Mint 17 Cinnamon-Okay to try latest AMD driver from Website?

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Mint 17 Cinnamon-Okay to try latest AMD driver from Website?

Postby FirebirdTN on Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:33 pm

I am new to Mint. I ran 13 Maya for about a month after switching from XP. I have since upgraded to Mint 17.

Everything is working pretty darn well, but I am getting some pretty nasty screen tearing in most of my 3D games. I don't recall ever seeing that before in Mint 13.

I am currently using the fglrx release driver for my ATI card in my laptop.

I know when I was on Maya, as a complete newbie I didn't know which one to install so I tried the fglrx-updates release and had some pretty bad stability and graphical anomolies in Cinnamon. I *think* I had also tried installing the latest driver off the AMD website and still had the same issues. The only stable driver for me on Maya Cinnamon was either the FOSS, or fglrx driver.

I am *thinking* about giving the latest AMD driver a go in Mint 17. Is this something that alot of you Linux gamers do, or is it highly advised against doing that?

By the way, most of my games are very old classic PC games running through PlayOnLinux like Quake 2, Unreal, POD, etc.

But I also downloaded TuxKart today, and the tearing is there as well.

-Alan
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Re: Mint 17 Cinnamon-Okay to try latest AMD driver from Webs

Postby millusions on Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:45 am

hey,

i dont think i'll be much help here but my thoughts,

what video card are you using?
if you already did apt-get install fglrx etc then how much performance boost are you expecting from another version? minimal id think.
i would check if you are actually using fglrx , did you install fglrx-amdcccle?
I suspect something else is an issue here , you didnt provide much details at all

on another note, fglrx has caused a lot of issues on my Vaio Sony laptop with mobileATI7670 , Cinamon crashed often , hibernation wouldnt work until i removed it.
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Re: Mint 17 Cinnamon-Okay to try latest AMD driver from Webs

Postby mr_raider on Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:30 pm

You need to use 14.6 beta. I installed on my desktop which is running Kubuntu 14.04 with no issues. Remember that Cinnamon uses a slightly different compositor, so the result may not be the same.
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Re: Mint 17 Cinnamon-Okay to try latest AMD driver from Webs

Postby FirebirdTN on Sun Jun 08, 2014 3:36 pm

Thanks for the tips! I *may* attempt it later, but due to the possibility of borking my system I might wait.

In the current fglrx release driver, there is a "Tear Free" setting, and it seems to work okay, but it forces Vsync on, which sometimes is fine, but other times it makes the annimations choppy [depending on the game].

Its ALL about compromise I know. I really can't complain. I am surprised everything works as well as it does! Although I have heard the term "display tearing" many times in the past, I never really expereinced it (or maybe I just never noticed it?!?), but its pretty bad at times. As I mentioned above, never noticed it in Maya Cinnamon.

Its really not a huge deal though. More like a "nitpick".

As to my hardware, my only real computer is my business class laptop (dockable), which has ATI HD 6470m graphics.

I also tried removing the ATI drivers and used the FOSS driver as well, but the tearing is still present.

I noticed another user has the same issue, but they started a thread in a different area:

viewtopic.php?f=208&t=169703

-Alan
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Re: Mint 17 Cinnamon-Okay to try latest AMD driver from Webs

Postby grungy_me on Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:49 am

Hello FirebirdTN,

Let me try and clear up a few things that you seemed confused about. The fglrx driver you are currently using is the AMD proprietary graphic driver. If I assume it is the one you installed from the Driver Manager, it just means it is an older version.

I know when I was on Maya, as a complete newbie I didn't know which one to install so I tried the fglrx-updates release and had some pretty bad stability and graphical anomolies in Cinnamon. I *think* I had also tried installing the latest driver off the AMD website and still had the same issues. The only stable driver for me on Maya Cinnamon was either the FOSS, or fglrx driver.


So really, it was the open source AMD driver, or an older AMD proprietary driver that worked for you in this. I don't know how common this is. I've had my AMD HD5770 in my system for I think four years now and have never any sort of weird instability issues. Just make sure that after a fresh install of LinuxMint that it fully updated via the Update Manager in the panel before installing any proprietary graphic drivers.

I am *thinking* about giving the latest AMD driver a go in Mint 17. Is this something that alot of you Linux gamers do, or is it highly advised against doing that?


Yes, you can do this, but currently the only compatible graphic driver with LinxMint 17 that is based upon Ubuntu 14.04, is the 14.6 beta driver on AMD's web site. I've been using the current version and the prior one with no issues. If you look at the release notes you'll see that the 14.4 stable version is not compatible. And my experience of accidentally installing it showed that to be the case by screwing up the system and requiring my to re-install LinuxMint. By installing the 14.6 beta graphic driver you MAY gain some additional games that run properly under WINE. Out of the three old Windows games that I tested on LinuxMint 17 Cinnamon, only one played properly after installing the 14.6 beta driver. The other two would only play correctly in an emulated desktop. I'd like to recommend that if playing games is important to you on LinuxMint, that installing the XFCE version of LinuxMint 17 has much better game compatibility and you should be just fine with the AMD proprietary graphic driver that is installed from the Driver Manager. My testing showed this to be the case, and installing the 14.6 beta didn't improve anything further. There is something about the Cinnamon desktop that is stopping games from running properly. I'll be making a separate post about this later.

In the current fglrx release driver, there is a "Tear Free" setting, and it seems to work okay, but it forces Vsync on, which sometimes is fine, but other times it makes the annimations choppy [depending on the game].


All the modern fglrx/AMD proprietary graphic driver version have this tear free setting that I always enable. It's the only way to get acceptable looking videos and games. It does say that it requires additional graphic resources when enabled, so perhaps this accounts for the choppy animations assuming it is not a WINE issue. I also recommend you set the graphics processor to maintain the aspect ratio in the AMD Catalyst Control Center so that if you have a wide screen monitor your old games don't get automatically stretched to fill the screen. This keeps them looking correctly as most old games are set to run in 4:3 aspect ratio screen resolutions. Where as modern wide screen monitors are either 16:9 or 16:10 aspect ratio.

I also tried removing the ATI drivers and used the FOSS driver as well, but the tearing is still present.


My testing showed the open source AMD graphic drivers to be really prone to screen tearing and not have very good game compatibility. So this is not likely to be a good option for you.

I hope you are able to figure something out that works for you.
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