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I have some questions about the drivers for ATi video cards. I recently downloaded and installed the drivers for my machine, and the experience became very choppy and laggy, though it did fix the lag that I had when the Dash was opened. Anyway, I got another update for the same drivers, except these are "post-release updates" for the drivers.

Should I install those, and would they fix the choppiness of my desktop? Or should I just uninstall the proprietary drivers and go with the open source drivers, and where would I have to go to download and install those drivers if they aren't already installed? Also how would I go about removing the proprietary drivers since I already have them installed? Thanks! :)

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Can you ask a clear concise question or split your question - these are a lot of questions in one. –  RolandiXor Oct 14 '11 at 14:49
And if you want a good answer, at least say which graphics card you have. –  Jo-Erlend Schinstad Oct 14 '11 at 14:50
Ok, would installing the newer post-release drivers fix the graphic lag on my desktop? Are the open source drivers better than the propietary drivers? How would I be able to remove the propietary drivers if I were to revert back to the open source drivers? Are the open source drivers included with Ubuntu or do I have to download them? –  Jordan Oct 14 '11 at 14:51
I have ATi Mobility Radeon HD 4250. –  Jordan Oct 14 '11 at 14:54
What about the "post-release updates"? Can those improve the proprietary drivers? Nobody has mentioned them yet. –  Jordan Oct 14 '11 at 16:41

2 Answers 2

You can remove the proprietary drivers on the same screen that you have installed them (under "Additional Drivers), just select the ones you are using now and click on 'deactivate' if you installed them using the "Aditional Drivers" application.

If you used the drivers downloaded from the ATI website there should be a /usr/share/fglrx/ati-uninstall.sh file, run it with sudo sh /usr/share/fglrx/ati-uninstall.sh and that should remove the ATI downloaded drivers.

About what driver to use, well, any of those will have the same effects, the choppiness comes from using compiz with 3d effects, that's not well handled either by Nvidia or ATI drivers (in most cases that is).

My advise is to use the fglrx driver but instead of the unity3d desktop use the unity2d desktop as default. After all do you really need to have special effects when your watching a movie? Does the 3d desktop make you feel better about yourself? Is it worth the choppiness? No, not really... Use the unity2d, its faster, does the same things, looks as good and its not choppy at all!

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I'll try using Unity 2D later on, but what if I wanted to use Gnome Shell? I thought that needed 3D driver support. –  Jordan Oct 14 '11 at 14:57
It does, nothing you can do about it, there are lots of half breed solutions for choppiness that can work, but unity2d is the fastest and simpler one. Try it and if you are happy with it keep using it. If you want to switch to Gnome3 later on you can always try the open source drivers, I hear they work ok also. –  Bruno Pereira Oct 14 '11 at 15:01
Oh and I used the Addition Drivers application, but I also tried to download the drivers doing sudo apt-get install fglrx' It said that the drivers were already installed and up to dateso nothing happened. But technically can I just sudo apt-get remove fglrx ? –  Jordan Oct 14 '11 at 15:03
Use the additional drivers panel, its safer, I think the apt thing will do the same and remove them from your system but the other one is made for this kind of things ;) –  Bruno Pereira Oct 14 '11 at 15:04
Both the open source and proprietary drivers have 3D support for the HD 4250: –  cscarney Oct 14 '11 at 15:04

The lag/choppiness can be fixed easily from instructions found here

All you have to do is disable sync to vblank in compiz oprngl plugin.

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I have done that already. Its still a bit too choppy for my tastes. –  Jordan Oct 14 '11 at 17:56

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