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I have installed AMD Catalyst, but when I am playing something, then it is not using my GPU (in this case Garry's Mod).

My output of glxinfo | grep OpenGL is

OpenGL vendor string: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. OpenGL renderer string: AMD Radeon HD 7970M OpenGL core profile version string: 4.3.12798 Core Profile Context 13.35.1005 OpenGL core profile shading language version string: 4.30 OpenGL core profile context flags: (none) OpenGL core profile profile mask: core profile OpenGL core profile extensions: OpenGL version string: 4.3.12798 Compatibility Profile Context 13.35.1005 OpenGL shading language version string: 4.30 OpenGL context flags: (none) OpenGL profile mask: compatibility profile OpenGL extensions:

I can tell its not using the GPU because my CPU is as hot as hell, but my GPU is completely cold.

This is the information screen on my catalyst: http://screencloud.net/v/ebxD

  • It is using the GPU - the evidence is right there "OpenGL renderer string: AMD Radeon HD 7970M". If it were using your CPU you would see something like "OpenGL renderer string: Mesa DRI Intel(R) Ivybridge Mobile" (obviously the exact text would be different for other CPUs) – bain Jun 3 '14 at 13:15
  • I get that, but it is quite obviously not utilising it. Either it uses it not even close to its full potential, or not at all. – Vilsol Jun 3 '14 at 17:49
  • What version of Ubuntu are you using? What version of the drivers? It is probably a bug in the Catalyst driver, try update to the latest (14.4 stable / 14.6 beta), and if still broken file a bug with AMD. I found this report of poor performance with HD7970M under Windows, and a report of terrible performance under Linux, and another... so it seems AMD have problems with this specific card. – bain Jun 3 '14 at 18:32
  • You could always try the open source drivers. – bain Jun 3 '14 at 18:40
  • I am scared of making the switch now, because I don't want my display drivers suddenly just completely dying. Anyone has any good links to how to switch from closed to open source drivers? – Vilsol Jun 3 '14 at 19:02
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The GPU is being used - the evidence is glxinfo output line "OpenGL renderer string: AMD Radeon HD 7970M". If it were using your CPU you would see something like "OpenGL renderer string: Mesa DRI Intel(R) Ivybridge Mobile" (obviously the exact text would be different for other CPUs).

Your performance problems seem to be caused by poor support by AMD proprietary Catalyst drivers for HD7970. I found this report of poor performance with HD7970M under Windows, and a report of terrible performance under Linux, and another... so it seems AMD have problems with this specific card.

To workaround this issue you can switch to the open source drivers by following instructions for "Removing (purging) existing drivers" at What is the correct way to install proprietary ATI Catalyst Video Drivers (fglrx) directly from AMD? Assuming you are using Ubuntu 14.04, the open source drivers will already be installed.

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  1. Open amdcccle(admin)
  2. Enter Your Password
  3. Go to Switchable Graphics
  4. Select High Performance GPU for optimal graphics performance.
  5. Press OK and reboot

Best of Luck

  • I have already switched to GPU, that did not fix it. – Vilsol May 25 '14 at 19:23

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