AMD recently revealed their official Radeon RX 6000 series graphics cards based on the new RDNA2 architecture, and in the announcement they showed off a new technology known as Smart Access Memory that allowed the CPU to access and take full advantage of all the memory available on the GPU.
However, this feature was limited to AMD-only products like the Ryzen 5000 series processors, the RX 6000 GPUs, and AMD-based 500 series motherboards. Whilst Nvidia and Intel are working to get the feature supported on their own hardware themselves, ASUS seems to have already done the job for them by enabling Smart Access Memory support on Intel-based Z490, H470, and B460 chipsets.
Apparently, the Smart Access Memory feature has already existed on motherboards in the official PCIe specifications, known as Resizable BAR (Base Address Register). However AMD was the first ones to actually enable it with their own products and boast a pretty sizable performance boost.
The unofficial BIOS update was released by ASUS yesterday, which supposedly enables resizable BAR support on the Z490, H470, and B460 chipsets according to an official ASUS representative on Twitter, who also shared a slide that showed a 13.37% performance boost in Forza Horizon 4 when enabling the feature on an ROG Maximus XII Hero (Wifi), an Intel Core i7-10700K CPU, and a Radeon RX 6800 XT GPU.
Unfortunately, the new update does not officially support the new RTX 30 series graphics cards from Nvidia, but at least the tech now works on Intel chips coupled with the new RX 6000 graphics cards.
The new 1002 firmware update for the ASUS motherboard BIOS settings adds “Above 4G Decoding” and “Re-Size BAR Support” options that can be enabled or disabled. It’s currently in Beta which means there could be some some bugs here and there, but it’s reported that the 1003 firmware update should effectively support the new features.
What do you think? Will you be trying out the Beta BIOS? What kind of performance gains are you expecting? And let us know if you experience any significant performance boosts by enabling the feature!