Hardware

Nvidia’s mobile Ampere GPUs and answer to AMD Smart Access Memory set for CES reveal

Nvidia's mobile Ampere GPUs and answer to AMD Smart Access Memory set for CES reveal

Nvidia is set to announce its answer to AMD’s Smart Access Memory (SAM) technology tomorrow at CES. Known as the resizable BAR, it’s claimed to enable similar performance gains as AMD SAM using not only Nvidia GPUs but also Intel CPUs. We’re also expecting Nvidia to roll out its new Ampere-based RTX 30-series mobile GPUs tomorrow.

As we’ve noted previously, the so-called resizable BAR feature has actually been part of the PCI Express specification for a few years. As with AMD’s SAM, the main aim is to increase system (and in turn CPU) access to the full graphics frame buffer over the PCIe bus, rather than being limited to accessing it in 256MB chunks.

In our testing, we found SAM delivered up to 10 percent increase in performance, though typical gains were in low single digit percentage territory. Until now SAM has been tied to a combination of AMD’s latest Ryzen 5000 CPUs and Radeon RX 6000 GPUs, making it both pretty exotic and currently almost impossible to achieve thanks to supply shortages of AMD’s RX 6000 graphics cards in particular.

Nvidia is planning on opening out AMD’s Smart Access Memory feature to Intel CPUs and older PCIe 3.0 platforms. (Image credit: AMD)

However, Nvidia’s plan is to open out the resizable bar to include Intel CPUs and PC platforms running PCI Express Gen 3.0. For once, it seems it’s Nvidia taking a more democratic approach to a technology, then. And according to a tweet from WCCFTech’s hardware editor, the new feature will be announced tomorrow at CES as coming to the RTX 30 series of GPUs.


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