AMD's frame rate boosting SAM feature is now available on RX 5000-series GPUs

AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT rendering
(Image credit: AMD)

AMD has just released Radeon Software version 21.9.1 that enables Smart Access Memory (SAM) support on Radeon RX 5000-series graphics cards. And it officially enables support for some Radeon gaming features on Windows 11, too.

SAM was first introduced with the Radeon RX 6000-series and AMD Ryzen 5000 CPUs, as a way to expand the access the CPU has to the GPU memory in operation. 

It's a useful feature if you're already rocking AMD hardware, offering a substantial enough improvement in frame rates in enough games to make it worth enabling and albeit smaller gains, if any, in others.

Still, it's a freebie worth talking about, although up until now has been limited to RX 6000-series GPUs paired with Ryzen 5000- and 3000-series CPUs with 500-series motherboards.

With the latest driver version, which is now live on the AMD website, SAM is coming to the 5000-series GPUs, which should open up the feature to at least a fair few more users. You'll still need one of those recently-made CPUs and mobos, though.

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In that same driver package, AMD is adding official support for Windows 11 for its gaming features Radeon Boost, Radeon Anti-Lag, and Radeon Image Sharpening.

Also if you look closely in the release notes, you'll find word of AMD adding further support for Vulkan, such as VK_KHR_shader_integer_dot_product. This will be helpful for neural networks programmed to work alongside Vulkan, and I'd suspect may have a part to play in Intel's recent XeSS announcement or similar, which uses such instructions to accelerate in-game frame rates through AI-augmented upscaling.

Either way, this is a useful driver package to pick up. Not the least bit for the Deathloop support bundled in. Seriously this is one packed driver—you can download it at this link

Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, and would go on to run the team as hardware editor. Since then he's joined PC Gamer's top staff as senior hardware editor, where he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industries and testing the newest PC components.