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What is AMD Smart Access Memory?

Smart Access Memory is a performance-boosting feature found inside AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series processors and Radeon 6000 series graphics cards. But, how does it work?

Read on to find out what Smart Access Memory is and how to enable it on your computer.

AMD Smart Memory is a new feature that boosts the performance of your gaming PC when using a Ryzen 5000 processor in conjunction with a Radeon 6000 GPU.

But how does this work? Most Windows PCs only allow processors to access a limited amount of graphics memory (aka VRAM) at a time. This is usually capped around 256GB. Smart Access Memory removes those limitations by expanding the data channel to give your CPU full access to your GPU memory and improving performance.

According to AMD’s website, the feature allows for an up to 16% increase in performance, depending on the title and resolution you game in.

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, for example, reportedly sees a 6% performance boost in 1440p, and an 11% increase in 4K. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, on the other hand, sees a 15% boost in 1440p, but just 9% in 4K.

While the results vary depending on the title and resolution, Smart Access Memory nevertheless seems to offer improvements across the board, or at least in all the titles highlighted in AMD’s video.

You can find out more about Smart Access Memory, along with the full list of titles in the video below:

To enable Smart Access Memory, you’ll need an AMD 500 series motherboard, a Ryzen 5000 or Ryzen 3000 series CPU (not including the Ryzen 5 3400G and Ryzen 3 3200G) and a Radeon 6000 series GPU. You’ll also need to be running version 20.11.2 or later of the Radon Software Driver and the latest BIOS update.

If you meet the above system requirements, you can follow the steps below to enable Smart Access Memory:

  • Enter the System BIOS by pressing either ‘DEL’ or ‘F12’ as you start up your computer (depending on the make and model)
  • Click ‘Advanced Settings’ or ‘Advanced Menu’
  • Enable ‘Above 4G Decoding’
  • Enable ‘Re-Size BAR Support’

If your system is looking woefully out of date after reading this, make sure to check out our guides to the best gaming CPUs and the best graphics cards to see our top recommended components.

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