What Even Is AMD’s Smart Access Memory? (RAGE MODE) And how to use it?

SAM (Smart-Access-Memory) is one of the defining features of the Radeon 6000 Series, But there is still confusion about this topic in the community, Let's get a better look at the Smart Access Memory from AMD.

One of the most exciting things about the Radeon 6000 Series which were revealed in the Launch Event was the so-called RAGE MODE, and to me, it was something super out of the box, But there is still a lot of confusion in the community regarding this feature, and hence this blog post.

It’s been a while since we would, nay could wholly recommend an all-red rig for anything beyond the mid-range of gaming PCs. And by that I mean a fairly high-end PC, RX 5700 XT and all, but the spectrum is so skewed that we’re meant to think a Rs. 1,00,000 gaming PC is somehow ‘mid-range. Regardless, AMD has been an easy enough recommendation to make for the budget and mid-range gamer, and for a good few years now, too. But we’ve not seen the company cover all its bases, from CPU and chipset to GPU, in such a way as to corner the high-end market completely.

But with the introduction of the Ryzen 5000-series and the Radeon RX 6000-series, that’s changed. For the first time in a long while we’re seeing a CPU and GPU combo capable of 4K gaming and high refresh rates off the same factory floor. That already nets some Intel-abating gaming performance that we’re already pretty smitten with, but if you were one of the lucky ones able to not only score a Ryzen 5000 CPU on launch day but also net an RX 6800-series GPU, there’s a little more performance left on the table.

Smart Access Memory, or SAM, may sound like a rogue AI in an artsy Netflix special about the deepest recesses of the brain, but it’s a simple switch that could effectively increase your gaming performance by a small, yet not insignificant, amount. While not exactly the exclusive members-only benefit we first thought, and likely coming to an Nvidia and even Intel PC near you in the future, this functionality is live on AMD 500-series chipsets, RX 6000-series GPUs, and Ryzen 5000 CPUs right now.

How Does it Work?

In conventional Windows-based PC systems, processors can only access a fraction of graphics memory (VRAM) at once, limiting system performance.

With AMD Smart Access Memory, the data channel gets expanded to harness the full potential of GPU memory, utilizing the bandwidth of PCI Express® to remove the bottlenecks and increase performance.

System Requirements:

Hardware

AMD 500 Series Motherboards

AMD Ryzen™ 5000 Series Processors and select AMD Ryzen™ 3000 Series Processors2

AMD Radeon™ RX 6000 Series Graphics*

Software

AMD Radeon Software Driver 20.11.2 or newer

Latest Motherboard BIOS (based on AMD AGESA 1.1.0.0 or newer)

How To Enable?

1. Enter the System BIOS. This is typically done by pressing the <DEL> or <F12> key during system startup

2. Navigate to Advanced Settings or Advanced menu

3. Enable “Above 4G Decoding” and “Re-Size BAR Support” shown above.

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