Removing AMD proprietary Driver=HUGE improvement!?!

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InkKnife
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Removing AMD proprietary Driver=HUGE improvement!?!

Post by InkKnife »

When I built my PC 2 years ago I took some advice and immediately installed the proprietary AMD driver. Things seemed OK and I don't do any gaming so I am fairly insensitive to graphics card performance.
Recently I wanted to add another screen to my set-up and was getting nothing but grief. Cinnamon crashing and bailing out to fall back, the Catalyst control panel would lock up, forget settings and crash, crash, crash, so I uninstalled the driver and switched over to the recommended FOSS driver.
Wow, after reboot I could immediately see that the image on my screen looked better, sharper. Then I went back to trying to get the second screen working and now the set-up went smooth and easy as could be. Dual screens with very different resolutions, perfectly stable.

That done I relaxed and started doing my usual relaxing at my computer, browsing, light photo editing and I notice that everything is snappier, scrolling is butter smooth, windows fly open, menus have the snappy. Now this is where it gets weird: I notice that everything is using about 40% less ram and much, much less CPU and the average temp of my CPU dropped a full 5c.
I am completely blown away that changing the video driver could cause such a really, really big jump in performance. I post this here because while I have read plenty about AMD driver issues I had never read anything that suggested they were so bad that they would drag down your whole system. If I had had even a hint that a bad driver could slog things down so bad I would have tried yanking it long ago.
Before I switched drivers I was thinking that my PC made of old parts was going to need an upgrade but now it has the snappy back and I feel like my old Quad still has some years of service ahead of it. I have been using computers for going on 35 years and spent some years in PC repair and I have never seen such a performance boost from a software change, ever. I am happy but also kind of gob-smacked.
i7 3770, 12GB of ram, 256GB SSD, 64GB SSD, 750GB HDD, 1TB HDD, Cinnamon.

wmh
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Re: Removing AMD proprietary Driver=HUGE improvement!?!

Post by wmh »

I have a similar computer: Q9400 2.66 - r9 270 - 17.3 x64 cinnamon mint. I'm very new to Linux and have lots to learn and I'd like to game in Linux. What is this FOSS driver? I'm using the Xserver-xorg-video-ati 1:7.3.0.1-1ubuntu3.1 in 4.4.0.22.generic kernel.

-Edit-

Just found out the FOSS is the same thing I'm using. :mrgreen:

Found the answer here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php? ... st12479960
FOSS = free, open-source software, and the open-source radeon driver is included with linux kernel and used by default.
InkKnife wrote:When I built my PC 2 years ago I took some advice and immediately installed the proprietary AMD driver. Things seemed OK and I don't do any gaming so I am fairly insensitive to graphics card performance.

Recently I wanted to add another screen to my set-up and was getting nothing but grief. Cinnamon crashing and bailing out to fall back, the Catalyst control panel would lock up, forget settings and crash, crash, crash, so I uninstalled the driver and switched over to the recommended FOSS driver.
Wow, after reboot I could immediately see that the image on my screen looked better, sharper. Then I went back to trying to get the second screen working and now the set-up went smooth and easy as could be. Dual screens with very different resolutions, perfectly stable.

That done I relaxed and started doing my usual relaxing at my computer, browsing, light photo editing and I notice that everything is snappier, scrolling is butter smooth, windows fly open, menus have the snappy. Now this is where it gets weird: I notice that everything is using about 40% less ram and much, much less CPU and the average temp of my CPU dropped a full 5c.

I am completely blown away that changing the video driver could cause such a really, really big jump in performance. I post this here because while I have read plenty about AMD driver issues I had never read anything that suggested they were so bad that they would drag down your whole system. If I had had even a hint that a bad driver could slog things down so bad I would have tried yanking it long ago.

Before I switched drivers I was thinking that my PC made of old parts was going to need an upgrade but now it has the snappy back and I feel like my old Quad still has some years of service ahead of it. I have been using computers for going on 35 years and spent some years in PC repair and I have never seen such a performance boost from a software change, ever. I am happy but also kind of gob-smacked.
Mint 17.3 64bits - Cinnamon 2.8.8 - AMD R9 270

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Amii_Leigh
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Re: Removing AMD proprietary Driver=HUGE improvement!?!

Post by Amii_Leigh »

I wonder if a similar increase in performance would be possible by switching from the Nvidia driver that I'm using now? Any ideas? I'm also *something* of a gamer, and I'd really like better performance from my video card...
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Re: Removing AMD proprietary Driver=HUGE improvement!?!

Post by JosephM »

I have an older Nvidia card, gtx260, in the machine I use for Mint/Cinnamon development. It runs far smoother and more solid using the open source driver over the nvidia drivers. Even simple things like dragging windows around is far smoother. I don't play games or use graphic intensive apps though. I see a lot of people automatically recommend people to change their driver when they do a new install which I think is poor advice. If you don't have a reason or need to change it, leave it be.
When I give opinions, they are my own. Not necessarily those of any other Linux Mint developer or the Linux Mint project as a whole.

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InkKnife
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Re: Removing AMD proprietary Driver=HUGE improvement!?!

Post by InkKnife »

JosephM wrote:I have an older Nvidia card, gtx260, in the machine I use for Mint/Cinnamon development. It runs far smoother and more solid using the open source driver over the nvidia drivers. Even simple things like dragging windows around is far smoother. I don't play games or use graphic intensive apps though. I see a lot of people automatically recommend people to change their driver when they do a new install which I think is poor advice. If you don't have a reason or need to change it, leave it be.
In particular I have had MUCH better luck with FOSS drivers and multiple screens.
i7 3770, 12GB of ram, 256GB SSD, 64GB SSD, 750GB HDD, 1TB HDD, Cinnamon.

JosephM
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Re: Removing AMD proprietary Driver=HUGE improvement!?!

Post by JosephM »

Yeah, I'm also a multi-monitor user though I don't remember any specific issues with that on the nvidia driver.
When I give opinions, they are my own. Not necessarily those of any other Linux Mint developer or the Linux Mint project as a whole.

wmh
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Re: Removing AMD proprietary Driver=HUGE improvement!?!

Post by wmh »

Hello,

I did some tests and tried different kernel versions with xserver-xorg or fglrx from Driver Manager and, still, they can't compare to the AMD Proprietary Driver Crimson Edition released in 12/18/2015.

In my case, Crimson Edition was and is far superior in comparison. Games are soo smooth now and run very well, without glitches. Even a black block glitch I experienced in the game This War of Mine is now gone.

I used several Kernel versions up to 4.7.rc2 and they can't match fglrx-15.302. Now I"m using 3.19.0-32-generic.

I recommend it if you are going to game on Linux Mint.

To download, go to:

Linux Download Center - http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/linux

Choose your GPU series and distribution name package and get yours. Mine was this:

AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition 15.12 Proprietary Linux x86 Display Driver

Size: is 177 MB
Revision Number: Crimson Edition 15.12
Release Date: 12/18/2015

1. Download it to "Downloads" or "tmp" folder;
2. Unpack it and run the amd-driver-installer-15.302-x86.x86_64.run in terminal mode;
3. Follow the guide/questions and reboot;

And you'll be good to go. :)
Mint 17.3 64bits - Cinnamon 2.8.8 - AMD R9 270

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