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Thread: Steam Performance -- AMD Drivers -- Ubuntu 12.04

  1. #1
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    Steam Performance -- AMD Drivers -- Ubuntu 12.04

    Greetings,

    So I've recently decided to migrate completely over from Windows 8 to Ubuntu 12.04 for the sake of the LTS. Mind you, I have zero real experience with Linux before this, and am switching due to a friend informing me something about, "strides being made in the way of proprietary software coming to it" and "better driver support" and all these other exciting things. So, needless to say, after reading about all the PRISM nonsense, I figured I might as well give it a shot. And that's what I've been doing, and I've loved it so far. But on to my problems and the resulting question I have for all the gurus out there..

    During use of the Live CD, everything went absolutely wonderful. Once the installation was completed and I was prompted to reboot, things started looking like they could get complicated in a hurry when I booted up initially after install and my screen did not but flash a purple screen off and on. A quick Google turned up that I could but into Recovery Mode and restore a broken package to hopefully fix the issue, which seemed a little too good to be true, but it worked. And voila, I had an Ubuntu desktop in native resolution and everything seemed to be going a-OK!

    After going through my new desktop, I received a popup indicating software updates were available. After completing these, I rebooted and was informed that there were additional drivers available for my graphics card, which is a Radeon HD 6800. I know, I know, everyone has better luck with Nvidia drivers and Linux, but don't blame the purchaser for faults pre-linux, I suppose. Anyways, I noticed on the list of available drivers there were three choices, which from my previous quick (and I mean quick) goes at Ubuntu, I was used to two. So I read the descriptions for the three and chose the one on the list that was titled "ATI/AMD proprietary FGLRX graphics driver (post-release updates)".

    I activated and installed the drivers, rebooted, and still had my display when I came back (which just for the record, is where things completely broke and I went back to Windows on all my previous Linux efforts years ago). Everything looked to be fine, so I was excited and installed Steam immediately to test these bad boys out. I downloaded Team Fortress 2 immediately, and upon launching the game, was swiftly told that my drivers were out of date. I ignored the warning and joined a server and was happy to see that upon first connecting, the graphics looked as good as they did on Windows. And then I spawned and saw the performance. The frames were smooth in general and not low, but there was an insane amount of random stuttering and input lag. I glanced over the settings and they were all on system recommended.

    So I closed out, went back to the additional drivers tool and selected another option on the tool, which had a much shorter name. I clicked on activate, and it installed the drivers. I rebooted, came back, still had display and went back into steam and Team Fortress 2 and.. was shocked to see I still had the exact same performance.

    I was dinking around later and went into Big Picture Mode and was informed that I only had 256mb of video ram available (my card has a gig), and I got concerned, looked at my additional drivers tool again, and noticed that the"ATI FireGL" driver that I'm currently using says "This driver is activated but not currently in use" which is an extremely confusing statement to me. Below is a screenshot of the current state of my drivers (to my knowledge), and what I am describing above:




    Before coming to the forums to try to seek assistance, I figured it might be as simple as no actual AMD driver being in use, and maybe a generic or something like that? So I went into terminal and checked the flgrxinfo and got the response below:



    Which, all I can see is that it's referring to an AMD driver or piece of hardware. What I can't tell is if a working driver is in use, or which one? I'm almost a bit concerned that the original driver I set to use ("ATI/AMD proprietary FGLRX graphics driver (post-release updates)) should of been deactivated somehow before attempting to activate a new one and maybe that caused some sort of conflict.

    Should I be concerned that the current driver I have selected says it's activated but not in use? Is the fact that I didn't deactivate the proprietary driver before selecting the current causing a conflict?

    I'm sorry if I sound ignorant, but at this point, any help would be appreciated. I've managed to figure a few things out since switching manually, but when it comes to display drivers, I get worried because typically it can result it my screen going black during boot and refusing to show anything again. I'd like to prevent that if possible this time.
    Last edited by Gnawnsense; June 18th, 2013 at 04:53 PM. Reason: SOLVED

  2. #2
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    Re: AMD Drivers -- In use, or not? Extremely confused.

    What does
    Code:
    sudo lspci -v
    tell you when it comes to driver in use for the videocard?

  3. #3
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    Re: AMD Drivers -- In use, or not? Extremely confused.

    Quote Originally Posted by UbuntuRaptor View Post
    What does
    Code:
    sudo lspci -v
    tell you when it comes to driver in use for the videocard?
    There are a lot of entries there and I'm having a hard time sorting through the information to find which one is referring specifically to the driver in use for the graphics card. Let me know if below is what you were looking for.

