AMD Catalyst 13.2 beta 3 driver up to 300% performance ?

After several posts into their forums, it is now the time for AMD to launch their most awaited driver (bug-fixes concerning to Steam Linux client) that comes in their 3rd instalment of Catalyst 13.2 beta.  So, if you had problem with Serious Sam 3 or Team Fortress 2, now you can actually feel the ultimate gaming experience. Yet, there are many things remaining to be fixed, but this driver it was most awaited by many... many... people out there. Especially for us, Ubuntu users.

Check the log...

Feature Highlights of the AMD Catalyst™ 13.2 Beta Driver for Linux

  • [370476 ]: Resolves a Team Fortress 2 performance issue with Ubuntu 12.04/12.10 and AMD Radeon™ HD 7000, 6000 Series GPU. Up to 300% performance improvement

  • [369298 ]: Resolves a Serious Sam 3 launching and corruption issue with Ubuntu 12.04/12.10 and AMD Radeon™ HD 7000, 6000 Series GPU

According to AMD, there is a potential performance boost up to 300% improvement ONLY for Radeon HD 7000, 6000 series.  However, I tested the game with my Radeon 6950 and I didn't notice a 300% boost. The overall experience is updated, indeed, but I can't see this 300% boost the AMD claims in their website. I will make some test with Radeon HD7000 as soon as possible and then come back. Good news don't stop here because there is another thing about this driver release. For the first time (if my memory serves me right) AMD offers you support for their upcoming GPUs: AMD Radeon 8000 series GPU also known as Oland family. According to TechPowerUp "the Radeon HD 8870,  could offer performance comparable to today's high-end GPUs. The HD 8870 is clocked at 1050 MHz with 1100 MHz PowerTune Boost frequency; while the HD 8850 is clocked at 925 MHz with 975 MHz boost frequency. The memory of both SKUs is clocked at 6.00 GHz, yielding 192 GB/s memory bandwidth. The chips hence have 256-bit wide memory interfaces".

How to Install

System Requirements:
Before attempting to install the AMD Catalyst™ Linux graphics driver, the following software must be installed:
    • Xorg/Xserver 6.9 and above (up to 1.13)

    • Linux kernel 2.6 or above (up to 3.5)

    • glibc version 2.2 or 2.3

    • POSIX Shared Memory (/dev/shm) support is required for 3D applications
Just for the sake of beta, notice that  If a Linux 2.6.11 or newer kernel was built with CONFIG_AGP enabled, the kernel AGP frontend is required to load the fglrx kernel module. To identify whether your kernel with CONFIG_AGP enabled, look for CONFIG_AGP=y in the kernel config file, or if the ‘agpgart’ module is loaded

Install any necessary Dependencies
sudo apt-get install XFree86-Mesa-libGL libstdc++ libgcc XFree86-libs fontconfig freetype zlib gcc

Run the installer

AMD recommends you to run the installer and build the kernel automatically. Then reboot your PC and come back.
However, just in case, there is another alternative way which I prefer to use:

The hard (manual) way

#First install of AMD Catalyst
#prerequisite packages#
sudo apt-get install build-essential cdbs dh-make dkms
sudo apt-get install execstack dh-modaliases fakeroot libqtgui4

# If you are 64 bit, install these too
sudo apt-get install ia32-libs ia32-libs-multiarch:i386
sudo apt-get install lib32gcc1 libc6-i386
cd /usr ; sudo ln -svT lib /usr/lib64

# Go into your Downloads folder (I suppose you have already download the driver)
cd Downloads

# Make the package executable
chmod +x

# Create and install deb packages for precise 12.04 or quantal 12.10
sudo sh ./amd-driver-installer-catalyst-13.2-beta3-linux-x86.x86_64 --buildpkg Ubuntu/precise
sudo dpkg -i fglrx*.deb

# Enable new settings
sudo aticonfig --initial -f

# Reboot you PC

Upgrade from AMD Catalyst 13.x to 12.8

# Go into your Downloads folder (I suppose you have already download the driver)
cd Downloads

# Make the package executable
chmod +x

# Create deb packages for precise (12.04) or quantal (12.10)
sudo sh ./amd-driver-installer-catalyst-13.2-beta3-linux-x86.x86_64 --buildpkg Ubuntu/precise

# Force overwrite the older packages with the new ones
sudo dpkg --force-overwrite -i *.deb

# Reboot you PC

If want to unistall them
sudo apt-get remove --purge fglrx fglrx_* fglrx-amdcccle* fglrx-dev*

In case you experience any tearing problems for Gnome 3 shell users, you are advised to enable the Tear Free option from the Catalyst Control Center.


  1. Too bad it was too little too late. I gave my 6870 to a friend, and got myself a GTX 680. The difference in drivers is significant.

    6870 wouldn't stop tearing windows in Ubuntu 12.10 with the 12.11 beta 8 driver. To only support Xorg 1.13 officially after Ubuntu 12.10 has been out for nearly 6 months was too long a wait. Even my friends Nvidia 9300M GS performed better than my 6870 because of the driver difference. Games we tested were Guild Wars 2 (Wine) and Killing Floor. The frames per second were significantly different. For now, I am an Nvidia user.

    Would love to see some benchmarks of these 13.2 drivers though (e.g SS3, KF, GW2).

  2. I installed them. The perfomance is better...I get about 5-10 fps in trine 2 and tf2 is working great.....of course they have a long way to go but the are gonna get better one way or another(thank you Valve!!!).My biggest problem still exists...TEARING!!!Youtube videos and video playback has tearing. I tried also with vaapi in vlc (installed xvba-va-driver) but still nothing. Tear-free still doesn't exist in control center. I guess that's because I have a mobility card (6770m/intel hd 3000). How can I send them an email or something to tell them my problem?


  4. What I have noticed is that the battery goes away REALLY FAST!!!I don't know if it's the driver's issue but this happened after installing 13.2. In windows everything works fine so it's not a battery issue...

  5. E: Unable to locate package XFree86-Mesa-libGL
    E: Unable to locate package libgcc
    E: Unable to locate package XFree86-libs
    E: Unable to locate package freetype
    E: Unable to locate package zlib

  6. sudo amdconfig --sync-video=on

  7. I'm following these directions to install the 13.3 Beta 3 driver, and when I try to create and install deb packages for quantal 12.10, I get the error:

    sh: 0: Can't open ./amd-driver-installer-catalyst-13.3-beta3-linux-x86.x86_64

    What's wrong?

  8. this does not work...

    sudo sh ./amd-driver-installer-catalyst-13.2-beta3-linux-x86.x86_64 --buildpkg Ubuntu/precise
    sudo dpkg -i fglrx*.deb

  9. i got this error also...

  10. The Catalyst Control Center in Ubuntu offers an option to use Vsync on the Desktop and applications, which will eliminate tearing for the most part (tear free desktop), but it will cut your raw fps performance in half. Also, I recommend you use Google Chrome to browse the web and Youtube, because it offers the newest version of Flash with hardware acceleration for the web browser itself AND their implementation of Flash. Peace

  11. Thank you very much for the news, it was very interesting and informative.


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