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AMD teases “really cool” upgrades coming to its 3D V-Cache tech

In context: AMD’s pioneering 3D V-Cache technology, which vertically stacks additional cache memory onto the processor die, has been a game-changer for PC gaming performance. The cache uses a high-speed memory buffer that stores vertex data to enhance the performance of 3D graphics applications. However, the chipmaker isn’t resting on its laurels, hinting at plans to take things to the next level.

PC Gamer spoke with Donny Woligroski, AMD’s senior technical marketing manager, during Computex 2024 to get the inside scoop on future 3D V-Cache plans. When asked about potential developments for Zen 5, he said AMD is not “resting on laurels” and is “improving what we can do with X3D.”

However, the next Zen 5 X3D iteration isn’t expected until early 2025 – over six months after the debut of the standard Ryzen 9000 series CPUs – if the release patterns of previous X3D chips are any indication. The Ryzen 7 7800X3D was only released in early April this year. This delay gives AMD ample time to innovate further on its vertical cache implementation.

Woligroski was tight-lipped on specifics but he did reveal that they are also “working actively on really cool differentiators” to make X3D even better than before.

So what kind of “cool differentiators” might AMD have up its sleeve? One possibility is varying the size of the vertically stacked SRAM cache. Currently, all 3D V-Cache chips use a uniform 64MB slice. Offering higher cache capacities on premium processors could allow for greater product segmentation across the Ryzen lineup.

Another opportunity is bringing 3D V-Cache to AMD’s APUs and Ryzen AI mobile chips with integrated graphics. These chips’ GPU performance is often bottlenecked by limited memory bandwidth. Vertically stacking a cache between the GPU and RAM could provide a significant performance improvement, mirroring how high-end RDNA 2 and 3 discrete GPUs leverage massive caches.

Regardless of AMD’s specific plans, it’s clear that 3D V-Cache isn’t a one-and-done technology.

In the meantime, to get a better idea of where and how 3D V-Cache shines, take a look at our Ryzen 7 7800X3D vs. Intel Core i9-14900K comparison. The technology helps Team Red maintain a massive edge over Team Blue in titles like Assetto Corsa Competizione – and a comfortable lead in others.

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