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Samsung’s faster RAM set to seriously boost AMD and Nvidia’s next-gen graphics cards

Samsung’s faster RAM set to seriously boost AMD and Nvidia’s next-gen graphics cards thumbnail

An Asus GeForce RTX 3080 Noctua on a table



(Image credit: Future)

Samsung has announced that its new GDDR6 RAM, which runs at a faster speed of 24Gbps, is now ‘sampling’, meaning being tested and run through its paces by partners.

In a press statement (opens in new tab), the company boasted that the new 24Gbps memory modules will be 30% faster than their predecessor, which was GDDR6 that ran at 18Gbps. The new RAM is capable of transferring 1.1TB of data per second (and as Samsung points out, 1.1TB is the equivalent of 275 movies in Full HD resolution).

The new GDDR6 RAM is built on Samsung’s 3rd-gen 10nm process using EUV, and is designed for high-performance graphics cards, including “next-generation GPU platforms”, with of course means RTX 4000 and RDNA 3 products inbound for later this year (the memory will also be used in game consoles, high-performance computing systems, and more besides).

This fresh GDDR6 range will also come with low-power options for laptops. Those will benefit from DVS tech, or dynamic voltage switching that alters the voltage applied based on the requirements of what the hardware is currently doing, allowing for the memory to be dropped to 1.1V compared to 1.35V with current RAM modules, and therefore giving something along the lines of 20% better power efficiency.


Analysis: Which next-gen graphics cards will this RAM turbocharge?

The latter point on laptops is pretty exciting news, as it’ll extend battery life and therefore allow for more juice to facilitate gaming on the go.

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This is equally exciting on the desktop GPU front, of course, with news that next-gen graphics cards from both Nvidia and AMD – Lovelace and RDNA 3 respectively – will be able to benefit from faster VRAM. And indeed this backs up a rumor we heard a few months back regarding Nvidia employing 24Gbps video memory in conjunction with its top-end AD102 Lovelace chip (the one that’ll power the RTX 4090, and cards above that).

The question is when might we see this new VRAM in next-gen GPUs? It’s likely to be in premium graphics cards initially, as we’re guessing the memory will veer to the pricey side, especially right off the bat. Which would point to the likes of the RTX 4090 – which is, after all, strongly rumored to be the first Lovelace graphics card that Nvidia is set to launch – assuming that the 24Gbps RAM is out of testing and ready to go at volume (or at least some commercial volume) pretty soon.

Remember, the RTX 4090 could come out in September, going by some of the buzz on the grapevine, which is only a couple of months away now. Then again, other chatter points to Nvidia looking to delay the launch of RTX 4000 products – maybe to the very end of the year – due to an excess of RTX 3000 stock that needs to be cleared.

If it turns out that it may be too much of a rush to get this faster GDDR6 VRAM in the first next-gen products out of the gate – for AMD too, which is looking at similar launch timing to Nvidia – the memory could feature in later models, maybe next year. We’re going to see staggered launches of various RTX 4000 and RX 7000 GPUs anyway, as well as the inevitable refreshes like Ti models from Nvidia, so it could be the case that these later products are the ones which will be graced with the 24Gbps good stuff.

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A further point that remains up in the air is exactly what it’ll cost to use this Samsung memory, which will have to be weighed up by AMD and Nvidia in terms of what graphics cards it’ll get used in. Meaning that if it is seriously pricey, it won’t make much sense away from high-end cards.

Via ZDNet (opens in new tab)

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel – ‘I Know What You Did Last Supper’ – was published by Hachette UK in 2013).

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