Amd hardware low performance in Ubuntu

Hello everyone,

After gettings tired of Windows 8 I switched to Ubuntu 13.10 64bit, there is just 1 problem, the performance of my system in video games like Counter Stike Source or even Minecraft is just terrible, while it performs just fine in Windows 8.

I have the latest catalyst beta drivers, system specs:

Amd 4500m APU, HD 7640G GPU, 8GB 1600mhz ram [shared], 1,5 TB Harddrive.

Is this a hardware problem or does Ubuntu just perform bad?


It's a driver problem, generally the badass 5xxx series of AMD GPU's get the best preformance

just a quick guide on Linux GPU drivers:AMD-Open source, usually included in install, crappily made except for mentioned 5xxx series

NVIDIA:-Closed source,have to jump through hoops on older GPUs, newer ones work great

I installed the drivers from AMD's website, will that make any difference, or are the drivers for the 7xxx series just generally crap?

AMDs opensource divers are allot better then Nvidias opensource drivers. However the open source drivers offer lower performance compared to the proprietary Drivers. (at this point in time). Pay attention to the kernel version -> newer is better

Nvidia proprietary are significantly faster then AMD proprietary drivers. However proprietary drivers cannot be "compiled into" the kernel (the natural way of integrating drivers in linux) which means they have to be stitched on later. This patchwork way of doing things often causes stability issues (a bit like on windows)

As your computer gets older AMD is going to be less interested in continued optimizing of the proprietary the driver for your chip. However the community around the open-source driver will continue to optimize. That means that somewhere down the line the open-source driver will be faster on your chip.

My advice to you is to try out ubuntu 14.04, it has a newer kernel. See if you can get sufficient performance with the inbuilt open-source-driver.

If that isn't satisfactory try out the proprietary driver

  • fglrx = Catalyst   (FireGL and Radeon for X; X= Linux GraphicalUserIinterface framework; FireGL is the AMD professional GPU, while Radeon is the consumer line)

video guide on how to install the the proprietary graphics driver for amd on ubuntu 14.04

I agree completely with fluffy. AMD is the way to go if you're using linux.

I can also point out this thread, the open source driver for AMD has better performance than Catalyst in some games with the very latest kernel, drivers and xorg-server versions:!

So yes, I can definitely see the open source driver surpassing Catalyst in the very near future if you're using a rolling release distro.

Last time I ran an apu under linux mint it ran like a munted goat. Either try the open source drivers, another linux distro, grab a discrete gpu or go back to windows.

Try something Arch based, never had any AMD performance issues with arch, the open source drivers are brilliant :) be better if AMD decide to go open source fully, let both sides work together :)

Don't run the latest Catalyst on linux. Run the latest beta Catalyst for which there are kernel modules in the distro you are using.

Ubuntu 13.10, besides being a mess, is confined to older linux kernel support, that will not get you a very good result with latest gen AMD GPU's.

For modern hardware, you really should use bleeding edge distros. For less experienced linux users and for users like myself that don't want to waste too much time on something as basic as being able to use the latest proprietary driver, I recommend using a distro that offers "beyond open source principles" support for proprietary graphics drivers to make things easier and more user friendly. I recommend Manjaro. I use it myself for applications that require the use of proprietary graphics drivers, because it has very simple to use dedicated tools to switch to the latest and greatest bleeding edge kernel (Manjaro is now on 3.14.3, Fc20 is now on 3.14.4, so that's about as bleeding edge you'll find on any stable release distro), and to one-click install-and-configure proprietary GPU drivers (which Fc20 doesn't do and refuses to do for AMD GPU's altogether).

funny thing is, i recently installed ubuntu 14.04 on my machine and tried out tf2. it actually wasn't bad with the open source drivers. not great, but the best it's been so far

AMD has better drivers than Nvidia for linux. Even the open source amd drivers seem to be almost as good as the proprietary ones. TF2 runs natively on linux so that wouldn't be a very good benchmark to test gaming potential. 

Im already using fglrx beta so that can be the problem.

Zoltan, I agree with 13.10 being a mess and I will upgrading to 14.04 as soon as I can.


Thanks everyone, have a nice day =D