AMD Radeon HD 7790 Linux support

I have the Radeon HD 7790 graphics card from AMD, and I'd like to run Linux with it.

How well will that work?

I'm concerned about:

  1. Hardware acceleration (both 2D and 3D)
  2. Bugs, does it work completely, etc
  3. OpenGL support
  4. CrossFire support
  5. Multiple monitors support
  6. Overheating
  7. Performance
  8. Other features (VDPAU, etc)

I know that Linux drivers are usually worse performance-wise - but I wont be playing any demanding games on my Linux system. I am only concerned about it actually working, being stable, and generally supporting the features that I need.

Don't worry about hardware. If your on wifi worry other than that forget about it.

what version of linux do you want to use. that will help us help you.

It will work, but AMD drivers on linux have been spotty since forever and decent 3D acceleration support in linux with AMD cards is pretty recent and mostly due to Valve convincing AMD and Nvidia to put out better drivers. I personally would go Nvidia on a full time linux box because the drivers are still way ahead of AMD in performance, compatibility and stability. Also Multi monitor in linux can be problematic still. Lastly video cards compatible with linux will support OpenGL. Oh and most wifi works out of the box just if you get that one wifi card that doesn't it'll be hell getting it to work

I can't comprehend what you're trying to say... I'm OK with using any  distro - but I prefer Fedora or Archlinux.




So basically it will work but with lower performance? Are you sure about the model?

 Also multi monitor support on Linux is quite good - in fact on my other PCs I prefer the way it integrates over Windows.

Unless AMD rolled out some major driver updates in the past few months on linux the drivers are still bad compared to Nvidia as in some applications (the list is mostly games) may have issues and the performance is not as good as it can be. That being said it will work, just make sure you get the latest drivers (try the beta drivers) just it might not work as well as it could

There are two families of drivers: open source and proprietary.

AMD has open sourced it's headers to the linux community, and is actually paying some pretty good devs just to develop open source drivers, just like Intel does. That means that the open source drivers for AMD and Intel are getting better all the time, and for AMD that means that you can actually use the open source driver for daily computing, and it's completely stable and safe to use. The proprietary driver still performs a bit better and has a few more features, and you can use amdcccle like in Windows to configure the card, but as with Windows drivers, it's sometimes not completely stable, but also, if you're coming from Windows, you're not even going to notice any instability, because linux won't crash or bluescreen or anything, at worst you'll take a graphics performance hit that you'll hardly notice unless you've been using linux for a long time, or some minor artefacts, not massive texture fail or any of the stuff you get when Windows tries to not crash with unstable drivers.

CrossFire has been fully supported in linux since 2008, and depending on what application you use it for, scales better than in Windows.

OpenGL works, Shaders work, OpenCL works, DPM works (with the 3.11 kernel also with the open source driver), everything just works nice and stable.

Also, the card will not overheat in linux, at all, because DPM is fully supported now, so you can overclock without fear of breaking anything, because the reliability is much higher than in Windows. In Windows, you overclock the GPU with software, then there is one of those frequent system freezes in Windows, and your card overheats and is damaged, not going to happen in linux.

What might happen, is that the average temp on the card might be a little higher than in Windows, because linux uses hardware in a completely different manner. Linux actually USES hardware, it doesn't need certain GPU specs or CPU specs or whatever to be able to do a particular thing, but it will make maximum use of all the hardware available to give the best performance possible. That's why CPUs tend to get a little hotter in linux than in windows sometimes, because linux actually uses all the cores, and gets the best performance and efficiency, but at the same time, the safeties against overheating are much more reliable in linux than in windows. So for instance, if you use a photo editing program in Windows, you might see a hell of a CPU load and a very cool GPU, whereas the same program in linux, will only use a bit of CPU, but will do a lot of OpenCL calculations on the GPU, running the GPU a bit hotter, but also getting better performance and more efficiency.

Multi-monitor is self-evident in linux, and every monitor can be configured separately to the extreme. All modern DE's natively support workspace management on multiple display interfaces to a degree Windows can only dream off.

