NVIDIA's Resizable BAR coming to all Ampere RTX 3000 cards soon as a Smart Access Cache alternative
GamersNexus, quoting NVIDIA, recently reported that the GPU maker is working on a platform-agnostic alternative to AMD's Smart Access Cache technology. First demonstrated at the Big Navi reveal, Smart Access Cache gives CPUs full access to GPU VRAM, not just to a 128MB allocation. According to AMD benchmarks, enabling Smart Access Cache on systems with a Ryzen 5000 series processor and a Big Navi GPU delivered anywhere from single-figure to a 10-percent-plus boost to performance.
NVIDIA, in its reply, stated that Resizable BAR is "a part of the PCIe specification," and that Ampere cards already feature hardware support. NVIDIA is planning to release software updates that will enable Resizable BAR. And unlike AMD's option, which purportedly only works on Ryzen 5000 (we have no word so far on Ryzen 3000 compatibility), the NVIDIA alternative will work with a wide range of CPUs, including Intel and Ryzen models.
If Resizable BAR delivers similar performance to Smart Access Cache (as NVIDIA claims), that is a considerable amount of extra performance on the table, especially considering how limited overclocking is on Ampere. Many GeForce RTX 3080 owners struggle to extract more than 5 percent better performance from their cards when overclocking. It remains to be seen when users will receive an update, and just how effective the new technology is.