Ubuntu – How to get AMD graphics card working well 12.04


Fresh install of 12.04

01:05.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI RS880 [Radeon HD 4200]

'Additional Drivers' shows ATI/AMD proprietary FGLRX graphics driver, and ATI/AMD proprietary FGLRX graphics driver (post-release updates) as not installed. ATI/AMD proprietary FGLRX graphics driver says it installs successfully when I try. The post-release updates say they fail (and when they fail the graphics driver no longer shows as installed either).

I did sudo apt-get install fglrx, which said it was already installed and sudo apt-get install fglrx-updates which installed something. I then restarted.

AMD control center is available and I can use it to get a dual monitor desktop working (which I cannot do with system settings -> displays).

Graphics performance is bad:

  • If I click and drag on the desktop the selection rectangle cannot keep up with the cursor and Xorg briefly uses a lot of cpu (observed in top).

  • Visiting eg youtube.com makes the chrome tab unresponsive and makes chrome use a lot of cpu

  • Scrolling in chrome is laggy.

  • I have seen compiz using a lot of cpu in top, but it also sometimes sits at around 4% (still at the top of the list but ok I guess?) it's at 45% right now.

I was running 12.04 in 2D desktop mode prior to this but was still having problems with eg scrolling in chrome, I was hoping a reinstall would help, but apparently not. What's the best way to resolve this? Get a new graphics card? try Mint instead? or is there a way to get this graphics card working happily with 12.04?

Best Answer

  • I had EXACTLY similar problems. Here's what i did : I purged FGLRX install by using these commands :

    sudo sh /usr/share/ati/fglrx-uninstall.sh

    sudo apt-get remove --purge fglrx fglrx_* fglrx-amdcccle* fglrx-dev*

    (if the first one does not work, it's normal, just use the second one)

    Then i rebooted, went on AMD's driver download section, downloaded the drivers i needed, ran the .run drivers into a terminal and installed them. Rebooted, went into Catalyst Control Center>Display Settings>Tear free and checked activate tear free.

    Then i went on compiz settings via CompizConfig (you may need to install it via Ubuntu's Software Center) clicked on OPENGL and unchecked Sync to VBlank and everything went fine.