AMD just announced the company’s latest line of graphics cards, the AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series. These enthusiast-grade GPUs come with a bunch of great new features, all designed to improve your gaming experience. Some of the features only have sparse details, but after AMD’s reveal of these three videocards, let’s review what makes them tick.
AMD Infinity Cache
First and foremost is the new AMD Infinity Cache. As AnandTech Editor-in-Chief Ryan Smith describes it, Infinity Cache “…functions a lot like an L3 cache on a CPU.” This helps move large amounts of data more quickly between the actual graphics processor and available VRAM.
That’s huge. With 16GB of RAM available on the AMD Radeon RX 6800, AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT, and AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics cards, a huge 128MB cache can greatly speed up performance. High end games often use compressed graphics files that then need to be decompressed, processed, and displayed. With a larger cache, developers have more bandwidth, and therefore won’t require as much processing. In other words, the larger cache means these new graphics cards can process more data, and process it faster.
Just like the Infinity Cache improves performance by providing greater memory capacity and throughput, Microsoft’s DirecStorage API will boost how that data is handled. As Microsoft Developer Andrew Yeung describes, older games may attempt to process thousands or tens of thousands of requests a second. These tiny files may be easy to process but the total count is daunting. That’s why some games will load certain artifacts slower than others, like clothes.
DirecStorage API is a newer method of handling files to decompress, process, and handle. Capitalizing on current SSD technology and higher-speed processing, the AMD Radeon RX 6800 Series and AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT will support DirecStorage API. Thanks to the Xbox Series X/S both supporting DirecStorage API, we expect to see plenty of games this holiday and beyond releasing built with the new API in mind.
AMD Smart Access Memory
We know very little about what AMD Smart Access Memory is, but the company has said this: for AMD Ryzen™ 5000 Series desktop processors and AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series graphics cardsowners, Smart Access Memory provides direct access to all 16GB of VRAM to the CPU. In other words, better connectivity between your two major processing units and their available memory.
Today, the CPU and GPU act as two completely separate components. They each process what they’re commanded to, and they each use available memory that they’re allotted. The CPU has RAM, and the GPU has VRAM. Considering how powerful both CPUs and GPUs have become in recent years, this separation of powers is…well, wasteful. AMD Smart Access Memory would remove the current 256MB aperture limitation between CPUs and PCIe devices, thereby providing significantly more throughput for even faster data transfer and processing.
Here at CoolNation we’re all about overclocking. Especially with great liquid cooling systems. And while we’re tinkerers at heart, the option to automatically overclock for optimal performance sounds awesome. That’s what Rage Mode enables, a quick one-button press to overclock your AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT or Radeon Rx 6900 XT GPUs. Without hassle, worry, or freezing your rig.
We’ve seen automatic overclocking software before, but getting it directly from AMD is a new twist. And it’s even more impressive to note that overclocking via Rage Mode won’t void your warranty, so the performance gains come at no additional cost of concern about frying your videocard. Even though it’s been years since I melted anything in my gaming desktop, there’s never a guarantee that it won’t happen again. The peace of mind that brings…it’s hard to put a price on that.
This is just the beginning
These four features are just a handful that we’re impressed by and looking forward to. The latest AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series GPUs will also fully support DirectX 12 Ultimate, include many additions to AMD FidelityFX (including Super Resolution), and better power efficiency. There’s so much to learn more about, and in the coming weeks we’ll have more to share about these exciting high-end GPUs.