16.04 is coming and my GPU is no longer supported with new proprietary drivers. Even on 15.10 it was not supported with new fglrx driver, but it was fixed by patching fglrx with a wrapper. To further complicate things I have a Intel/AMD hybrid GPU setup.

So my questions are:

  1. Will I be able to use proprietary drivers on 16.04(old or new ones, and how)?

  2. Should I just use the free drivers(I mean I like Stallmans philosophy and such)?

  3. Will I be able to play steam games with free drivers?

  4. Will it be a big performance drop in my steam games?

  • What you can be sure of is the you will be able to use open source drivers. – Pilot6 Feb 25 '16 at 11:19
  • That is the only thing I can be sure of. – Mario Kamenjak Feb 26 '16 at 12:04

Note: All of this applies to AMD graphics cards that arent very new (including yours). Newer ones(1) have hybrid(2) amdgpu-pro drivers or open-source amdgpu drivers.

  1. It seems that no, you will not be able to use proprietary (fglrx and catalyst) drivers on 16.04. Or if then you have to somehow roll back xorg version without breaking everything connected to it.
  2. Using free/libre (radeon) drivers is practically the only option on 16.04
  3. In my experience, i can play all of my Steam (and other) games with radeon drivers
  4. It really depends on the games. I just ran some benchmarks(3) from openbenchmarking.org and it seems that i have a GPU performance loss of about a quarter to a half. Playing LoL via wine is still fine for me with ~40fps. Native War Thunder is unplayable with ~4fps. Civ5 gets laggy when im not using the strategic view.

Conclusion: I suggest trying out the open-source radeon drivers especially if you have 16.04 installed already. Maybe they will be enough for you. If not, you should roll back to 14.04 (previous LTS, supported until 2019) to continue using proprietary fglrx or catalyst drivers. The thing with open-source drivers is that they will get better and better over time.

(1) Listed here under "AMD Product Compatibility".

(2) Mostly open-source with some binary blobs. Explained a bit here.

(3) I have AMD Radeon HD7670M. My results are here. The one with radeon drivers is titled kde5+p+k+f+e_radeon. Not all of those benchmarks are GPU-related.

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