How Much Video RAM Is Needed For Catalyst R3 Graphics?
Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 19 April 2014. Page 3 of 3. 24 Comments

With the Unigine Sanctuary and Tropics benchmarks at 1920 x 1080, 256MB of video memory was not enough for optimal performance.

It should come as no surprise now, but with 256MB of video memory is also reduced performance out of the Unvanquished first person shooter.

For those curious or unsure how much video memory should be allocated when using the Catalyst Linux graphics driver with an AMD APU, hopefully this data was of some value. With 512MB or greater, most Linux games at 1920 x 1080 should run just fine and not have any detrimental performance issues in coming under video memory pressure. Fortunately, most AM1 motherboards default to 512MB of video memory, so by default you should be in fairly good shape. Similar tests though will also be done under the open-source Radeon Linux graphics driver given that its memory management code is not nearly as well optimized as Catalyst and memory management improvements are still forthcoming.

If you wish to run your own benchmarks to see how your system performs with varying amounts of memory, it's incredibly easy to automate in a fully standardized and repeatable manner using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite software.

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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 or contacted via

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