Catalyst Driver, a Journey Taken… Better than I’d Known
I previously read about (a good number of times) people not having the best experiences with AMD’s proprietary driver. However, with my new laptop I decided that no matter how much I love the open-source driver (bought it because AMD opened the specs to it), that realistically it would take a few years before I’d be able to play games with it. The AMD/ATI website says 7xxxM series is supported so I decided to try it.
Prepare for Installing Catalyst
Removed open-source Radeon driver options, commented
Installing Catalyst Driver
Using Vi0l0’s excellent catalyst repository, I added it to
[catalyst] Server = http://catalyst.apocalypsus.net/repo/catalyst/$arch
Add Vi0l0 key:
sudo pacman-key -r NUM sudo pacman-key --lsign-key NUM
Installed (using pacman shortcuts script (pm):
pm y pm i linux-headers catalyst-hook catalyst-utils lib32-catalyst-utils
catalyst-hook here to have the module put into initramfs when kernel versions areupgraded (provides catalyst driver).
sudo aticonfig --initial
Added module to load at boot:
echo '# Load AMD Catalyst driver fglrx' | sudo tee /etc/modules-load.d/fglrx.conf
Disabled Mode Setting: Added
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="nomodeset" (for GRUB2) to
sudo grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
Reboot, and driver loaded properly (
lsmod | grep fglrx), and direct rendering is enabled (
glxinfo | grep direct).
.desktop for ATI Catylyst Control Center:
cp /usr/share/applications/amdcccle.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/ sed -i 's/Exec=amdcccle/Exec=gksudo amdcccle/' ~/.local/share/applications/amdcccle.desktop chmod +x ~/.local/share/applications/amdcccle.desktop
- Color Temperature: Use display’s settings
- Selected down arrow for both monitors to change to correct settings.
Logout/Login: Gnome 3 crash, extensions disabled
Login: Monitor settings lost, both on lower resolution (open-source radeon driver and catalyst define monitors differently so Gnome using xrandr flubs the first time after.
- Pixel Format: RGB 4:4:4 (Full RGB)
- Adjustments: Overscan 0%
Catalyst driver does not recognize discrete GPU properly, thinks integrated GPU is discrete GPU:
aticonfig --list-adapters * 0. 00:01.0 AMD Radeon HD 6520G # * Default 1. 01:00.0 AMD Radeon HD 7600M Series
aticonfig --px-list PowerXpress: Discrete GPU is active (High-Performance mode).
I tried using
sudo aticonfig --px-igpu to switch to integrated to see if it would switch but got an X.org server hang. Also tried
sudo aticonfig --px-dgpu to see if
aticonfig --px-list was in error but no luck. Tried using discrete GPU BusID (
BusID "PCI:1:0:0") in
xorg.conf but that didn’t work either. The catalyst driver doesn’t properly recognize the 7670M GPU as discrete GPU. Entered bug.
When I first started with GNOME mouse clicks would miss at times and sometimes keypresses did too, I added
export CLUTTER_VBLANK=none to
~/.bash_profile and it fixed this. Oddly, I commented it later because I thought it might be related to another bug (it was not) and forgot to enable it again, but I haven’t seen the problem since.
Hard to believe there is not official AMD Catalyst bugzilla (odd how their website points to the unofficial one) so I’m a bit worried about the near future but think all will be fine.
The driver works good. I’m getting a consistent 50fps on Urban Terror and tried Doom and it looks pretty good. Disappointed about not being able to use the discrete GPU, would have been nice. Gonna keep using catalyst, its working good.
Here’s a script i built called
gpuswitch I plan to use when gaming later. Night.