Screenshots show support for older Ryzen CPUs

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of Soeren Diedrich
When AMD’s new Radeon RX 6000 graphics cards were presented, the new Smart Access Memory feature was also discussed. As a result, CPUs of the current Ryzen 5000 series should be able to fully access the VRAM of the graphics card in order to ideally enable overhead-reduced optimizations such as on the consoles. New screenshots now suggest that the feature is also supported by Ryzen 1000 and Ryzen 3000 CPUs if they are operated on a current motherboard with a 500 chip set.

When the new Radeon RX 6000 graphics cards were presented, not only all sorts of benchmarks with many long bars were shown. One of the most interesting new features – assuming the future interest of game developers – will be the “Smart Access Memory” feature, or “SAM” for short. The technology behind it is broken down to the simplest: The compatible CPU has full access to the fast video memory of the RX 6000 graphics card through the compatible chipset and, through this direct connection of the two components, opens up the possibility of making targeted optimizations in the style of the consoles that use their exclusive titles such as “God of War” (2018) repeatedly show what you can still tease out of even old hardware.

No contact ban for older Ryzen CPUs

One should not expect such performance jumps only through SAM, however, AMD itself calls “Real World Performance Gains” of up to 11 percent in PR speech. And as you can see clearly above: The word “compatible” is the subject of a lot of ambiguity. Because so far the triumvirate of Ryzen 5000 CPU, 500 I / O hub on the mainboard and RX 6000 graphics card has been officially named when it comes to the SAM feature. It was therefore assumed that older Ryzen processors did not support a specific PDEP instruction and could therefore not benefit from the new feature.


That guess grew quickly refuted by AMD itself. Theoretically, Ryzen CPUs of the first and second generation should also be able to use SAM. New screenshots from Wccftech now show exactly that: a current MSI mainboard with an older Ryzen processor and active use of the Smart Access Memory feature. Videocardz shows another screenshot that repeats the said scenario with an Asus mainboard, so older Ryzens should also come into play here.

Does Nvidia bring its own solution?

Of course, the clever feature should not have escaped the competition from Nvidia, and there should already be some discussions in their corporate headquarters about whether to bring their own solution to the market to be able to counter the SAM feature. Igor’s LAB has published an article that is well worth reading, which you can read in full here. So it will be interesting to see how big the performance improvements through such features will be in the future.

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