For benchmarking the Catalyst 12.xx driver releases and the Catalyst 11.12 release from last year as reference, a Radeon HD 6950 "Cayman" graphics card was used. This graphics card was used since there was stable support all year while it was in early 2012 when AMD still had "experimental" Linux support for their Radeon HD 7000 series "Southern Islands" graphics cards.
In this article only the Catalyst drivers were benchmarked and not the open-source Radeon Linux graphics driver. Benchmarking happened from Ubuntu 11.10 so that the X.Org Server and Linux kernel would be compatible with all of the driver releases from this year.
That's about all there is to say for AMD Catalyst on Linux in 2012 so let's get straight to the results.