    Code:
    01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI Barts PRO [ATI Radeon HD 6800 Series] (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])    
        Subsystem: ASUSTeK Computer Inc. Device 03aa
        Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 44
        Memory at d0000000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=256M]
        Memory at feae0000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=128K]
        I/O ports at e000 [size=256]
        Expansion ROM at feac0000 [disabled] [size=128K]
        Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 3
        Capabilities: [58] Express Legacy Endpoint, MSI 00
        Capabilities: [a0] MSI: Enable+ Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit+
        Capabilities: [100] Vendor Specific Information: ID=0001 Rev=1 Len=010 <?>
        Capabilities: [150] Advanced Error Reporting
        Kernel driver in use: fglrx_pci
        Kernel modules: fglrx_experimental_12, radeon

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Gnawnsense; June 17th, 2013 at 09:48 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: AMD Drivers -- In use, or not? Extremely confused.

    Not sure how it works with the firegl drivers, but normally when I install fglrx drivers, I run
    Code:
    sudo amdconfig --initial
    which creates an xorg file, and I think blacklists the radeon driver(not sure).

    Again, not sure about the firegl drivers.

    Look over this for anything that might help

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BinaryDriverHowto/ATI
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  5. #5
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    Re: AMD Drivers -- In use, or not? Extremely confused.

    Hello!

    You don't want to be using the Fire GL driver. You want fglrx.

    Deactivate the Fire GL driver.

    Is this an integrated or dedicated GPU? Do you have both integrated and dedicated?

    If you only have one (and not both), when you go to the URL cited (also find it in my signature), follow the directions in section "2.1. Installing via the command line"

    Best wishes!

  6. #6
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    Re: AMD Drivers -- In use, or not? Extremely confused.

    The truth here is that I didn't read the full version of your first post. As I saw the picture, I remembered this old post but seems has been returned (the problem).

    If you want to see what driver you use , apply the following command in terminal
    Code:
    lspci -nnk | grep -iA2 vga
    if you see kernel driver in use: fglrx , then the AMD driver is installed correctly and is in use. And simply ignore the Jockey's message. Also the above command will show if you have hybrid graphics or not.

    As for the performance in Steam.. well, do not expect much from AMD cards in Linux. (my opinion, based on the recently action of AMD to drop the support for 2xxx-4xxx cards in Linux).

    Regards
    NikTh

  7. #7
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    Re: AMD Drivers -- In use, or not? Extremely confused.

    Kernel driver in use: fglrx_pci
    I'd say that's the driver that's loaded. Did you have the beta drivers selected before?

    At some point I switched from Radeon to Catalyst and then back again. That didn't take properly, I had to switch once more to Radeon using the additional drivers menu and then it worked. I probably should have handled that through the terminal but hey, it worked and still works.

  8. #8
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    Re: AMD Drivers -- In use, or not? Extremely confused.

    My guess, since it does show that you are using the fglrx drivers, is that when you first installed the post-release drivers, that's when things got broken. Those drivers nearly always fail or otherwise hose up your system. Since you may have remnants of those lying around, I would use the link below to purge the fglrx drivers and start over again (using Qiii's suggestion): https://wiki.ubuntu.com/X/Troublesho...from%20scratch
    Ubuntu 14.04, Mint 17; MS Win 8.1.
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  9. #9
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    Re: AMD Drivers -- In use, or not? Extremely confused.

    Quote Originally Posted by UbuntuRaptor View Post
    I probably should have handled that through the terminal but hey, it worked and still works.
    ATI/AMD proprietary FGLRX graphics driver (post-release updates) is what I was originally using.

    Quote Originally Posted by NikTh View Post
    The truth here is that I didn't read the full version of your first post. As I saw the picture, I remembered this old post but seems has been returned (the problem).

    If you want to see what driver you use , apply the following command in terminal
    Code:
    lspci -nnk | grep -iA2 vga
    if you see kernel driver in use: fglrx , then the AMD driver is installed correctly and is in use. And simply ignore the Jockey's message. Also the above command will show if you have hybrid graphics or not.
    When I run that command this is what I get: Kernel driver in use: fglrx_pci

    Quote Originally Posted by QIII View Post
    Hello!

    You don't want to be using the Fire GL driver. You want fglrx.

    Deactivate the Fire GL driver.

    Is this an integrated or dedicated GPU? Do you have both integrated and dedicated?

    If you only have one (and not both), when you go to the URL cited (also find it in my signature), follow the directions in section "2.1. Installing via the command line"

    Best wishes!
    The AMD HD 6800 is a dedicated card. I do have an integrated, as well, that I do not use, so yes, I do have both integrated and dedicated cards.

    If I deactivate the Fire GL driver, will there be anything I need to manually go in and remove/uninstall/purge?
    Last edited by Gnawnsense; June 17th, 2013 at 10:19 PM.

  10. #10
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    Re: AMD Drivers -- In use, or not? Extremely confused.

    Alright, I am currently in the process of purging my fglrx drivers.

    When I go to start over on the drivers, with the link Qiii posted, does it matter which method I go about reacquiring the fglrx drivers? Ubuntu repositories, command line, AMD website?

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