Whatever I do, I can't get Ubuntu to play nice with my video card. Anything video related takes up over 100% of my CPU using dual screen HDMI (either VLC, compiz or Chrome). Is Ubuntu just no good with my video card? I can never find any info on my specific video card on the ATI website. Any info or help would be greatly appreciated.

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lspci -vvnn | grep VGA

00:01.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Mullins [Radeon R4/R5 Graphics] [1002:9851] (rev 45) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])


display: :0  screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: AMD Radeon(TM) R5 Graphics         
OpenGL version string: 4.5.13399 Compatibility Profile Context 15.201.1151
  • What exactly is causing the CPU usage ? You can find out by looking at the "processes" tab in the system monitor tool, or "top" in a terminal. – JonasCz Jul 3 '16 at 6:57
  • I use top. If I'm using vlc then vlc. Flash then chrome and compiz. – deanresin Jul 3 '16 at 7:29

This question was asked 1 year ago. But today I faced exact same situation and entering my answers found.

As release of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, older ATI Graphics cards no longer supported. (See below reference links "Supported, but hardware is too old for Unity" section for exact card models) Your all graphics drawings processed by CPU and thats why CPU utilization is so high.

Just drop the idea of installing proprietary driver and so. Now you have following options:

  • Downgrade to Ubuntu 14.04
  • Change graphics card (preferably NVIDIA one)
  • If you need Ubuntu 16, use alternative desktops XFCE or LXDE which is more lighter.

Reference: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RadeonDriver

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