AMD Catalyst 8.12 Linux Driver

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 10 December 2008. Page 1 of 1. 128 Comments

This afternoon AMD has released its final Catalyst Linux driver update for the year. It has been a couple months now since there has been anything exciting in one of these Linux driver updates, but what's there in store this time around? Is there X-Video Bitstream Acceleration finally available? Sadly, no. But there is improved video playback support in a composited environment and Hybrid CrossFire support.

The addition in Catalyst 8.12 for Linux is support for Hybrid CrossFire with the RS780 Chipset. Catalyst 8.8 had introduced Linux CrossFire support to split the rendering workload between two discrete GPUs, but now it's possible to use Hybrid CrossFire on Linux, which allows the rendering workload to be split between a supported ATI integrated graphics processor and a supported PCI-E discrete graphics card.

Catalyst 8.12 also adds support for reading the bus bandwidth and memory bandwidth from the AMD Catalyst Control Center for Linux Edition (AMDCCCLE). AMD's Stream Computing is also now supported from the mainline Linux driver. There is, however, no OpenCL Linux support quite yet.

The Catalyst 8.12 driver also officially supports Ubuntu 8.10. Packaging scripts for SuSE and Mandriva have also been updated. A few random fixes have also worked their way into this release.

To much dismay, Advanced Micro Devices will not be introducing their new Linux video API, X-Video Bitstream Acceleration, in this release. The XvBA and XvMC libraries are still shipping with the driver, but the XvBA support is no good without patches that add support to media players for this API or until AMD provides the needed documentation.

Download Catalyst 8.12 for Linux from this AMD web page.

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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