Catalyst 15.7 For Linux Is Turning Out To Be A Rather Nice Driver Update

Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 9 July 2015 at 09:50 AM EDT. 23 Comments
Yesterday's Catalyst 15.7 for Linux driver update turned out to be a fairly nice driver update. Tests are still running but the new features and performance improvements are certainly welcome.

To no surprise, the dozens of comments in the forums about Catalyst 15.7 for Linux tend to be rather polarized. However, in my testing over the past day, this is actually a rather decent driver update... OpenCL 2.0 multi-device support is working, the Rx 300 series support is there (albeit late, and at least for the R7 370 I'm currently testing), and there are indeed OpenGL performance improvements.

In the comments to yesterday's article there are several individuals talking of performance improvements. Phoronix reader d2kx wrote, "I am seeing ~10% perf improvements in CSGO and ~45% perf improvements in Dota 2 Reborn with a Radeon R9 285." Phoronix reader djdoo wrote, "It is the first time I saw 76 FPS in Unigine Valley bench with Ultra settings always, 1920X1080 res, AAx4, Anisotropy x16. Overall score 1463 with these settings, whereas with 15.5 I got less than 1000 and with 14.12 less than 700."

I hope to have out my initial Catalyst 15.7 Linux graphics driver comparison with multiple Radeon GPUs out later today.

The complaints about this driver seem to boil down to it lacking support for the Linux 4.0+ kernels (even though there's been public patches for a while to support Linux 4.0), no AMDGPU kernel driver support, and various system-specific issues.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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