AMD has been touting their latest technology, known as Smart Access Memory (SAM) which just launched with their Ryzen 5000 series CPUs, and their Radeon RX 6000 series GPUs. It’s a clever technology that deals with how the CPU can only access a limited part of the GPU VRAM at any one time. Their new system basically opens up more than one lane for much more simultaneous throughput.
It’s something that seemed like it would give AMD a big advantage. However, it does require the latest GPUs and CPUs from AMD to be working together, it’s not backwards compatible. However, now it seems like Nvidia are working on something similar.
Where did this information come from? In a reply from Nvidia to a Gamer’s Nexus question no less.
What Nvidia Had to Say
“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.” – Nvidia
It’s not a secret either, as this feature has been part of the PCIe specifications since 2008, it’s well documented. It reads “This optional ECN adds a capability for Functions with BARs to report various options for sizes of their memory-mapped resources that will operate properly. Also added is an ability for software to program the size to configure the BAR to.”
Basically, it’s just something that was there to be used, but there was either never a need, or a good way to fully take advantage of it. Now there is and I guess we’ll all see the benefits in the near future.