According to a statement from GamersNexus based on their reporting, NVIDIA will soon offer Smart Access Memory on Ampere. According to big green, the technology is supported by PCIe specifications. Not only will it work, it’ll work no matter what CPU you’ve got.
From NVIDIA, re:SAM: “The capability for resizable BAR is part of the PCI Express spec. NVIDIA hardware supports this functionality and will enable it on Ampere GPUs through future software updates. We have it working internally and are seeing similar performance results.”
— GamersNexus (@GamersNexus) November 12, 2020
This means you won’t have to buy an AMD CPU to improve CPU-GPU connectivity. At least, not for too long. There’s no expected release date of a firmware update to Ampere GPUs (and motherboards) just yet. I expect we’ll see something in the coming months.
Either way it’s great news for everyone, so long as you have compatible hardware. That’ll mean at least an 11th Gen Intel/AMD Ryzen 5000 CPU, NVIDIA Ampere/AMD Radeon 6000 GPU, and a motherboard that supports the hardware.
Based on numbers that AMD shared when the company revealed the Smart Access Memory feature, gaming performance should jump at least 5%. And with additional optimizations by game developers, that number may grow significantly.
And while performance gains are one of the coolest parts of this announcement, the future of hardware integration may be more impressive. While Apple’s new M1 processor very powerful for graphics performance, it’s a lightweight. Especially when compared to today’s discrete GPUs. And if we see better performance outside of just an increased transistor count? Efficiency across the entire desktop can prove far more valuable in the years to come.