How to Enable AMD Smart Access Memory for Faster Gaming Performance

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AMD’s Smart Access memory lets you combine a Radeon RX 6000 series GPU with a Ryzen processor to unlock even more gaming performance, dramatically in some cases.

Before we show you how to enable Smart Access memory, we will discuss the hardware requirements. Next, we will walk you through how to configure your BIOS to enable SAM. And finally, we’ll show you how to confirm that it works. Let’s be smart! (And be sure to check out our explanation on how Smart Access Memory and Nvidia Equivalent Resizable Bar works).

Hardware Requirements for Smart Access Memory

  • AMD 500 series motherboard (X570, B550, etc.)
  • AMD Ryzen 5000 series processors (5600x, 5800x, etc.)
  • Selected AMD Ryzen 3000 processors (except 3200G and 3400G)
  • AMD Radeon RX 6000 GPU (6800, 6800XT, etc.)
  • AMD Radeon software (20.11.2 or newer)
  • Latest AMD BIOS (AGESA 1.1.0.0 or newer)

Depending on the hardware recommended above, the best results will come from the RX 6000 series GPUs and the Ryzen 5000 series processors. AMD has added some 3000 series processors to the mix, but you will still need a motherboard. from the 500 series. If you have an Nvidia GPU or an Intel processor, Nvidia has its own version of the resizable bar support. We will update this article to reflect any future guidance on hardware compatibility.

Note: I tested on an AMD 5700XT, a previous generation Radeon GPU. Smart Access Memory was showing as “enabled” in the Radeon software settings, but no conclusion as to a performance gain yet. Your mileage may vary.

How to enable Smart Access memory in BIOS

If you have all the right hardware, enabling Smart Access memory only takes a few minutes, although it does require digging into your motherboard’s BIOS. Here’s how to do it:

biography Thiago Trevisan / IDG
  1. Enter your motherboard BIOS, usually with the Del or F2 key (see your motherboard documentation for details)
  2. Enter your advanced settings menu
  3. If applicable, as on Asus motherboards, enter the parameters of the PCIE subsystem
  4. Activate “Above 4G decoding”
  5. Activate “Re-Size BAR Support” (setting to Auto may also work)
  6. Enter your start menu and disable CSM (Compatibility Support Module)
  7. Save, exit BIOS and restart in Windows

If you follow the simple steps above, Smart Access Memory will be enabled. The most important steps are the activation of “Decoding over 4G” and “Support for resizing bar”. You will also need to make sure that CSM is disabled, which is usually the default setting.

How to confirm that Smart Access memory is activated

6900xtconfirm Thiago Trevisan / IDG

Using the latest version of AMD Radeon software, we can now confirm that Smart Access Memory is enabled. Go to the Performance tab and open the Tuning panel. On this page you will find “Smart Access Memory”. Here you can enable or disable the setting. This will give you confirmation that your trip to BIOS was successful. Have fun with the extra game performance!

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