Have the amd drivers gotten any better lately?

I'm rocking a 7950 right now, I want to dual boot again now with the steam os announcement, but when I tried this spring with ubuntu I could not for the life of me get the anything working as far as the drivers so I could play games. Have the drivers for amd(I dont give a crap if its open source or oem) gotten any better since then? I'm planing to use ether zorin or more likely manjaro, arch based seems neat plus is comes with steam pre-installed where as zorin just looks more like windows.   Anyone had any experience with the 7000 series of cards and the latest amd drivers and linux in general?

Yup, drivers are pretty good, but you have to use kernel 3.11 or higher to get the most out of it. Arch or Fedora are definitely preferred for a stable kernel 3.11 experience. Manjaro still has some work to be done on 3.11 stability, but it's acceptable. You can forget about Ubuntu-based distros, they have no viable kernel 3.11 implementation yet, so you won't be able to get the most out of your graphics card.

They're still working on the drivers, almost every week there is a new milestone. I'm on Fedora and my AMD cards are performing great.


That is awesome,  I may just install arch itself instead of manjaro then unless its not too hard to get it working on 3.11. I'd love to use more linux for well everything but I need working hardware to do so lol.

The drivers sure have gotten better than back in the days, when installing fglrx caused your monitor to go nuts and freeze your computer. The open drivers still lack a lot in terms of hardware acceleration, they work better but....not quite up there with AMD's.

Zoltan are you using AMD's "Catalyst" beta drivers or the open source drivers?  Thanks.


AMD pushed an update in linux not THAT long ago that finally has decent support using the GPU to playback videos.

(they valled it uvd, for vdpau)


Haven't tested it, But I did applaud it.

Both of them, I switch between 13.10 beta and RadeonSI on my AMD machines. I also have machines with nVidia and Intel graphics. I'm running a very bleeding edge Fedora, and do a lot of testing. The Catalyst 13.10 beta is really good as far as I can see, one of the most stable ported proprietary drivers to date from any manufacturer. The RadeonSI drivers work really well on kernel 3.11 and 3.12 with latest libs, and the DPM feature does its job. The latest RadeonSI drivers on modern kernels are at the performance level of the Catalyst less than one year ago, and they're catching up, so that means a lot.

I do have a small bug that causes a millisecond of hardly visible tiny artefact when Plymouth exits the wait-state at bootup, but that might as well be a Plymouth related bug. I can't crosscheck with nVidia cards because they don't even get that far, the screen remains black for about 2 seconds after the Plymouth wait state because akmod-nvidia is full of bugs and needs to be forced by patches, so I can't see whether these artefacts also show up there.

The other issue that I have with AMD drivers, also whether RadeonSI or Catalyst, is that some applications still don't allocate the entire graphics memory for OpenCL workload buffering. This is not so much a problem with the AMD drivers, but a problem with those applications. An example thereof is Darktable, which requires a 2 GB AMD card in order to be able to allocate 1 GB for OpenCL. It's better than nVidia, because a lot of nVidia cards aren't in the compatibility list, so the OpenCL libs (or CUDA libs for that matter) don't compile for Darktable, and frankly, nVidia cards suck at OpenCL acceleration anyway, and very few applications support CUDA.

Thing with AMD drivers is - whether the Catalyst or RadeonSI - that they perform very well on bleeding edge linux boxes. The same goes for Intel graphics. There is a real and tangible benefit in running kernel 3.11 and 3.12 on such machines. The opposite is true for nVidia GPU machines, also whether using nVidia or nouveau, they need an older kernel to be stable or to even work.