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AMD FGLRX Drivers How To

Discussion in 'General Linux Discussion' started by booman, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Great step-by-step guide by tfk on the PlayOnLinux forums.
    AMD 7950/7850 FGLRX installation for 32-bit & 64-bit support in PlayOnLinux

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  2. Daerandin

    Daerandin Active Member

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    These instructions might be a bit old. These days, if you have an AMD GPU you will want to use the open source AMDGPU driver which will probably be the default on most distributions. On Arch it comes in the mesa package. If I'm not completely mistaken, all AMD GPU's made in 2016 and later should use the AMDGPU driver, and it has excellent performance. Been using it myself on a Radeon RX 5700 XT, and I get amazing performance.
  3. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Wow yeah! 2014 is definitely old for drivers. Should I delete this post or maybe you can type out a quick step-by-step?
  4. Daerandin

    Daerandin Active Member

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    I don't think there's need for any guide. Any AMD GPU from 2016 and later will benefit the most from running the open source driver, which should be the default on pretty much all distributions. So most AMD users should have the best performance out-of-the box.
  5. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Oh really?
    So no need to install proprietary drivers any more?
    Very nice!
  6. Daerandin

    Daerandin Active Member

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    AMD provided documentation for their graphics cards so that the open source community could develop proper open source drivers. The driver name is AMDGPU, and AMD also recommends using this open source driver. But like I said, it should be installed by default on most distributions.

    There is also a closed source driver called AMDGPU-PRO, but it usually gives worse gaming performance as it is intended for the Radeon Pro line of products, which are workstation GPU's that are not sold or marketed towards home use.

    So in short, use the open source driver for AMD cards and you get fantastic performance.
  7. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Nice! I'm not used to this because of my Nvidia video cards.
    I've always install the proprietary drivers.

    I did acquire two older AMD cards from a friend and have hesitated to install them... mostly because they require at least a 550 watt power supply because they have two 6 pin connectors.

    Also, I was worried about the drivers.

    Radeon 7870
    2GB 256-Bit GDDR5
    Core Clock 1000 MHz
    2 x DVI (1 Single Link, 1 Dual Link) 1 x HDMI 2 x Mini DisplayPort
    1280 Stream Processors
    PCI Express 3.0 x16
    Radeon HD 7870H787Q2G2M
    2 GB 256-bit GDDR5
    PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP

    I bet these are better than my GeForce 750 Ti and GTX 950
  8. Daerandin

    Daerandin Active Member

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    I looked it up, I can't find a card named exactly Radeon 7870, but there is a HD 7870. I think it is too old to use the new AMDGPU driver, but I would suspect it runs well enough with the older open source Radeon driver. I don't have any experience with the older AMD cards so I don't know what to expect.

    I do think the open source driver would be the best bet, even for older cards. But you might actually have better performance on Linux with the nvidia cards since their proprietary drivers are quite good.
  9. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Dang, that is what I was kinda thinking. The memory bit interface is bigger on the AMD: 256-bit
    My Nvidia cards are 192-bit
    But I wondered how they would fare in Linux?

    I'm not sure what to do with them at this point? I have a feeling Vulkan won't even run on them.
    Thanks for your help as always!
  10. Kaitain

    Kaitain Active Member

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    I'm pretty sure we covered this in other threads - I've been using AMDGPU on the Ryzen-1/Vega10 based Raven Ridge APU for the last 2 years.

    Performance is good, Vulkan support for Raven Ridge is patchy as it was a fairly rushed APU, but its Ryzen 2-based replacements have a more complete support. OpenGL support is outstanding though, and while laptops are not the best things for gaming, it's both possible and pleasant.

    Note, for kernel builders, although the AMDGPU driver is opensource, it still relies on firmware blobs from AMD. These are free issued under a permissive licence, but not open source. If you're building your own kernel and want KMS to work, you must either build the blob into your kernel, or make it available in your initrd. See https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/AMDGPU for more.
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  11. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Thanks for the information Kaitain!
  12. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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  13. Daerandin

    Daerandin Active Member

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    AMDVLK is AMD's vulkan driver, and one option for vulkan support on AMD cards. Personally I use vulkan-radeon which is provided by the open source community (mesa3d).

    Clarification: AMDVLK is also open source, but is primarily maintained by AMD. vulkan-radeon is maintained by the mesa3d project, also open source. The AMDGPU driver is also developed by the mesa3d project.
  14. Kaitain

    Kaitain Active Member

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    AMD contributes heavily to mesa3d development - AMDVLK is their test bed. It's semi-open as it's an open source wrapper around AMD's proprietary shader algorithm, that they use in their closed-source Linux and Windows drivers.Over time as AMD "sanitises" the code of differently licensed and patented bits, it gets pushed up to RADV, which is the mesa3d vulkan layer.

    Quite a good arrangement.

    Until recently, if you could get it to work, AMDVLK's performance was marginally better than RADV; more recently Valve has heavily supported development of the ACO (I think) shader compiler, and RADV+ACO is generally faster than AMDVLK. Sadly, some Linux game ports don't play nicely with anything other than nvidia, but other than those, it's a good time to be an AMD user.
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  15. Daerandin

    Daerandin Active Member

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    You seem to be a lot more familiar with this than me. I also was not aware that AMD contributed so much to mesa3d themselves.

    I actually switched over to AMD graphics for the sole reason if being able to use the sway window manager on wayland. Nvidia decided to develop their own buffer API for wayland instead of using the existing one. GNOME and KDE support both on wayland, but some compositors don't support nvidia's implementation. The main sway developer has even posted that he will never include support for nvidia's EGLStreams, implying that he will even refuse patches that implement such support.

    At the same time, I was interested in seeing how the performance is with the open source drivers. I'm extremely happy so far.

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