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 I downloaded Team Fortress 2 immediately, and upon launching the game, was swiftly told that my drivers were out of date.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.