was showcased in December 2020, but AMD didn’t really reveal which CPUs it would support. At the time, AMD revealed its marketable benchmarks in its promotional video. It listed RX 6000 series AMD GPUs while vaguely calling support for AMD Ryzen CPUs. With the recent announcement, the Smart Access Memory works with Ryzen 3000 series CPUs. This does not include its Ryzen 3000 series APU lineups. Those with an AMD Ryzen 3000 series CPU with Radeon RX 5000 or RX 6000 series GPUs can enable this PCIe Resizable BAR feature. It requires a motherboard BIOS using the AGESA 126.96.36.199 or newer. Respective motherboard manufacturers should be rolling out anytime soon.
AMD Smart Access Memory, universally called PCIe Resizeable BAR, allows the CPU to access the GPU’s VRAM. This allows the system to use its PCIe Express bandwidth effectively. The read team promises it will boost memory performance by up to 16% while gaming in its marketing references.
Intel and Nvidia to eventually support Resizeble BAR
The isn’t exclusive to AMD systems. Intel and Nvidia revealed their plans to adopt this feature. Intel plans to do this with its 10th and 11th generation CPUs. Nvidia will enable it on their RTX 3000 notebook graphics initially, eventually supporting RTX 3000 series desktop GPUs. It will be interesting to see its effectiveness depending on the combination. As of now, most users who purchased a system recently would be on the Ryzen CPU with Nvidia graphics However Steam Hardware Survey reflects higher Intel users, while AMD is making a slow and incremental increase over the months while its Radeon GPU share dwarfs compared to Nvidia’s dominance.
Smart Access Memory does more harm than good for some games
There is a downside to which, most likely something that might be ironed out(?). TechSpot tested Smart Access Memory with AMD CPU and GPU combo. It revealed a 20% boost in some games while reducing performance in others. Its also probably the reason why Nvidia will enable this for certain games some but not necessarily limited to Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Battlefield V, Borderlands 3, Forza Horizon 4, Metro Exodus, Gears 5, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Watch Dogs: Legion. Too bad it doesn’t include any eSports titles, yet.