New drivers add performance-boosting memory-access feature to older AMD GPUs

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GPU driver releases are generally not very new; They usually fix bugs, boost performance in some games, and add support for new GPUs. But owners of previous-generation AMD Radeon RX 5000-series graphics cards should heed today’s note Adrenaline 21.9.1 Release. This update adds support for AMD”smart access memory“(SAM) feature for older GPUs. AMD says this feature can improve game performance by up to 15 percent in some games.

SAM support was previously limited to the Radeon RX 6800 series (and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3000 series, which supports a mostly similar feature that Nvidia calls . resizable bar) In addition to the correct GPU and the correct drivers, you will also need to be running a supported processor on a supported chipset: either a 10th or 11th generation Intel Core CPU in a 400- or 500-series motherboard, or a Ryzen 400- or 500-series motherboard 3000 or 5000-series CPUs.


Whether you’re talking about SAM or resizable bars, the different names all refer to the same PCI Express functionality. Typically, your computer’s processor can directly access only 256MB of your GPU’s video memory at a time, and memory transfer requires splitting large assets into smaller chunks. The resizable bar removes that limitation and significantly improves performance in some games. a TechSpot test of 36 games Using the RX 6800 GPU and Ryzen 5950X processor saw an improvement of up to 20 percent, depending on the game and settings. For most games, however, performance improved by a small amount or no improvement at all. Some games also showed a decrease in performance with SAM enabled, though never enough to make any game unplayable.

Even with the new drivers and supported hardware, users of existing PCs will need to jump through a few hoops to take advantage of Smart Access memory. Start by installing your motherboard’s latest BIOS update (motherboard manufacturers began adding support for resizable bars and SAM in late 2020 and early 2021). Then enter your BIOS settings and enable the feature; Depending on your motherboard, this may be called a “resizable bar” or “smart access memory.” Or your motherboard manufacturer may call it something weird and GPU-agnostic like ASRock’s “cleaver access memory.” You may also need to enable a separate but related feature called “above 4G decoding”.

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AMD says Adrenalin 21.9.1 driver release It’s the first to officially support Windows 11 And it adds support for auto-overclocking Ryzen 5000-series CPUs when they are paired with RX 6000-series GPUs. Overclocking Ryzen processors within Windows is normally isolated.Ryzen Master“Utility that supports a wide range of processors and doesn’t care which GPU you’re using.

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