How Micron’s GDDR6X memory is the secret to unlocking 4K on Nvidia’s RTX 30-series cards


Even with consoles iterating on a daily cadence, PC {hardware} has discovered methods to remain forward. That is sometimes attributable to improvements that change how laptop graphics work, and that’s occurring proper now with Nvidia’s subsequent wave of GeForce RTX GPUs. The RTX 3070, 3080, and 3090 use Micron’s new GDDR6X reminiscence. This can be a step above the normal GDDR6 VRAM, and it may characterize a generational leap ahead in system-bandwidth efficiency because of Micron’s PAM4 tech.

Pulse amplitude modulation (PAM4) is the identify for pushing 2 bits of information over a connection as an alternative of 1 bit. It’s a technical idea, however primarily, this permits the system to name from four potential states as an alternative of two with every burst of knowledge. With PAM4, Micron and Nvidia are promising a big increase to I/O information charges and bandwidth. GDDR6X can be extra energy environment friendly. At 21Gb/s, GDDR6X makes use of 15% much less energy per bit than GDDR6 at 14Gb/s.

Micron claims that GDDR6X’s per-pin information charge of 21Gb/s, once you mix all these pins and reminiscence modules on one thing just like the RTX 3090, the GPU has a complete reminiscence bandwidth of 936GB/s. That’s huge. For comparability, the reminiscence bandwidth of the Xbox Sequence X tops out at 560GB/s and the PS5 is 448GB/s.

Put merely, which means that the GPU can pull an enormous quantity of information from its reminiscence straight away. And that’s going to result in higher video games.

“[Gamers] profit from elevated system-data charges,” Micron graphics boss Ralf Ebert mentioned in a media presentation. “That will increase the info that’s transferred between the GPU and the reminiscence interface. We imagine we’ll be enabling 8K resolutions and getting nearer to real-time ray tracing.”

What it actually means is GPUs will lastly have sufficient bandwidth to comfortably deal with 4K. In a world the place even the $1,200 RTX 2080 Ti struggles to hit 60 frames per second at 4K, GDDR6X is a vital to placing us previous that barrier.


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