This is AMD’s secret weapon against Intel and it could change personal computing forever
AMD’s big announcement this week was the launch of the new Ryzen 3000 XT CPUs – a stopgap between the current generation and the Ryzen 4000 series expected to launch later this year.
Tucked away at the foot of the press release is mention of something that might become a fundamental part of AMD’s toolset, sooner rather than later, as it seeks to compete more sustainably with arch nemesis Intel.
TechRadar Pro covered the launch of AMD StoreMi back in April, but version 2.0 has now been announced and will include “a new caching-based acceleration algorithm that enhances data integrity and prioritizes most-used data, speeding up boot times by up to 31% and decreasing game load times by up to 13% vs an HDD only”.
The tests were carried out using a hard drive of unknown capacity (or spinning speed) with a PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD, again of unknown origin. In reality, you should be able to mix and match any sort of storage, regardless of whether it is magnetic or not.
No RAMDisk yet
Sadly, this version of StoreMI doesn’t (yet) include the Radeon RAMDisk, which would achieve the Holy Grail of allowing RAM and storage to mix, similar to what Intel has done with Optane.
We still believe this facility will arrive at some point, but why? Well, AMD has been working very closely with Microsoft on the brand new Xbox One X gaming console and one of the biggest leaps in performance has come from moving to a new storage system that combines software (DirectStorage) with customized hardware.
It turns out that DirectStorage is something Microsoft plans to bring to Windows as well, as it can reduce the processor overhead from I/O operations from multiple cores to just a fraction of a single core. While it will not be tied to any custom hardware, AMD is likely to benefit due to the modular nature of its CPU architecture.
So where does that leave us? In a not-so-distant future, one can imagine an AMD system that pools together all the available memory/storage resources, managed intelligently in a way that’s far more efficient than what Windows 10 achieves with Virtual Memory, the part of your storage component the operating system uses as RAM.
All this is pure speculation, of course, but the fact AMD has dedicated resources to StoreMi makes us optimistic about its future.