Back when AMD announced the Radeon RX 6900, RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 at the end of 2020, the company detailed an intriguing feature called Smart Access Memory. By allowing its latest Ryzen 5000 series processors to tap into the fast VRAM on those GPUs, the company said it could improve performance by up to 16 percent in some games. With today’s announcement of the RX 6700 XT, AMD is expanding support for that feature to include its highly popular Ryzen 3000 series CPUs.
You’ll need a motherboard with a B550 or X570 chipset, and 3400G and 3200G processors are off the table. That means this expansion doesn’t benefit most current Ryzen 3000 owners, many of whom built their systems using B450 and X470 boards. Instead, it’s aimed at people thinking about building an AMD system now and in the future.
Unlike AMD’s Zen 3 CPUs, you can find stock of its previous generation processors, including popular models like the Ryzen 5 3600 and 3700X. Single-core performance on those CPUs may not be as good as on AMD’s latest, but they’re still capable and Smart Access Memory could help make up part of the performance gap. Of course, the CPU and motherboard are only two parts of the equation in this case; you’ll still need a Radeon 6000 series GPU. So far, those have been nearly impossible to buy.