Last month, AMD released a new feature, Smart Access Memory (SAM) with the RX 6800 series. The new feature will be available on their latest 500 series motherboards. This includes the B550 and X570 motherboards. The feature is exclusive to the AMD Ryzen 5000 CPUs when paired with the AMD Radeon RX 6000 GPUs. However, if you use the 400 series motherboards, there is good news for you!
The new AGESA v2 220.127.116.11 update will enable SAM on the 400 series motherboards i.e. B450 and X470. This will enhance the performance of the 400 series boards at no extra price.
Radeon SAM is AMD’s brand new feature that enables users to increase the CPU’s video memory. It will be AMD’s enactment of the resizable BAR feature that we can see in the PCI Express specification. SAM lifts the memory restrictions and provides a decent performance boost. Thus, allowing the CPU to gain full access to the GPU memory. This will allow some games to benefit to the tune of 5%-10%.
While it is quite an upgrade, it comes with a catch as well. Getting the SAM working is not a trivial task and involves working around in the BIOS. This is going to annoy users who don’t like working around with the BIOS.
Additionally, MSI and ASUS are providing unofficial BIOS updates for testers. This version is, however, not so stable. Users are advised to wait for the official AGESA v2 18.104.22.168 BIOS update that is coming out in January.
SAM was released with the new Zen 3 support to the 400 series
This new feature came as a surprise with the beta BIOS launch for ASUS and ASRock. This launch also added the Zen 3 support to the older 400 series boards well ahead of the proposed date. Although, it will still require a Ryzen 5000 CPU and RX 6000 GPU.
The other new feature Zen 3 is supposed to offer:
- 19% IPC increase
- 2.8 times faster performance-per-watt
- Up to 26% higher performance in gaming
Apart from ASUS and ASRock, other board partners are yet to bring both the features to their older boards. Although sources indicate that the other partners will make announcements soon in the coming months. the Chances are SAM support will be available in Ryzen 3000 CPUs as well.
AMD is also working out a way to make the SAM feature available with Intel CPUs and NVIDIA GPUs. NVIDIA and Intel are also working on their alternative. They are developing support for a resizable BAR function as their feature requires only PCIe gen 3.0.