Two things can give you an edge when gaming: skill and technology. Whether you’re a noob or a ninja-class player, it’s the tech that you need to keep up with and invest in if you’re going to reign supreme. That’s no small task when there’s new GPUs and processors and memory every few months. But you want an edge—you want to win—and so you need good intel if you’re going to build a gaming machine that will strike fear into enemy hearts.
Modern gaming rig with water cooling system and RBG lights
Now that we’ve established that gathering good intel is the key to building the ultimate gaming machine (and crushing your enemies), let’s get you some—specifically on the topic of memory. So here goes: the more graphics memory (or video RAM) your video card holds, the more it can improve the resolution and speed at which you can play and enrich the level of detail in scene settings. The mission is simple and straightforward: get the fastest, highest capacity memory you can reasonably afford.
Now we’re getting somewhere!
Samsung GDDR6 graphics memory exploded onto the market in 2018 and quickly became a favorite of premium graphics card manufacturers. Each GDDR6 device packs up to 16Gb of capacity (another industry first from Samsung) and offers blazing-fast bandwidth speeds up to 72GB/s. For gamers looking to max out their gaming machine, a high-end graphics card with 12 16Gb GDDR6 devices can offer memory bandwidth of 864 GB/s—enough to satisfy even the most gear-obsessed technophiles. On top of that, 16Gb GDDR6 consumes up to 60% less power compared to the same capacity configuration using 8Gb GDDR6 – good for your power bill and good for the planet.
Samsung 16Gb GDDR6
To truly understand what makes Samsung GDDR6 so powerful, let’s dig a little deeper. “Each GDDR6 is built on Samsung’s advanced 10-nanometer (nm) class process technology,” says Tien Shiah, Sr. Manager, Memory Marketing at Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. “Compared to our 20-nanometer 8Gb GDDR5, it’s more than twice as fast with up to 18Gbps pin speed and data transfers of up to 72GBps. This is a big deal when processing graphics for video games, especially some of the new, more resource-intensive games and also VR games.” The takeaway here is that doubling your memory capacity and speed over GDDR5 is a big upgrade, especially if you’re looking to enable next-level effects like real-time ray tracing.
Battlefield V Ray-Traced
Frame rates are also affected by how powerful your GPU is and what kind of memory is on board. For gaming, high resolution and high frame rates are sought after for smoother gameplay and finer detail but without enough memory the result can be motion glitches, screen tiering, or just choppy action with high frame rate games. Samsung 16Gb GDDR6 to the rescue again! When your action scenes are flawlessly smooth and lifelike, especially when tracking other, less ‘memory-endowed’ players, in first-person battle games, your advantage will be on full display. Pun intended.
Overclocking is a hardware hacking technique used by gamers to push their GPU performance and Samsung GDDR6 is known to respond exceptionally well beyond the factory settings. “Gamers are choosing high-end GPUs with Samsung GDDR6 onboard specifically because they know how well it responds to overclocking,” says Donovan Hwang, Marketing Director, MAGIC team at Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. “GDDR6’s exceptionally high memory bandwidth and low power consumption help keep the memory cool (around 70 degrees celsius is ideal) while reaching impressive benchmarks. It’s a fun way to squeeze your GPU to do things like run more frames per second (fps) and it’s easy to do with a tool like GPUZ or MSI Afterburner.” While Samsung and other manufacturers don’t endorse overclocking, it’s definitely not going away. Visit any gaming convention and you’ll find no shortage of liquid nitrogen and blowtorches.
What’s really cool about Samsung GDDR6 is that it’s not only top of the food chain for gaming, it’s widely used in 8K video processing, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), high-performance computing (HPC) and graphics applications, and even in Bitcoin mining. And if you didn’t know, Samsung is the largest semiconductor company in the world and an industry leader in memory technology and innovation. Plus, Samsung is one of the few semiconductor companies in the world that actually manufactures its own memory and processors. It’s kind of humbling to think that all of that R&D is going into your gaming machine just so you can blow stuff up in dazzling 4K detail.
High fps game – Escape from Tarkov
There’s no doubt that Samsung is serious about creating great products for gamers. Since the announcement of GDDR6 back in 2018, “Samsung has continued to focus R&D efforts on improving memory bandwidth, capacity, and speed while reducing power consumption and size,” said Jim Elliott, corporate senior vice president, Memory & Sales Marketing at Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. “In fact, right now we’re working on a new generation of graphics memory that will allow us to pack even more bandwidth into our devices. Higher speed memory is a big part of what enables game designers to create more resource-intensive and immersive experiences.” With Samsung looking to further strengthen its presence in the gaming and graphics card markets, expect future GDDR6 to spur a new generation of GPUs before long.
Now it’s time to weigh your desire for dominance against your budget. Top-of-the-line GPUs equipped with 16Gb Samsung GDDR6 are typically going to set you back a few bucks—anywhere from $750 and up. But Samsung has a way for you to get GDDR6 without spending all your lunch money—consider a slightly slower speed GPU with GDDR6 rated at 14Gbps. “Look for graphics cards with Samsung GDDR6 at 14Gbps that may allow you to overclock them at higher speeds,” says Donovan Hwang, Marketing Director, MAGIC team at Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. “There are some solid mid-range options out there in the $300-$500 range that should let you do that.”
Congratulations. Your intel-gathering mission is over. You learned how memory can improve your whole gaming experience both visually and performatively and even put you in the winners circle more often. Look for Samsung GDDR6 on your next GPU and remember—with great memory comes great power.