AMD also has pulled the XMir patches from Canonical, unlike Intel. Not that many people care that much, but basically, that means that even Ubuntu with Unity will run on AMD GPUs, unlike on Intel iGPUs (Intel does this because they have other plans for linux, they actually don't want Ubuntu to gain momentum in post-PC desktop linux, because they're working themselves with Samsung and the linux foundation on their own - also AL2.0 licensed, just like Mir - commercial linux platform.

AMD is a very good choice for linux, because most if not all modern AMD platforms support AMD-Vi, since the 790FX chip all AMD chipset based mobos have full linux crossfire support, AMD CPUs have more cores for less money, and multiple cores just scale better in linux than in windows, and AMD GPUs work incredibly well with OpenCL, which makes an all AMD system a very good performer in linux (it's like having a CPU and an extra FPU to go with it), even with open source drivers, which is still a safety bonus over proprietary drivers, and using open source drivers means not tainting the kernel, so you can still get support for your install in case of problems, which is impossible with a proprietary driver headers tainted kernel.

Not true. Nvidia/AMD proprieytary drivers for linux are the same as those for windows, and there is no reason to believe that there is any less quality in AMD drivers, quite on the contrary. Open source drivers for AMD (which are made by AMD staff) are actually almost as good as the proprietary AMD drivers, and that means that they are exponentially better than nVidia open source drivers, which are made by a Kickstarter funded cleanroom reverse engineering campaign, without any help from nVidia whatsoever.

AMD is the best choice in graphics for linux, because you'll still be able to run Ubuntu+Unity on it if you wanted, which is not possible with Intel, since Intel (which makes it's own commercial linux distro with Samsung, so it doesn't want Canonical to gain momentum with their commercial linux distro) has refused to pull the XMir patches to the Intel graphics driver. Not that I'm a fan of Ubuntu + Unity or Mir, but hey, I think it's a bad thing to limit the user's choice. nVidia is a bad choice for linux altogether, since nVidia refuses any and all info about it's products to the open source community, which means that you won't be getting any support in case of trouble, because the communities can only help you with actual visible code. So nVidia cards are the only cards that will actually perform slower than in windows if you don't use the proprietary drivers, because the open source drivers are not as good.

Sorry, but that sounds too good to be true.


I know AMD started working with the Linux community to get drivers up to speed, but from what I've gathered it's still in its infancy and card-specific. I'm specifically interested in the 7790 card.






Basically get a new kernel and a new mesa release and the card should work fine but don't expect too much. From the 7xxx series upwards the architecture is different and so is the driver (radeonsi). It's not on par with drivers for older cards (r600), yet.

7850 works just fine, not as well as on catalyst, but with kernel 3.11 in fedora it's very usable, and DPM just works, for boosting and temp-/power-reduction. The framerate in games is a bit slower, because there is no optimisation at all and the latest shaders are not supported yet, but for normal use, even games like xonotic etc, the only thing that might happen is a fraction of a second of a visual glitch at startx, but I've not seen any other problems yet, and I've been using it for quite some time. The 7790 shouldn't be any different from the 7850. There is an annoyance with OpenCL, that only half of the memory of the card is available for OpenCL job caching in some applications that also use OpenGL, but that's true even for catalyst with AMD cards, and not such a big problem. There are no crashes or stability issues whatsoever, and the DPM is up to standard.

Also, the evolution of the open source stack for AMD is accelerating day by day, there are frequent updates, especially after a kernel update.

It is true that one should not expect too much when running an older kernel or a distro that pushes updates slowly, it's all pretty bleeding edge, but stable and fully functional nonetheless.

I still cant get my 7950 to work with any drivers I've tried. 


But I'm still putting the blame on my not knowing how.

In my opinion, it's easier to work out those kinds of problems in a chat. I'm on irc #teksyndicate so if you want to give it another try just say something there...

Alright, I'll get on after work tomorrow, probably. 

Also,don't take anything from any other threads I'm in personally. Just heated debate.