I already posted a question before but I didn't really get any advice/help. I'll be a bit more brief/general in hope it'll help.

I have an MSI HD 7850 with the Catalyst 12.4 drivers installed. I've found that I'm having bad 3D performance for some reason but I'm not entirely sure what. I suspect it may just that the graphics card is new and AMD just need to work on their drivers but it would be nice to get advice and narrow the problem down so that I can be sure rather than wait for driver updates that may not even help.

I ran gxlgears to give some general idea of how bad the performance is. At default size it is averaging around 2000 FPS. The command glxinfo confirms the renderer is using AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series with OpenGL version 4.2.

Edits below:

As asked for others:

lspci -v output is here.
fglrxinfo output is here
xvinfo output is here
glxinfo | grep rendering says yes for direct rendering.

These confirmed that everything was configured correctly.

Within Unity and Gnome Classic:
glxgears had an FPS of around 2000 FPS
fgl_glxgears had an FPS of around 544 FPS

Within LDXE:
glxgears had an FPS of around 4600 FPS
fgl_glxgears had an FPS of around 1600 FPS

In the end it was discovered that Compiz was causing a large performance decrease and solution was simply to change window manager for the time being. Thanks to TechZilla for all his help!

  • Did you run the "Additional Drivers" application? Could you please edit your post with output of this command? lspci -v.Please dont put the output here but use paste.ubuntu.com and give link here. – beeju May 12 '12 at 18:13
  • beeju - I installed them manually using the instructions listed here. Output from the command is here. I ran "Additional Drivers" once just because there was a "post-release updates" listing, but trying to activate that failed and broke compatibility. I ended up uninstalling FGLRX and reinstalling it again manually. – Pandem May 12 '12 at 18:17
  • @Pandem: How did you conclude your card was under performing, was it just from reading FPS scores? Have you noticed poor performance from your usual applications and/or WM/DE? As I stated at comment below my answer, your framerates are lower than expected considering your HD 7850. – J. M. Becker May 12 '12 at 18:58
  • @TechZilla: I was attempting to run two games in Wine. Team Fortress 2, and Guild Wars. I had to force both to run in DX8 as they wouldn't run otherwise. With low settings both gave me usually sub 30 FPS and regular drops in FPS unless no one was on screen. WM/DE is mostly fine, except a couple of unresolved glitches (after a period of time some windows will align themselves with the bottom or top panel, and will keep reverting to that position when I move them). Transitions could be more fluid but otherwise I don't really mind. Note that I'm using Gnome Classic rather than Unity. – Pandem May 12 '12 at 19:09
  • @Pandem: Which WM are you using, Compiz, Mutter, or Metacity? If you just installed Gnome3, over a stock ubuntu, you are likely using Compiz. I highly suggest you try out Mutter, and check your FPS results again. To install/configure Mutter, do this. – J. M. Becker May 12 '12 at 19:16

The first thing you need to check is GLX Direct Rendering, You can use the generic mesa-utils, or fglrxinfo which is provided by FGLRX. You already have fglrxinfo installed, so you should try that first.

Run this command in a terminal.


Report back what the output shows, which will tell us if the fglrx is configured correctly.

next get glxinfo, which is installed via

sudo apt-get install  mesa-utils

Run this command to get your direct rendering status, it will be a yes or no answer.

glxinfo  | grep rendering

Use xvinfo to check for Video Overlay. Make sure x11-utils package is installed.

sudo apt-get install x11-utils

Run this command to check for Video Overlay, should be a long listing, not an error.


This is just the basics, it doesn't verify the new HD video extensions. It should however, tell you if acceleration is even working.


Your settings are correct, and composting has been identified as bringing down your performance. Composting often brings down performance, especially when playing games in WINE.

  • fglrxinfo gives this output. glxinfo says yes for direct rendering. x11-utils is at it's newest version already and this is the output of xvinfo. – Pandem May 12 '12 at 18:39
  • What is your framerate on fgl_glxgears, which is different from regular glxgears and comes with FGLRX. – J. M. Becker May 12 '12 at 18:44
  • It averages out at around 544 FPS at the default window size. – Pandem May 12 '12 at 18:47
  • OK strictly speaking about your configuration, everything checks out correctly. As far as your framerates, they are NOT terrible... but they are lower than than your card would indicate. My HD 5670, run glxgears at ~5300 FPS and fgl_glxgears at ~610 FPS. I also have a comment on the way for your question, so make sure to check and respond. – J. M. Becker May 12 '12 at 18:51
  • 1
    I actually have the same problem with a Radeon HD 6750 - and only have 58FPS with the fgl_glxgears and 91 with glxgears. What could that be? – Force May 12 '12 at 19:07

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