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I am having issues when watching videos/movies on my laptop with ubuntu 12.04, had the same issues on Kubuntu.When watching I can see small lines/video tearing, like it has lower than it should fps.This issue isn't visible if you don't pay attention,but to my disadvantage I do pay attention. I tried,Mplay,Vlc,Totem player,XBMC all the same.Have proprietary drivers from AMD on my amd hd4570 videoboard with 512MB dedicated memory. I have also 4GB of DDR3 RAM so RAM isn't an issue. CPU model is T4400 2.2GHz with 1MB cache.

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Is this happening only with some specific video types, or all types got the same issue? – silla Feb 4 '13 at 8:51
sorry for not answering can't remember why i did not answer you.It was for all video types – adi Feb 20 '13 at 15:03

Did you try enabling "Tear Free desktop" in the Catalyst control center. This fixed the issue for me across all distros.

But given that you are left only with "legacy" catalyst driver, it seems to be a good solution to use the ever improving AMD OSS drivers. Make sure you use the latest 3.7 / 3.8 kernel to get all the benefits that has been going into the OSS driver stack.

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Appearently was my AMD HD4570 proprietary driver to blame,if anyone else is having this issue try using open source driver from ubuntu.

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