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Thread: AMD Graphics Drivers

  1. #1
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    AMD Graphics Drivers

    Hi all, just looking to see if anyone can weigh in on a driver question.

    My CPU is an AMD E2-1800 APU with Radeon HD graphics - 1.7GHz dual core

    The video driver I have loaded is simply called 'radeon'

    My question is basically, is this a generic driver that comes with ubuntu (18.04 LTS) or is it a proprietary AMD driver? I realize it says 'Radeon' in the cpu string, but see below...

    The reason I ask is that the laptop is from around 2012, and I believe AMD only support their hardware for 3 years (that could be wildly inaccurate / oversimplified) which would mean they stopped supporting my hardware long before my version of Ubuntu was released. I do have issues with some video stuff like playing mp4's and BBC Iplayer (a streaming service) and am wondering if maybe there is another video driver I could try? Like a generic driver that comes with Ubuntu perhaps?

    Any info is well received!

  2. #2
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    Re: AMD Graphics Drivers

    As far as I know, AMD has discontinued their proprietary Linux drivers. My understanding is that there are two AMD drivers, both available in the repositories. Older cards use the Radeon driver, newer cards use AMDGPU. I had an AMD Ryzen 3 2200G that used AMDGPU. It was a real problem with Ubuntu 18.04 and the 4.xx kernel. When 18.04.4 came out using the 5.3 series kernel it was somewhat better. 20.04 is better yet, it is pretty stable. I think there are updated graphics related packages in 20.04 in addition to the newer kernel.

  3. #3
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    Re: AMD Graphics Drivers

    Quote Originally Posted by jcdenton1995 View Post
    The video driver I have loaded is simply called 'radeon'

    My question is basically, is this a generic driver that comes with ubuntu (18.04 LTS) or is it a proprietary AMD driver?
    It's an open-source driver contributed to by AMD, but also contributed to by everyone else. They used to have a proprietary driver, but it was pretty awful and they discontinued it and put all their resources into the open source driver.

    Newer cards - with a newer architecture - have a newer driver called amdgpu, which is also open source. AMD have a version of that (amdgpu-pro) which is exactly the same open source amdgpu driver but with proprietary shaders from their Windows driver.

    I do have issues with some video stuff like playing mp4's and BBC Iplayer (a streaming service) and am wondering if maybe there is another video driver I could try?
    Nothing to do with the graphics driver. What you're seeing is the lack of hardware-accelerated video decoding: your CPU really isn't strong enough to do it in software. For local playback, mpv is able to use hardware decoding for whichever encodings you have hardware support for. The web browsers disable hardware acceleration on Linux, but there's a PPA for chromium that enables it.
    None but ourselves can free our minds

  4. #4
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    Re: AMD Graphics Drivers

    Thanks for the detailed reply

    I'm still a little confused as GNOME settings shows that my 'graphics' is AMD PALM, and I couldn't work out weather this was another name for the driver, or a code name given to the integrated graphics hardware?

    what further confused me was an article I found online about a company that produces smart phones - called Palm - poaching AMD's top guy who was in charge of developing it's Linux drivers which made me wonder what the significance of this was, is 'AMD PALM' a 3rd party graphics driver released by Palm for mobile CPU's or something? It doesn't show up under that name or anything similar if I run lsmod so unsure what it means...

  5. #5
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    Re: AMD Graphics Drivers

    Thanks for the info, I don't think I'll be upgrading to 20.04 for a while as I'm still getting to grips with things, but when I do it will probably be on a machine with a proper graphics card, so I'll bear this in mind!

  6. #6
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    Re: AMD Graphics Drivers

    Quote Originally Posted by jcdenton1995 View Post
    Thanks for the detailed reply

    I'm still a little confused as GNOME settings shows that my 'graphics' is AMD PALM, and I couldn't work out weather this was another name for the driver, or a code name given to the integrated graphics hardware?

    what further confused me was an article I found online about a company that produces smart phones - called Palm - poaching AMD's top guy who was in charge of developing it's Linux drivers which made me wonder what the significance of this was, is 'AMD PALM' a 3rd party graphics driver released by Palm for mobile CPU's or something? It doesn't show up under that name or anything similar if I run lsmod so unsure what it means...
    palm probably means something else.

    various system info applications will dispaly thigns differently. for example you can also try inxi (in command line): https://www.tecmint.com/inxi-command...m-information/
    or lspci
    or lshw

    and similar. but the bottom line is that APU is really not that great to begin with. and no matter what drivers you have they can't perform miracles. you have the opensource radon drivers by the way. i have a similar chip and 5 years ago radeon was worse than proprietary one. but they (AMD) improved the opensource and i don't have much issues.

    with APU - make sure you have enough RAM available. you need ram for the OS and then a large portion of same RAM will also be taken by the graphics chip. these low end notebooks usually don't have enough ram. i have 2 Gb, it is horrible on Win7 but tolerable on Linux. i think i might upgrade it to 8 GB or at least to 6 GB.

    on windows system takes over 1 GB ram and GPU takes 512MB ram. On linux system takes 400 MB and GPU also takes 512 MB, so that leaves 1GB for applications.

    when ram runs out hard disk is used, and they are a lot slower. even if you have a sata SSD drive in it.
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  7. #7
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    Re: AMD Graphics Drivers

    Quote Originally Posted by jcdenton1995 View Post
    I'm still a little confused as GNOME settings shows that my 'graphics' is AMD PALM, and I couldn't work out weather this was another name for the driver, or a code name given to the integrated graphics hardware?
    The products in the Ati Radeon HD 5000 series (codename Evergreen) were given codenames of types of tree: Cedar, Redwood, Juniper, Cypress, and Palm. Later products were codenamed various types of island.
    None but ourselves can free our minds

  8. #8
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    Re: AMD Graphics Drivers

    Ah I see, just a confusing coincidence then - Palm the code name and Palm the smartphone company.

    Thanks!

  9. #9
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    Re: AMD Graphics Drivers

    My laptop isn't too bad to be fair as it does have 8gb of RAM, I am looking to get something a little more modern though as I'd like to maybe run a couple of old games or something, which was just possible on windows 8, but with the compatibility layers needed for Linux I imagine that the performance margin is just too slim to run them. I haven't even so much as looked at WINE or Steam proton.

  10. #10
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    Re: AMD Graphics Drivers

    Been there, had those problems and still partially have them.
    But I've improved the situation considerably by including the oibaf PPA:

    Code:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:oibaf/graphics-drivers
    There are weekly updates coming from there, even for my old Radeon X1300 chip, and most problems have diminished with each update.
    Update meaning:
    Code:
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt upgrade
    Last edited by ml9104; 2 Days Ago at 08:09 PM.

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