How To Activate Smart Access Memory in AMD

Smart Access Memory (SAM) is AMD’s performance improving technology that can boost performance in games by up to 15%, heres how to activate it.

SAM was introduced when AMD announced their RX 6000 series graphics cards, and works by expanding data channels to allow the CPU to harness the full potential of GPU memory which removes bottlenecks and increases performance. Initially it only worked on the 5000 series CPUs, but later they added support for the Ryzen 3000 series as well.

Hardware Requirements For SAM:

  • AMD 500 series motherboard (X570, B550, etc.)
  • AMD Ryzen 5000 series CPUs (5600x, 5800x, etc.)
  • AMD Ryzen 3000 select CPUs (excluding 3200G and 3400G)
  • AMD Radeon RX 6000 GPUs (6800, 6800XT, etc.)
  • AMD Radeon Software (20.11.2 or newer)
  • AMD latest BIOS (AGESA or newer)

As per the recommended hardware above, best results will come from the RX 6000 series GPUs and Ryzen 5000 series CPUs. AMD did add select 3000 series CPUs to the mix, but you’ll still need a 500 series motherboard. If you have an Nvidia GPU or Intel CPU, Nvidia has their own version of Resizable BAR support. 

How to enable Smart Access Memory in the BIOS

Provided that you have met all the requirements listed above, then you can head over to your motherboard BIOS and enable SAM in under a couple of minutes with the following steps:

Smart Access Memory
  1. Enter your motherboard BIOS, typically done with Del or F2 key (see your motheboard documentation for details)
  2. Enter your advanced settings menu
  3. If applicable, such as on Asus motherboards, enter PCIE Subsystem settings
  4. Enable “Above 4G Decoding”
  5. Enable “Re-Size BAR Support” (setting to Auto can also work)
  6. Enter your Boot menu, and disable CSM (Compatibility Support Module)
  7. Save, exit BIOS, and reboot into Windows

Once you have followed these steps, SAM will be activated.

Confirm that SAM Is Activated

All you have to do to make sure that you have done the right things to activate SAM, just launch AMD Radeon Software and you’ll see a slider saying that Smart Acess Memory is now activated.